EDMOND, Okla. (GoThunderWolves.com - Oct. 19, 2012) - Defending champion Nebraska-Kearney is the preseason favorite to repeat as national champions according to the first NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll of the season.
The Lopers earned 146 points and received five out of the eight first-place votes to edge out St. Cloud State, who received 142 points, in the preseason rankings. The Lopers captured their second NCAA Division II wrestling championship last season beating out the Huskies on the final day of the tournament to claim the title.
Four school from the RMAC were picked to finish in the top-20, led by Grand Canyon University who was picked to finish fifth. Adams State, San Francisco State and Colorado Mesa all landed spots in the top-20 as well. Western State will begin the season receiving votes.
Individual preseason rankings were also released and two Pack wrestlers were selected to the top-8 of their respected weight classes.
Jesse Hillhouse (Sr., Casper, Wyo.) will begin the season ranked seventh in the 125-pound weight class. Hillhouse is returning after a very promising junior season that saw him qualify for the national tournament at the 133-pound weight class.
Trevor Grant (Jr., Winemucca, Nev.) will also enter his junior year with a preseason ranking of seventh in the 165-pound weight class. Grant is also coming off a national tournament appearance in the 174-pound weight class.