2010 NCAA DI Dual Meet Top-25 Ranking and Top-10 Analysis

While a team can place highly at the NCAA championships on the strength of a handful of qualifiers, as Maryland demonstrated last season by placing 10th with four, to break the top 10 in dual meets a team must have an outstanding wrestler at every weight. And unlike tournament success, dual meet success mostly falls on the shoulders of the faces who will debut this season.

NCAA 2010 Wrestling Championship LogoWhile a team can place highly at the NCAA championships on the strength of a handful of qualifiers, as Maryland demonstrated last season by placing 10th with four, to break the top 10 in dual meets a team must have an outstanding wrestler at every weight. And unlike tournament success, dual meet success mostly falls on the shoulders of the faces who will debut this season.

Boise State is the sole top-10 team in the enviable position of returning a full squad of veterans. The remaining nine are in the enviable position of showcasing former high school state champions, All-Americans and record holders eager to re-establish their prowess and reclaim former glory.

At Iowa, there’s Matt McDonough a former 3x Iowa State Champion competing against 2 former studs for the starting role at 125.

At Iowa State, there’s Andrew Long a 3x Iowa State Champion aiming to replace Tyler Clark and Nate Carr Jr. (son of Nate Carr Sr., Bronze Medalist at the 1988 Summer games in Seoul, Korea) aiming to replace Cyler Sanders at 157.

At Ohio State, there’s 3x NYS DII Champion and 2009 NHSCA Senior National runner-up, Ian Paddock at 133 and 3x Ohio State champion Sean Nemec at 157.

At Cornell, there’s Kyle Dake, 3x NHSCA Nationsl Champion and Steve Bosak at 184, a 2x PA state silver medalist.

At Penn State, there are elite recruits David Taylor, Jake Kemerer, Ed Ruth, Luke Macchiaroli, and returning All-American Quentin Wright all expected to redshirt in 2010.  However, should the Nittany Lions get off to a slow start, the possibly is always there for these talented youngsters to break into the lineup.

At Oklahoma State, there’s 5 underclassman making their Varsity debut: Jordan Oliver, 3x PA state champion, 2009 Junior World Bronze medalist, Albert White, a 4x Illinois State Champion, and Alan Gelogaev, an International Champion from Russia.

At Minnesota, there’s Mario Mason, a National Prep Champion, and 2008 Olympian and 3x Minnestoa State Champion, Jake Deitchler.

At Centeral Michigan, Ben Bennet, a 3x Michigan State Champion, slated for the 184lbs starting role.

And at Missouri, making their varsity debut are 141lbs Nick Huck, a 3x Wisconsin State Champion and Bronze Medalist at the 2008 NHSCA senior nationsa, Nick Gregoris at 157, a 3x NC State Champion and 4th at NHSCA Senior Nations, Brent Haynes, a 2x Missouri State Champion, 2008 NHSCA Silver Medalist, and Fargo Junior National Greco Champion.

With so many talented veteran and rookie varsity wrestlers, the battle for dual meet supremacy will hold some surprises in 2009-2010, and if anything, it will demonstrate once again that the perenial powerhouses do not rebuild, they reload.

Click here for in-depth top-10 dual meet analysis, here for top-25 dual meet teams, and here to vote in the pole.

1 – Iowa

Brent Metcalf
Brent Metcalf Iowa - 2x AA and 2009 149lbs, NCAA Runner-up.

With at least six (seven if Slaton wins the 141 job) returning or former All-Americans in the Hawkeye lineup. 2010 should be another year for Tom Brands and staff…Leading the charge will be 2008 National Champion/2009 NCAA Runner-up Brent Metcalf (149)…Having lost only once in dual competition in the last two years, when it comes to being a sure fire “w” for your team, Metcalf is your man….Complimenting Metcalf will be Daniel Dennis (133), Ryan Morningstar (165), Phil Keddy (184), and Dan Erekson (285)…With each being a returning All-American from 2009 (Dennis-7th; Morningstar- 3rd; Keddy- 4th; Erekson- 4th), it does not appear as if there will be many (if any) opportunities for opponents to get on the scoreboard.

If the aforementioned was not enough to convince you, then consider this. The University of Iowa also returns 2x NCAA Qualifier/2008 All-American Jay Borschel, as well as a pair of former NCAA qualifiers at 141 pounds, Dan LeClere and Joey Slaton…Both relegated to backup duties last season, the battle for the starting spot is expected to be as fierce and competitive as any wrestle-off in the nation (short of Ellis/Bradley). In 2007, both were champions at the Midlands Invitational (Slaton at 133; LeClere-141) as well as Big-10 tournament place-winners (Slaton-3rd; LeClere-5th)…Slaton would go on to make the National finals before getting pinned by Oklahoma State’s Coleman Scott in the first period.

Also returning to the U of I lineup after a successful 2009 campaign is 197-pounder, Chad Beatty…Considered slightly undersized last season, Beatty showed dedication and hard work always pay off, as he wrestled his way into a fourth place finish at the 2009 Big-10 tournament, thus qualifying him for the big dance.

The one weight class where Iowa will not have a former starter is 125. Following the graduation of 2x All-American Charlie Falck, the Hawkeye coaching staff will have big shoes to fill…Fortunately, this team is so deep that they have not one, not two, but three young studs who are capable of making serious noise…Reportedly holding the advantage thus far in early season workouts is RS freshman Matt McDonough. A former 3x Iowa State Champion, McDonough compiled an impressive 22-8 record last season while competing up at 133…Expected to push McDonough for the starting job is fellow RS freshman, Nate Moore…A Junior National freestyle champion in the summer of 2008, Moore went 23-4 last season (including 13 pins)….2009 spot starter, J.J. Krutsinger should also be in the mix. Despite going only 1-4 in dual competition while filling in for Falck, Krutsinger did put together a more than respectable 12-8 overall record last season. The most experienced of the trio, Krutsinger may surprise a lot of people when the team holds its official wrestle-off….Prized 2009 recruit/2009 Junior World Championship 5th place finisher, Tony Ramos, will in likelihood redshirt this season.

2009 starter at 157-pounds, Matt Ballweg is also back…Hopefully with a year of DI starting experience under his belt, the junior from Waverly will showcase more of the talent that made him a former 2x State Champion in high school.

2 – Iowa State

Jake Varner Iowa St. - 3x AA and 2009 197lbs, NCAA Champion
Jake Varner Iowa St. - 3x AA and 2009 197lbs, NCAA Champion

Much like their rival Hawkeyes, the Cyclones, under the leadership of new Head Coach/former US World and Olympic Freestyle coach, Kevin Jackson, are not short on returning talent…Featuring 2009 National Champion/3x NCAA finalist/2009 World Team Member Jake Varner at 197-pounds, ISU has proven commodities at 133-149 as well as 165-heavyweight…With a cumulative 21 NCAA appearances among them, 133- Nick Fanthorpe (3x NCAA Qualifier/2008 All-American), 141- Nick Gallick (3x NCAA Qualifier; 2x All-American), 149- Mitch Mueller (3x NCAA Qualifier), 165- Jon Reader (2x NCAA Qualifier; 2x All-American); 174- Duke Burk (3x NCAA Qualifier), 184- Jerome Ward (1x NCAA Qualifier), the previously mentioned Varner, and 285- David Zabriskie (3x NCAA Qualifier; 2x All-American) are going to be a nightmarish match for any foe, whether in tournament or dual competition.

Being counted on to replace transfers Tyler Clark (125- To Iowa) and Cyler Sanderson (157- to Penn State) will be RS Freshman Andrew Long and Junior Nate Carr Jr….Long is a former 3x Iowa State Champion who also won the 2007 Junior National Greco title In Fargo to go along with his double Cadet titles in the International styles in 2005. With such versatility, it goes without saying that Long should be considered dangerous from all positions on the mat.

If the name Nate Carr sounds familiar to Iowa State fans, it should….Nate Jr. is the son of the former Cyclone legend/National Wrestling Hall-of-Fame inductee who went on to win 3x NCAA titles as well a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, Korea…The junior Carr is putting together quite the resume himself…A three-time State Champion in Georgia, Nate Jr. was the 2007 Junior College National Champion at the same weight…Not able to break the lineup last season, Carr was called into spot starting duties at times last season but compiled the majority of his 13 wins by wrestling unattached at various tournaments and invitationals.

3 – Ohio state

Reece Humphrey Ohio St - 2x AA and 133lbs, 2009 NCAA Runner-up
Reece Humphrey Ohio St - 2x AA and 133lbs, 2009 NCAA Runner-up

In continuation of the pattern that has already emerged from the analysis of our #1 and #2 teams, the Buckeyes too are a squad that returns the majority of their starters from last season’s National runner-up team finish…At the book ends for the third consecutive year are junior Nikko Triggas and senior Corey Morrison….With both being NCAA qualifiers last season, it is a safe assumption to say that TOSU will start and finish every dual strongly.

Anchoring the Tom Ryan led team will be a trio of returning All-American seniors who will be determined and hungry to put an exclamation mark on their collegiate careers by climbing over the hump known as Iowa to claim the NCAA crown that has eluded them the past two years. Up a weight class from his national runner-up finish last season is 141-pounder Reece Humphrey…Humphrey who finds himself in the often pressure packed situation of having to replace a national champion (2x Champion J Jaggers) will asked to provide the same poise and clutch wrestling as did his predecessor….At 149 pounds, it will be 3x All-American Lance Palmer who will be counted to remain as consistent as he has been beginning his career in Columbus…A tenacious rider, opponents can ill afford to fall behind Palmer early; for if they do, they may find that they spend more than half of the match fighting for the escape point….The gem of the group is no doubt 2008 National Champion/2009 National Runner-up 184- Mike Pucillo….A three-time All-American heading into his final year of eligibility, the Ohio native has gone undefeated in dual competition the past two seasons.

In addition, the Buckeyes will rely on the veteran experience of junior 165- Colt Sponseller and senior 174- Dave Rella….Sponseller, a former NHSCA Senior National Champion in 2008, led the team in wins last season as a true sophomore with 34 (including a 15-3 record in duals). After having what some might classify as a disappointing performance at the National tournament, the 2009 Big-10 tournament 4th place finisher should enter the new reason as a man on a mission…In a recent interview, Coach Ryan expressed how highly he regards Sponseller, saying that regardless of what the activity, he would want Sponseller on his team….Rella, who himself won a NHSCA title as a senior was steady in 2009, winning more than 50 percent of his matches (21-16) in his first year as an Ohio State wrestler (spent his first two years at Penn State). A two-time NCAA qualifier, Rella has yet to showcase the talent that made him a 2x Ohio State Champion.

Newcomers to the Buckeye lineup include former 3x NYS DII State Champion/2009 NHSCA Senior National runner-up 133- Ian Paddock, former Three-time Ohio State Champion 157- Sean Nemec, who has won over 50 matches in his collegiate career as a predominantly unattached wrestler, and 197- C.J. Magrum, who like Nemec was a winner of 3x Ohio State titles…The latter posted a 17-6 record last season while taking a RS year.

4 – Cornell

Troy Nickerson - 2009 125lbs, NCAA Champion
Troy Nickerson - 2009 125lbs, NCAA Champion

With a starting lineup consisting of five former or returning All-Americans, Coach Rob Koll’s Big Red appear as if they are well positioned to again be among the crème de la crème of dual teams in the country. Kicking off the starting ten will again be 2009 NCAA Champion/3x All-American Troy Nickerson. While Nickerson has been plagued by reoccurring shoulder issues the past three seasons, all Cornell fans know that he will be ready and at his best for any/all money matches…Joining the former five time NYS Champion as returning members of the Big Red nucleus are 133- Mike Grey (2x NCAA Qualifier/2008 All-American), 149- Corey Manson, 157- DJ Meagher (2009 NCAA Qualifier), 165- Justin Kerber (2009 NCAA Qualifier), 174- Mack Lewnes (2x NCAA Qualifier/2008 All-American), 197- Cam Simaz (2009 All-American), and heavyweight Josh Arnone (2007 All-American)…In an attempt to incorporate blue-chip 2009 recruit, Kyle Dake, into the lineup, Manson and Meagher will each bump up a weight class from where they competed last season. Another switch in the lineup will come at 165/174 where Justin Kerber has volunteered to make the cut from 184 to 165 so that highly regarded (#1 seed at the 2009 National tournament) teammate Mack Lewnes will be able to wrestle at the more comfortable weight of 174….Affected by injuries for the majority of his career, 285-pounder Josh Arnone will be up two classes from the weight that he earned his All-American honor at in 2007.

Dake has been so impressive thus far in his young career that the coach Koll has been so enthusiastic in him as to refer to him as the “second coming of Troy”, a reference that has as much to do with their similar talent levels as it does to the fact that both come out of the famed Shamrock Wrestling Club. A two-time NYS DII Champion, Dake has saved his best performances for the national stage. He is a former 3x NHSCA National Champion, as well as a representative of the United States at the 2008 Junior World Greco tournament.

Also expected to crack into the starting lineup for the first time in his collegiate career is sophomore Steve Bosak at 184-pounds. A former two-time Pennsylvania State runner-up, Bosak proved that his tough riding style translated well to the college scene, going 10-3 last season while wrestling unattached.

5 – Boise State

Andrew Hochstrasser Boise State 2009 NCAA 4th place at 133
Andrew Hochstrasser Boise State 2009 NCAA 4th place at 133

If experience is golden, then the 2010 Bronco starting lineup might best be described as platinum…The first of the top-10 teams to return a previous starter at every weight class, the emerging Pac-10 power will feature eight upperclassmen (133- Andrew Hochstrasser, 141- Levi Jones, 157- Adam Hall, 165-Kurt Swartz, 174- Nathan Lee, 184- Kirk Smith, 197- Matt Casperson, and 285- Sam Zylstra) to go along with a pair of super sophomores (125- Brian Owen and 149- Jason Chamberlain)…Nine of the 10 wrestlers penciled into the lineup are returning or former national tournament qualifiers (Zylstra being the exception) with two (Hochstrasser and Smith) having earned a previous All-American distinction….Sporting a lineup that lacks a single hole, it will come as no surprise if before all is said and done if the Boise State does not pull off their fair share of upsets in 2010…They will be at the National duals January 9th-10 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

6 – Penn State

Frank Molinaro - 2009 NCAA AA 8th place at 141
Frank Molinaro - 2009 NCAA AA 8th place at 141

Perhaps the biggest enigma on this list is the Nittany Lions under the guidance of new Head Coach, Cael Sanderson…Ranked as low as the early 20s in some polls, a lot of questions remain unanswered heading into the 2010 season. Atop this list of unknowns are whether or not 2008 NCAA runner-up, Jesse “Bubba” Jenkins will be red-shirting this season or not? Early on, it was strongly suggested that he would be taking the season off. However, of late, conversation has seemed to indicate that the former Junior World Champion has had a change of heart and will in fact be representing PSU.

Another question left unanswered is who will be representing the Nittany Lions at 133, 184, and 197-pounds…With elite recruits David Taylor, Jake Kemerer, Ed Ruth, and Luke Macchiaroli, as well as 2009 All-American Quentin Wright, all expected to redshirt this season, the new coaching staff may find themselves in a similar predicament as the former staff—trying to win despite going into every dual semi conceding multiple bouts.

Focusing on the positive, the six wrestlers who are locks to be among the starting ten are about as solid as any college coach could ask…All six (125- Brad Pataky, 141- Frank Molinaro, 157- Cyler Sanderson, 165- Dan Vallimont, 174- David Erwin, and 285- Cameron Wade) former national tournament qualifiers or All-American, the Nittany Lions will be looking to get as many bonus point as possible in order to make up for any deficiencies that might exist at the aforementioned weights…With an almost immediate test against Lehigh (November 13), it will not take long before the PSU faithful know what 2010 will hold for them….If Jenkins does compete this season, then the murder’s row from 141-165 (all of whom have an All-American finish under his belt) will rival that of any other team in the country….The impact of these five, coupled with the steadiness of Pataky, Erwin, and Wade ought to be enough to make the Nittany Lions victors on most nights.

7 – Oklahoma State

Jared Rosholt - 3x NCAA AA at 285
Jared Rosholt - 3x NCAA AA at 285

Headlining the list of newcomers is former 3x Pennsylvania State Champion/2009 Junior World Bronze medalist 133-Jordan Oliver…Oliver, who went 19-1 last season while redshirting is a takedown machine, utilizing his God given athletic ability to out maneuver, out quick, and out slick all of his opponents. While the 133-pound weight class is expected to be deep again, it would be no surprise to see the Keystone Stater on the podium in 2010…Joining Oliver will be another former top-10 prospect from the 2008 recruiting class, 165- Alex Meade…Meade, who like Oliver was a three-time State Champion (in Delaware), nearly matched the resume of his teammate last season, finishing the year 19-2 as an unattached wrestler. Of these 19 wins, 13 were accompanied by bonus points…Another of the OSU youngsters who need no introduction is 149-pounder Albert White. A JUCO National Champion in 2008, White announced his presence on the national stage as a high school freshman when he made the finals of the Junior National Freestyle tournament…He would go on to finish his scholastic career as a four-time Illinois State Champion, as well as the 2006 Junior National freestyle Champion…Fellow Prairie Stater, Mike Benefiel will be in contention to start at 174 for the Cowboys…Rated as the #6 recruit in the nation as a senior, Benefiel began his collegiate career at Northwestern before some off the mat issues caused him to seek a fresh start. Like White, Benefiel was a 4x in Illinois. Most recently, he won the 2009 ASICS University National Championship.

If you have ever wondered how long it would take for an International stud to adapt to folkstyle rules, you should get your answer this season when 197- Alan Gelogaev takes the mat….A star pupil of Russian legend Buvaisar Saitiev (regarded as one of, if not the best wrestler in the world over the course of the last 15 years), Gelogaev already owns freestyle wins over the likes of 2008 US Olympian Andy Hrovat and former US National runner-up Nik Fekete…At 22 (23 in November) years of age, this international sensation is more mature and poised than the typical college sophomore..If he can demonstrate the same ability to throw opponents to their backs like he did to Hrovat, than the rest of the nation better be on alert.

The only underclassman who is a returning starter from last season is 141-pounder Jamal Parks…Regarded as one of the rawest talents coming out of High School, Parks showed that immense athleticism and an attacking style is effective at every level of wrestling…A third place finisher last season at the Big-12 tournament, Parks was a national qualifier in 2009…After compiling a more than impressive 29-10 record in his first on the varsity, it is a no brainer that the Business and Education major will be in the hunt for All-American honors (if not higher accolades).

8 – Minnesota

Jayson Ness - 2009 NCAA AA
Jayson Ness - 2009 NCAA AA at 133 (3rd)

Unlike the aforementioned Cowboys, J Robinson’s Gophers will rely on their plethora of experience in 2010…Sitting at the head of the table will be a trio of former All-Americans (125- Zach Sanders, 133- Jayson Ness, and 165- Dustin Schlatter), as well as a pair of National tournament qualifiers (141- Mike Thorn and 285- Ben Berhow)….Starting off most duals for the U of M, Sanders compiled a 39-10 record in 2009, including a 19-4 record in duals. With bonus point victories in 20 of his bouts last season, Sanders is sure to get the Gophers off to a positive start most nights of the week…Also sporting a 19-4 dual record last season was Ness…An All-American every season he has been in the Minnesota lineup, Ness was a 2008 National finalist and is hungry to get back to the elevated mat in Omaha. A prolific pinner throughout his career, Ness earned 19 pins on his way to a 38-8 overall record….Making his return to the lineup after sitting out the 2009 season to fully heal from the nagging injuries that had affected him the previous two seasons will be 3x All-American/2006 NCAA Champion Dustin Schlatter. The United States representative at last month’s Senior World Championship tournament, Schlatter is looking as good as ever. Despite taking the entire year off, Schlatter is receiving immense praise from the pollsters, being ranked #1 or #2 by most publications. If completely healthy (as it appears that he is), Schlatter instantly becomes a favorite to emerge with individual hardware this March.

Voted by his teammates as the Most Dedicated Wrestler last season, Thorn will be eager to make his first trip to the podium this season…An NCAA Qualifier with an overall record of 29-17, Thorn will need slightly Improve upon his 12-10 dual in 2009 if the Gophers want to succeed in making as much noise as they are capable….Back for his third season as the starting big man for the Gophers is 2x NCAA Qualifier, Berhow. A steady presence in the Minnesota lineup, Berhow made amazing improvement last season, following up a sub .500 dual record in 2008 by finishing 14-3 this past season. If Berhow continues to progress at this pace, it would not be out of the question to see him sneak his way onto the podium in Nebraska.

No strangers to elite recruiting classes themselves, the Gophers will welcome a pair of highly acclaimed redshirt into the lineup this season at 149 and 157 pounds…The former, Mario Mason, enjoyed an iconic career at Blair Academy, winning three National Prep titles. Since coming to the “U”, Mason has been just as good, going 14-2 last season while competing unattached…Joining Mason as the second member of the Gophers’ fab frosh is 2008 Olympian Jake Deitchler…Shocking the country in 2008 when he upset World Medalist Harry Lester at the Olympic trials en route to winning the tournament and punching his ticket to Beijing, Deitchler almost decided not to pursue a collegiate career. After committing to Minnesota pre-Olympics, Deitchler temporarily had a change of heart and was giving a lot of thought to training Greco full-time. However, citing feelings of missing the camaraderie that goes along with being a part of a winning program, the former 3x Minnesota State Champion decided to the wonderful world of folkstyle wrestling; Coach Robinson and staff could not be happier. A former 3x State Champion, Deitchler is out to prove that he is more than just a Greco specialist.

174- Scott Glasser (19-17; 7-11 in duals), 184- Sonny Yohn (11-15; 6-11 in duals), and 197- Brent Eidenschink (6-8; 2-4 in duals) are expected to make up the remainder of the lineup…Both Glasser and Yohn are former high profile recruits that possess the natural talent to break out at any time…If they do reach their full potential in 2010, the Gophers will become all the more difficult to defeat, both nationally and within conference.

9 – Centeral Michigan

Mike Miller - 2x NCAA AA and 2009 runner-up
Mike Miller - 2x NCAA AA and 2009 runner-up

Whoever told Coach Tom Borrelli and staff that 2009 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Chippewas, drastically underestimated the heart and determination of this perennial MAC powerhouse…With five returning or former National Qualifiers/two All-Americans expected to be in the lineup in 2010, there is no reason to think that this season will not be as successful and rewarding as the previous few…Led by 2x All-American/2009 National runner-up, 174- Mike Miller and 133- Scott Sentes (finished 7th at 125 last season), Borrelli’s team will also benefit greatly from contributions of seniors Connor Beebe (3x NCAA Qualifier; moving down to 125 this season), 149- Tony D’Alie (2009 NCAA Qualifier), 157- Steve Brown (2x NCAA Qualifier), 165- Tyler Grayson (3rd place at the MAC Tournament and 197- Eric Simaz (3rd at the MAC Tournament)…The latter will be pumped to improve upon an overall 13-15 record from last season.

Also being counted on to pick up where they left off last season is a pair of well respected sophomores in the persons of 141- Jeff Shutich and big man Jarod Trice…Shutich, who went 14-3 last season could very well have been a National Qualifier in 2009 had he not been stuck behind D’Alie on the depth chart. With the 141-pound weight class belonging exclusively to him, the sky is the limit….Trice, who as a high school senior was a NHSCA National Champion, stepped up in a giant way last season, more than adequately filling the shoes of former All-American, Bubba Gritter. Trice went 23-12 in his rookie campaign (including a 15-6 in duals) on his way to a runner-up finish at the MAC Tournament…He spent the majority of last season in the 15-20 range of several national rankings.

The Chippewas will also welcome prized 2009 recruit, Ben Bennett into the starting lineup this season….The recipient of the Mr. Michigan award (given to the top wrestler in the state), Bennett capped his scholastic career by winning his third state title, as well as the NHSCA Senior National title and the 2008 Junior National freestyle title. Considered an absolute beast as a rider, Bennett will be asked to replace 2009 NCAA Qualifier Vince DiDona at 184-pounds. Despite having not wrestled a varsity match, so respected is Bennett’s reputation that he was 17th in WrestlingReport.com’s preseason rankings.

10 Missouri

Max Akren - 2X NCAA AA at 197
Max Akren - 2X NCAA AA at 197

A victim of the kind of problem that every coach in the nation wishes he had, Tigers’ Head Coach, Brian Smith finds himself in the position of having arguably the top-2 heavyweights in the nation on his team. Much like last season, defending NCAA Champion Mark Ellis will battle it out with 2009 Junior World Freestyle Champion, Dom Bradley for the starting spot this season…Regardless of who emerges from this hotly contested rivalry, common sense dictates that Missouri enters 2010 with the favorite to win the national crown at heavyweight.

Complimenting the Ellis/Bradley winner will be a pair of multi-time All-Americans, seniors 165- Nick Marable and 184- Max Askren. Marable who finished 7th in 2009 after a third place finish the previous year is an amazing counter wrestler. To beat him, one needs to be almost flawless as he is always ready to pounce on the first mistake…Compiling a 28-8 overall record last season, Marable will be focused on making the most of his senior season…Moving down a weight after competing for three seasons at 197 will be Askren…A two-time All-American heading into his final year of eligibility, Askren was the top seed as a freshman at the national tournament, but experienced a letdown, failing to place in 2007. The past two years, Askren has been very much a reliable influence in the Coach Smith’s lineup…Bettering his 7th place finish in 2008 by finishing 5th as a junior, Askren will be among a stacked group of 184-pounders in contention for the top spot on the podium come this March.

Also moving down will be second year starter, Dorian Henderson, who is being asked to fill the enormous shoes of Raymond Jordan at 174…A National Qualifier in his first year as a Tiger starter in 2009, Henderson compiled a 20-15 record. With a year of varsity experience now under his belt, more will be expected of him this season…As someone who came to the sport rather late, Henderson could still be considered raw in his skill set. However, when polished technique meets his natural explosiveness, it should make for one heck of a wrestler.

Representing the lightweights will be 125-Troy Dolan and 133- Todd Schavrien…Dolan, who came to Columbia after a storied career as a multiple time PA AA State Champion struggled a good portion of last season, causing many Tiger enthusiasts to be concerned about whether or not he would be the force that he was recruited to be…As only sophomore, there remains plenty of time for Dolan to turn it all around and make his collegiate career a success. Considered by me to be much better than his 15-23 record last season might indicate, I fully expect to see a much different Dolan in 2010…Despite being an NCAA Qualifier last season, Schavrien too might have failed to live up to the hype. A transfer from Arizona State (when the program appeared that it would be dropped), Schavrien is a former FILA Junior National Champion, proving that the potential is there for him to do great things…Compiling a 15-13 record in 2009, the Poway, CA resident will need to elevate his game if the Tigers hope to remain as a top dual team .

Making their varsity debuts this season will be a trio of highly recognized redshirt freshmen, all of whom were multiple-time State Champions during their scholastic days…Replacing 141-pound Big-12 Champion Marcus Hoehn will be Nick Hucke. Hucke is a former 3x Wisconsin State Champion, as well as the bronze medalist at the 2008 NHSCA Senior National tournament…He compiled a 22-5 overall record last season wrestling unattached, claiming titles at the Missouri and Missouri Valley Opens…At 157-pounds, Nick Gregoris will be the man responsible for replacing 157-pound All-American Mike Chandler. Like his fellow redshirt freshman teammate, Gregoris was a three-time State Champion (in North Carolina) and added a 4th place finish to his resume at the NHSCA Senior National tournament. A Champion at the Missouri Open, Gregoris will be looking to feed off of the 23-5 record he compiled last season…Perhaps the most nationally well known among the first year starters is 197-pounder Brent Haynes. A winner of a pair of Missouri State titles, Haynes has been at his best when competing on the national scene. A 2008 NHSCA Senior National runner-up, Haynes put a cap on his high school career by winning a Junior National Greco title in Fargo. Joining his teammates as a titlist at the Missouri Open, Haynes completed his RS year with a 20-7 overall record.

Brandon Wiest (10-10 wrestling unattached last season) will be pitted against University of Virginia transfer Scott O’Donnell for the starting slot at 149…Both had standout high school careers in the Show Me State and will be committed to representing their home state with pride and honor. The winner of the wrestle-off will be in a position to provide stability and consistency to a weight class that was shaky at times during the 2009 season.

NCAA Top-10 Dual Meet Rankings


Rank Team All-Americans Returning Qualifiers
1 Iowa 5 7
2 Iowa St 4 7
3 Ohio St 3 7
4 Cornell 2 6
5 Boise State 2 8
6 Penn State 2 6
7 Okla State 1 6
8 Minnesota 2 4
9 Central Michigan 2 6
10 Missouri 3 5
11 Nebraska 2 4
12 Maryland 3 4
13 Illinois 2 7
14 Indiana University 1 6
15 Lehigh University 0 6
16 Oklahoma University 0 8
17 Edinboro University 0 2
18 Old Dominion University 0 5
19 Hofstra University 0 6
20 Bucknell University 1 6
21 Virginia Tech 0 8
22 Virginia University 1 6
23 Kent State University 1 3
24 Michigan University 1 4
25 Uiversity of Pennsylvania 0 4


NCAA Top-10 Dual Meet Pole

Answer the poll to rank the top 10 NCAA DI dual meet teams for the 2009-2010 season. Select up to 10 teams before submitting your vote.

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How would you rank the dual meet competitiveness of the NCAA DI teams for 2009/2010. Please comment and let us know.

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