Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Area Division II Wrestling Powers Will Be Tested at Super Regional

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Area Division II Wrestling Powers Will Be Tested at Super Regional

Article excerpt

In the latest NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll from D2wrestle.com, Maryville University moved from No. 4 to No. 2, Lindenwood jumped from outside the top 25 to No. 10 and McKendree slipped from No. 6 to No. 14.

The rankings, based on tournament strength and each team's individually ranked competitors, will be updated again before the NCAA Division II championships March 10-11 in Birmingham, Ala.

And, like most rankings, these don't mean a thing.

"All that matters is how you wrestle this weekend," said Lindenwood coach Jimmy Rollins, referring to Super Regional III in Moorhead, Minn. "Don't get me wrong, it's nice to make that jump in the rankings because it reflects the hard work we've put in. But if you're not focused and prepared to wrestle, none of that's going to matter."

The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the national tournament. The super regional features a true fourth-place match, which allows the fifth-place finisher to challenge for the fourth spot as long as he hasn't wrestled the fourth-place finisher earlier in the tournament.

In addition to the area's three D-II programs, the 15-team field at the super regional also features No. 1 St. Cloud State of Minnesota, the two-time defending national champion, as well as two teams tied for No. 19, Minnesota State-Mankato and Upper Iowa, No. 22 Northern State and No. 24 Augustana.

"The super regional is always tough, but I can't remember it ever being so loaded," Maryville coach Mike Denney said. "You have a number of really outstanding teams and most of the other teams have two or three ranked guys. You can't afford to look past anybody because the level of competition is that good."

Maryville, which has won back-to-back super regional titles, qualified with top-three finishes in all 10 weight classes a year ago and went on to place fifth at nationals. The Saints finished third in D-II in 2014 and 2015.

"We've had 10 guys qualify a number of times over the years, but that's the first time I had all 10 finish in the top three," said Denney, an NWCA Hall of Famer in his 38th year as a college wrestling coach. …

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