The people at W.I.N. Magazine have released their rankings for the upcoming 2015-16 season and last year’s runner-up team, the Iowa Hawkeyes came in third in the services Tournament Power Index (TPI) behind top ranked Oklahoma State and returning NCAA champions Ohio State at #2. The rankings are calculated based upon individual rankings for each team and their corresponding placement points at the NCAA tournament. The rankings do not include freshmen, as they opt to include them until the December release once they have acquired official college matches.
Both Northern Iowa and Iowa State also made the top 25 in the rankings with the Panthers sitting at #23, and Iowa State making it in at #25. The Hawkeyes have the most top eight wrestlers in state with four, while UNI and ISU each have two apiece.
Thomas Gilman leads the way at 125 pounds coming in at #3 behind NCAA champion Nathan Tomasello and Penn State’s Nico Megaludis. 2014 All-American Dylan Peters sits just outside Preseason All-America status at #9.
Returning NCAA runner-up Cory Clark sits at #2 in the 133 pound rankings and Iowa State has their first top eight wrestler in the list as 2014 All-American Earl Hall is ranked #7.
141pounds features only Iowa State’s Dante Rodrigues is the lone wrestler making the top 20, at #16.
Iowa has Brandon Sorensen ranked #2 in the 149 pound rankings, sitting behind former NCAA champion Jason Tsirtsis. Both Sorensen and Tsirtsis are the two highest returning AAs at this weight. Iowa State’s Gabe Moreno is ranked #18.
No wrestler from Iowa was ranked at 157 pounds, but two Iowans made the list at 165 pounds and both made the top eight. Round of 12 finisher Cooper Moore from UNI is #6 at 165, and two spots below him is Iowa State’s Tanner Weatherman. Weatherman is making the cut from 174, which is where he spent the first three years of his career for the Cyclones.
At 174 pounds Alex Meyer is ranked #9, despite holding wins over numbers 1, 5 and 6 in W.I.N.’s rankings. He is joined by Iowa State’s Lelund Weatherspoon, who like his teammate Weatherman is dropping a weight class from the year prior to this one.
Iowa high school alum and current Missouri wrestler Willie Miklus leads Iowans at 184 pounsd at #7. He is two spots ahead of Hawkeye Sammy Brooks.
Nathan Burak is the lone Iowan in the 197 pound rankings and the two-time All-American is #4 on the list. Rumors still swirl that Missouri’s J’den Cox could be headed to heavyweight, which would move him to #3.
UNI’s Blaize Cabell is the highest Iowa wrestler ranked at heavyweight, and he sits #7 on the list. Iowa native Ross Larson is ranked #11 for Oklahoma.
Like most preseason rankings these should be taken with a grain of salt and should be used as part of a picture rather than making these the finished product. Penn State, who sits #4 in the team rankings, is expected to receive a big boost from the freshmen entering their lineup, so they may be conservatively ranked. Iowa is also replacing 50% of their lineup, so they too would get a boost once the other four spots (Meyer was ranked at 174) in their lineups get set.
With preseason rankings coming out it can only mean one thing, the season is just around the corner!