(photo Doug Wells)
(photo Doug Wells)

For the fourth-straight season, Grand View (Iowa) garners the No. 1 ranking in the preseason edition of the NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Vikings, who won an NAIA record fifth-straight national title last season, garnered 142.5 total points.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000-01)
• With this No. 1 ranking, Grand View extends its top-ranked streak to 32-consecutive polls. The program also boasts 37 all-time top billings. Former-member Lindenwood (Mo.) holds the record for most No. 1 appearances since the start of the 2000-01 season with 39.
• Grand View enters the year chasing a sixth-straight national title. With last year’s fifth-consecutive red banner, the Vikings became only the fifth program in collegiate wrestling history (NAIA, NJCAA, NCAA) to win five-or-more consecutive national titles. The other programs that accomplished the feat are NCAA Division I Iowa (six-straight (1995-2000) and nine-straight (1978-1986)), NCAA Division I Oklahoma State (seven-straight (1937-1949)), NCAA Division II Cal State-Bakersfield (five-straight (1979-1983)) and NCAA Division II Cal Poly (seven-straight (1968-1974)).
• The Vikings boast 12 ranked grapplers in this preseason edition, 11 of which rank within the top 10 of their respective weight class.
• Defending 285-pound national champion and top-ranked Dean Broghammer highlights the ranked individuals for Grand View. The top billing is the second-consecutive one for the junior. Other Vikings with top-spots are Grant Henderson at 165 pounds and Lawton Benna at 174 pounds. Both were national runners-up in 2016.
• Checking in at No. 2 is Indiana Tech with 74.5 points. Similar to Grand View, the Warriors go 12 deep in the rankings, including top-ranked Mitch Pawlak at 125 pounds. Pawlak became a three-time All-American and won his first national championship last season.
• The remainder of the top five consists of No. 3 Oklahoma City, No. 4 Montana State-Northern, No. 5 (tied) Dickinson State (N.D.) and No. 5 (tied) Williams Baptist (Ark.).
• Top-ranked Victor Hughes of Baker (Kan.) at 149 pounds is the other defending national champion in addition to Pawlak and Broghammer. Hughes, who entered the national championships last season as the No. 8 seed, defeated Tyler Cowger of Southern Oregon, 4-3, in the finals. Cowger ranks No. 2 at 149 in this installment.
• Seven of the 10 weight classes have a new top-ranked grappler – Kodie Cole, Concordia (Neb.) (133 pounds); Matt Weber, Montana State-Northern (141 pounds); Cam Tessari, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (157 pounds); Henderson (165 pounds); Benna (174 pounds); Jon Solano, Dickinson State (N.D.) (184 pounds); and Dalton Bailey, Life (Ga.) (197 pounds).
• Since 2001, only Grand View (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16), former members Notre Dame (Ohio) (2010-11) and Lindenwood (2006-07) have spent the entire season ranked No. 1.

Poll Methodology
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the six national qualifying groups.
• One day prior to the national poll, each qualifying group rater submits the top six individuals from each weight class in his geographic area into the system. Only wrestlers listed on a qualifying group ballot are considered for the national ballot.
• The top 16 individuals in each weight class is based on how each voter ranks the best individuals. An individual receives 20 points for each first place vote, 18 for second place and so on through the list. This same point system is used to determine the team ranking.
• The postseason poll was determined using the individual and team results from the national championship
• For the complete Top 20 calendar, click here.

2016-17 NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Preseason Top 20 Poll (October 18, 2016)

Rank Previous Rank School Total Team Points
1 1 Grand View (Iowa) 142.5
2 3 Indiana Tech 74.5
3 13 Oklahoma City 69
4 2 Montana State-Northern 68
T5 T8 Dickinson State (N.D.) 67
T5 15 Williams Baptist (Ark.) 67
7 10 Southern Oregon 64
8 T8 Concordia (Neb.) 63.5
9 14 Life (Ga.) 51
10 12 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 49.5
11 17 Midland (Neb.) 49
12 19 Menlo (Calif.) 47.5
13 4 Missouri Valley 46
14 11 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 42.5
15 T6 Baker (Kan.) 39.5
16 5 Campbellsville (Ky.) 36
17 RV Cumberland (Tenn.) 30
18 RV Briar Cliff (Iowa) 26
19 16 York (Neb.) 25.5
20 RV Simpson (Calif.) 25

Dropped from the Top 20: Doane (Neb.) (No. 6); Warner Pacific (Ore.) (No. 18); Ottawa (Kan.) (No. 20); Northwestern (Iowa) (No. 20)

Others receiving votes: Morningside (Iowa) 24.5; Lyon (Ark.) 20.5; Brewton-Parker (Ga.) 20; Cumberlands (Ky.) 20; Doane (Neb.) 19; Northwestern (Iowa) 15; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 14; Great Falls (Mont.) 13.5; Warner Pacific (Ore.) 12; Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 5.5; William Penn (Iowa) 4.5; Hastings (Neb.) 4; Graceland (Iowa) 3; Calumet (Ind.) 2.5; Eastern Oregon 2; Bethany (Kan.) 1.5; Ottawa (Kan.) 1.5; Southeastern (Fla.) 1.5; Jamestown (N.D.) 1.

Top Ranked Individuals | Individual Rankings
125 – Mitch Pawlak, Indiana Tech
133 – Kodie Cole, Concordia (Neb.)
141 – Matt Weber, Montana State-Northern
149 – Victor Hughes, Baker (Kan.)
157 – Cam Tessari, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
165 – Grand Henderson, Grand View (Iowa)
174 – Lawton Benna, Grand View (Iowa)
184 – Jon Solano, Dickinson State (N.D.)
197 – Dalton Bailey, Life (Ga.)
285 – Dean Broghammer, Grand View (Iowa)