The Newberry College wrestling team will head to Pueblo, Colo., and the NCAA Division II National Tournament as the second-ranked team in the nation, as announced by the national coaches’ association Tuesday.
Three of the Wolves’ national qualifiers are ranked in the top eight of their weight class.
For the fifth straight poll, Super Region III champion St. Cloud State is the unanimous No. 1 team. Newberry is No. 2 as the Super Region I champion, while Super Region IV champion Nebraska-Kearney is third. Super Region III runner-up Upper Iowa is fourth and Super Region II champion Central Oklahoma is fifth.
Jake Elkins (Trussville, Ala.) remains at No. 3 in the rankings at the heavyweight class after cruising to the regional title with two pins and a major decision with a 4-0 record in the tournament. The senior will look for his second consecutive All-American honor in Pueblo and is slated to face Grand Canyon’s Jordan Johnson in the first round. Johnson won a 4-3 decision on New Year’s Eve in Phoenix in the two teams’ dual earlier this season.
BJ Young (Jackson, N.J.) stays at No. 4 in the national rankings in the 141 lbs. weight class after earning his regional crown with three bonus point wins on the way to his 4-0 record. Young was the 2011 Division II national runner-up at 133-pounds and will look for his second career All-American honor, starting his tournament against Newman’s Mitch Arnold.
Travis Sheehy (Suwanee, Ga.) at 174-pounds remained at No. 7 in this week’s national rankings after a 3-0 regional tournament. The UNC Greensboro transfer went 3-0 after a first round bye at the regional tournament and will face a hostile environment in his first round bout at nationals as he faces Trevor Grant of the host institution, Colorado State-Pueblo.
Newberry’s other four national qualifiers are not ranked in the top eight individually, but now know their path towards All-American status and a national championship.
Jon Cronin (Las Vegas, Nev.) at 125-pounds is in his first national tournament and faces Grand Canyon’s Kyle McCrite in the first round. Cronin comes off of a third place finish at the regional tournament with a 4-1 record and faces the fourth-ranked wrestler in his class.
Matt Oliver (Toms River, N.J.) at 133-pounds looks for his second career All-American honor in his fourth career national tournament. Oliver went 3-1 on the way to regional runner-up honors and faces Ashland’s eighth-ranked Adli Edwards in his first bout in Pueblo.
At 157-pounds., Taylor Knapp (Lawrenceville, Ga.) is coming off of a fourth-place finish at regionals and will face off against Ouachita Baptist’s third-ranked Bobby Williams in the first round.
Zach Anderson (Dunwoody, Ga.) appears in his second career national tournament at 197-pounds after finishing third at regionals. He faces a tough test in his first round bout against St. Cloud State’s fifth-ranked Luke Munklewitz.