Nov. 1, 2010

Courtesy of UNO Athletics

EDMOND, Okla. - The two-time defending national champion UNO wrestling team is the overwhelming favorite to capture a third straight crown in 2011 after the Mavericks were the unanimous first-place pick in the preseason NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll that was released Thursday.

UNO received all eight first-place votes in balloting of coaches from around the country to finish with 160 points in the rankings. The Mavericks topped every poll the past two seasons en route to winning back-to-back titles and will be heavily stocked again this year.

St. Cloud State (Minn.), which finished seventh in the national tournament last year, earned the No. 2 rating after collecting seven second-place votes and finishing with 150 points. Augustana (S.D.), last year’s national runner-up, is third with 144 points, followed by Nebraska-Kearney and Newberry (S.C.).

The Mavericks also had three wrestlers chosen number one in their weight classes. Junior Esai Dominguez was picked first at 149 lbs., sophomore George Ivanov was chosen first at 157 lbs., and defending national champion Elijah Madison earned the top nod at 285 lbs.

In addition, Terrell McKinney was picked third at 125 lbs., Mario Morgan was chosen second at 141 lbs., Ryan Pankoke was second at 165 lbs., Aaron Denson fourth at 184 lbs., and Austin Boehm sixth at 197 lbs. The Mavs failed to have a wrestler listed in the top 10 of only one weight class.

Head coach Mike Denney, now in his 32nd season, will lead the Mavericks into the new season on Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Daktronics Open at Brookings, S.D.