ODU Wrestling Earns Highest Ever National Ranking

February 13, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Feb. 13, 2008

NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion Monarchs wrestling team bumped up to 19th nationally as a team in this weeks USA Today/InterMat/NWCA poll, the highest ever national ranking for the program in the coaches poll. The Monarchs have been in the national rankings for most of the season, but have never before been as high as 19th overall. Three individuals are also ranked by the poll, led by redshirt freshman James Nicholson (Des Moines, Iowa), 12th at 125 lbs.

Nicholson remained at 12th in the nation where he ranked a week ago after a technical fall victory over Rider's Tim Trivisanno. Kyle Hutter slid up to 17th in the nation at 133 lbs after his technical fall of Rider's Thomas Lorenzo and Chris Brown (Chesapeake, Va.), in his second consecutive 30-win season, remains at 18th at 165 lbs.

The Monarchs wrestling team had matched a program-high ranking of 20th in last weeks poll. The last time the team ranked 20th was by Amateur Wrestling News in 1990-91, when the Monarchs went 14-3.

This season marks the first time Old Dominion has ever been ranked by the USA Today/InterMat coaches poll and now, the first time ODU ranked in the Top 20 of the coaches poll. The team leapfrogged Indiana, who fell to 21st after a loss to Purdue over the weekend.

InterMat also released it's weekly statistical leaders in four categories, of which ODU boasts wrestlers in the top ten in three of the four. Kaylen Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska) continues to lead the nation in wins with 37 while Ryan Williams (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) is tied for third in the nation with 34. Williams is also tied for third in the nation in major decisions with eleven on the season while teammates Baxter, Nick Pullano (Chesapeake, Va.) and David Mendoza (Wyomissing, Pa.) are all tied for ninth in the nation with five technical falls.

ODU has stormed to a 16-3 overall record this season, with the only losses coming to teams ranked in the nation's Top 20. They return to the mats on February 24 when they travel to Virginia Tech for their final dual of the season. Start time is set for 2:00 pm.

NOTE: ODU has been ranked in the Top 20 of the W.I.N. Magazine poll since the January 7th rankings. They slid to 18th overall this week in the W.I.N. Magazine poll.