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Jason Bryant | NWCA | January 23, 2018

South Dakota State jumps to No. 12, highest Division I ranking in school history

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Manheim, Pennsylvania -- A pair of notable performances this past week helped South Dakota State extend its winning streak to nine and move to No. 12 in the most recent USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

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The Jackrabbits (9-2) beat No. 22 Wyoming 20-18 and then-No. 11 Northern Iowa 22-16 to climb three spots to No. 12, reaching the program’s highest Division I ranking in school history. Part of the energy surrounding the Jackrabbits’ program this week was due to top-ranked 133-pounder Seth Gross bumping up to face top-ranked 141-pounder Bryce Meredith of Wyoming in a Thursday night dual in Brookings. Meredith would win the battle of NCAA finalists 4-2, but the hype around the matchup had fans talking across the country.

Despite the individual loss, South Dakota State registered one of its biggest wins in program history with the win over new Big 12 rival Northern Iowa. Falls by Connor Brown at 125 and Gross at 133 set the tone in the Jackrabbits’ Sunday win.

Penn State remained atop the poll, capturing 12 of the 16 first-place votes. The Nittany Lions improved to 9-0 on the year with a pair of conference wins. Penn State beat 24th-ranked Purdue in University Park on Friday 43-6 before traveling to Maryland and beating the Terps 47-3. Penn State’s dual meet win streak now stands at 40 in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season.

Second-ranked Ohio State (10-0) remained unbeaten after turning back fourth-ranked Iowa (9-1) in front of 15,117 fans at Value City Arena on Senior Day. The crowd was the 14th largest in Division I dual meet history. Iowa’s Spencer Lee spoiled senior Nathan Tomasello’s last home dual as the true freshman beat the three-time All-American and past NCAA champion 3-2 at 125 pounds. Ohio State’s strength in the upper weights carried the Buckeyes to the win as Bo Jordan, Myles Martin, Kollin Moore and Kyle Snyder swept the last four weights to pick up the win.

Missouri (15-0) clinched the regular season title in the Mid-American Conference with a 29-6 win over No. 17 Central Michigan. Oklahoma State remained fifth after beating West Virginia 29-6 and Kent State 42-3. NC State improved to 11-1 after opening up its ACC dual slate with a 32-6 win at Duke.

Lehigh (9-2) dropped two spots top No. 9 after falling to EIWA rival Cornell. The Big Red (5-2) moved up one spot after the win. Lehigh would close out the weekend with a win over Army West Point 30-6.

Michigan (7-2) won a pair of Big Ten duals. The Wolverines beat Wisconsin 29-10 on Friday before smashing No. 13 Minnesota 30-7 in Minneapolis. The Wolverines won eight out of 10, including 133-pounder Stevan Micic earning a fall over Minnesota’s Mitch McKee at 133 pounds.

RELATED: Week 2 award standings | DI coaches panel rankings

Arizona State extended its win streak to nine in a row after wins over Stanford and Oregon State. Against Oregon State, the Sun Devils honored the 1988 NCAA Division I championship team that was led by coach Bobby Douglas. To date, Arizona State’s title in 1988 is the only Division I wrestling championship won by a team from the West. The Sun Devils moved up another spot to No. 8, its highest ranking since March of 2003 when the squad was ranked seventh heading into the NCAA championships.

No. 10 Virginia Tech headed to Western Pennsylvania and picked off Pittsburgh 31-6 before getting past Edinboro 20-15.

Other ranked duals saw Illinois beat Purdue 21-12 and Nebraska won two home duals, topping No. 20 Northwestern 18-17 on criteria and No. 16 Rutgers 19-13 at the Devanney Center.

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