Old Dominion Earns Highest Ranking Ever in Preseason Poll

September 17, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 17, 2009

NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion University wrestling team achieved its highest ever preseason ranking as the Monarchs enter the 2009 Division I polls No. 19. The poll, released by D1Wrestling.net, also ranks five Monarchs in their individual weight classes.

"Our coaching staff is very excited to start the upcoming season as we have a talented group of veterans coming back, including an all-american and five national qualifiers," said head coach Steve Martin. "We reached another milestone last year with Ryan Williams becoming the first national finalist under the current coaching staff. Our goal this year is to crack into the Top 10 at the national tournament."

Five ODU wrestlers are listed in the individual rankings, highlighted by James Nicholson, who is ranked No. 7 in the 125-pound weight class. Nicholson went a remarkable 36-4 last season and captured the CAA Tournament title in his class.

Jesse Strawn and Chris Brown were both ranked in the Top 15. Strawn is 11th in the 197-pound weight class after going 36-13 last season and Brown placed 12th after winning the CAA Tournament at 165-pounds in 2009.

Other Monarchs nationally ranked include Eric Decker and Joe Budi. Decker is 21st at 174 and Budi is 25th at 184.

D1CollegeWrestling.net Preseason Rankings

1. Iowa
2. Iowa State
3. Ohio State
4. Cornell
5. Boise State
6. Maryland
7. Oklahoma State
8. Minnesota
9. Nebraska
10. Edinboro
11. Missouri
12. Central Michigan
13. Wisconsin
14. Oklahoma
15. Indiana
16. Illinois
17. Lehigh
18. Penn State
19. Old Dominion
20. Virginia
21. Virginia Tech
22. Kent State
23. Hofstra
24. Michigan
25. Penn