Ryan Williams Ranks Third in the Nation; Highest Ever Under Coach Martin

March 10, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 10, 2009

NORFOLK, Va. -- With the release of today's USA Today/InterMat/NWCA poll, senior Ryan Williams became the highest ranked individual wrestler under the tutelage of head coach Steve Martin, at #3 in the country. Williams jumped from his previous career-high ranking of sixth last week to the number three 141-pounder headed in the final poll. The senior is coming off a dominant performance at the CAA Tournament, winning his second championship with two pins and a major decision.

Williams has dominated in his senior season, posting a 35-3 overall record and a perfect 8-0 mark in the CAA. His 133 career wins ranks him second all-time and with just two wins at the NCAA Tournament, he will become the all-time leader in career victories at Old Dominion.

The ODU senior will be heading to his third NCAA Tournament in his final shot at making it to the podium. The two-time NWCA All-Academic Team member qualified for the national tournament as a freshman and again as a junior after winning the 141-lb weight class with a win over #2 Charles Griffin (Hofstra) in the finals.

Williams is one of four nationally ranked individuals according to the InterMat rankings, with three in the top ten. Williams leads the way at third in the country, while James Nicholson (125) is listed as sixth and Chris Brown (165) at tenth. Nicholson was ranked fourth in the country earlier this season, setting the previous high for ranked Monarchs.

All three won their weight at the CAA Championships held at Oscar Smith HS last weekend, and will be joined by at least two more Monarchs at the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis next weekend, March 19-20. Eric Decker (174) and Jesse Strawn (197) are also automatic qualifiers for the Monarchs and the team awaits the decision of the NCAA on whether or not Kyle Hutter (133) will be awarded an at-large bid.

ODU also maintained its highest ever national ranking as a team in the final poll, at 16th in the country. The Monarchs finished the 2007 season with a 17-6 overall record, the regular season CAA Title and a second place finish at the CAA Championships.