INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA released Friday the second of four coaches’ panel rankings for the 2016-17 wrestling season and the first release of the RPI. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. This year’s event is March 16-18 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. For more information and to purchase tickets for the championship, visit NCAA.com/Wrestling.
Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches’ rankings to earn spots in their qualifying tournaments for the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches’ rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. In order to be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days.
Among the top-ranked wrestlers by the coaches are seven former national champions with Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State (133 pounds), Dean Heil of Oklahoma State (141), Zain Retherford of Penn State (149), Isaiah Martinez of Illinois (165), Gabe Dean of Cornell (184), J’Den Cox of Missouri and Kyle Snyder of Ohio State (heavyweight).
The additional top-ranked wrestlers at each weight class in the coaches’ rankings are: Thomas Gilman, Iowa (125 pounds); Jason Nolf, Penn State (157) and Zahid Valencia, Arizona State (174).
In the RPI, which requires a minimum of 17 Division I matches to be eligible for a ranking, top-ranked wrestlers include: Joey Dance, Virginia Tech (125 pounds); Kaid Brock, Oklahoma State (133); Kevin Jack, North Carolina State (141); Micah Jordan, Ohio State (149); Joey Lavallee, Missouri (157); Martinez (165); Ryan Preisch, Lehigh (174); Samuel Brooks, Iowa (184); Cox (197) and Connor Medbery, Wisconsin (heavyweight).