The coaches of the Mid-American Conference released their second rankings for the month of January, and UNI took a big leap forward, going from fourth in the first poll of month to second in the new poll. The Panthers went up two points from where they were earlier this month, and pushed Central Michigan and Ohio to a tie for third place.

It’s starting to sound like a broken record but I’ll never complain about number one rankings. Dylan Peters and Blaize Cabell are ranked first in the MAC for the fourth time in a row. Peters hasn’t wrestled in nearly two months, but with the homestand coming up fans will hopefully see his return to the lineup.

Cabell continues to be the class of heavyweight in the MAC, having already defeated the number two wrestler. He’ll take on both number four wrestlers (they’re tied for fourth) this weekend in duals with Central Michigan and Ohio.

At 133 pounds Josh Alber re-enters the top four at number three after dropping out of the last poll. Alber’s jump to the third spot gave UNI the additional two points it needed to jump to second place in the poll.

The other two Panthers in the poll have held serve with where they were previously. Cooper Moore is ranked second at 165 pounds, and he’s finally wrestling again after a lengthly absence after the Midlands Championships with injury. Moore will face the number three-ranked wrestler on Sunday in Austin Reese from Ohio.

Bryce Steiert rounds out the rankings, coming in at fourth at 157 pounds. Steiert has looked good all season, getting two more wins on the road at Virginia Tech and Old Dominion. He’ll have the opportunity to jump up in the rankings, as he faces the second and third wrestlers this weekend.

The Panthers see both number three squads this weekend, with Central Michigan on Friday night and Ohio Sunday. Both matches will be in the West Gym in Cedar Falls, check out IAwrestle later this week for previews and results!

2016 MAC Second January Weight Class Rankings:
125 – 1. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa, Junior); 2. Barlow McGhee (Missouri, Sophomore); 3. Brent Fleetwood (Central Michigan, Sophomore); 4. Brandon Jeske (Old Dominion, Junior).

133 – 1. Zach Synon (Missouri, Junior); 2. Mack McGuire (Kent State, Senior); 3. Josh Alber (Northern Iowa, Redshirt Freshman); 4. Cameron Kelly (Ohio, Freshman).

141 – 1. Matt Manley (Missouri, Junior); 2. Zach Horan (Central Michigan, Senior); 3. Chris Mecate (Old Dominion, Senior); 4. Steve Bleise (Northern Illinois, Redshirt Freshman).

149 – 1. Lavion Mayes (Missouri, Junior); 2. Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion, Senior); 3. Mike DePalma (Kent State, Senior); 4. Colin Heffernan (Central Michigan, Sophomore).

157 – 1. Ian Miller (Kent State, Senior); 2. Spartak Chino (Ohio, Senior); 3. Lucas Smith (Central Michigan, Senior); 4. Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa, Freshman).

165 – 1. Daniel Lewis (Missouri, Redshirt Freshman); 2. Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa, Junior); 3. Austin Reese (Ohio, Redshirt Freshman); 4. Shaun’Qae McMurtry (Northern Illinois, Junior).

174 – 1. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan, Senior); 2. Blaise Butler (Missouri, Senior); 3. Cody Walters (Ohio, Senior); 4. Jacob Davis (Eastern Michigan, Junior).

184 – 1. Willie Miklus (Missouri, Sophomore); 2. Jack Dechow (Old Dominion, Junior); 3. Andrew Romanchik (Ohio, Senior); 4. Jordan Ellingwood (Central Michigan, Sophomore).

197 – 1. J’Den Cox (Missouri, Junior); 2. Kyle Conel (Kent State, Redshirt Freshman); 3. Phil Wellington (Ohio, Senior); 4. Shawn Scott (Northern Illinois, Junior).

HWT – 1. Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Gage Hutchison (Eastern Michigan, Sophomore); 3. Jake Gunning (Buffalo, Redshirt Freshman); t-4. Jesse Webb (Ohio, Sophomore); t-4. Newton Smerchek (Central Michigan, Sophomore).

2016 MAC Second January Rankings (Jan. 25, 2016)
1. Missouri (30.0)
2. Northern Iowa (14.0)
3. Central Michigan (13.5)
3. Ohio (13.5)
5. Kent State (12.0)
6. Old Dominion (9.0)
7. Eastern Michigan (4.0)
8. Northern Illinois (3.0)
9. Buffalo (2.0)

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