WVU Wrestling Ranks in Top 25
By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (October 27, 2008) – The West Virginia University wrestling team earned the 25th spot in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA preseason Team Rankings, announced recently. The Mountaineers also placed six wrestlers in the Top 20 in the individual preseason rankings.
WVU finished last season with an 8-5 overall mark and went 4-2 in the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL). The Mountaineers concluded the 2007-08 campaign in third place at the EWL Tournament and in 31st at the NCAAs.
Junior Brandon Rader earned the highest mark in the individual rankings, placing as high as sixth in the 141-pound division. A Parkersburg, W.Va., native and a two-time All-American, Rader had his 2007-08 season cut short after re-injuring his knee at Cal Poly.
In the 184-pound class, senior Kurt Brenner earned the No. 8 ranking. The Freedom, Pa., native posted a 20-5 overall mark and compiled a 6-0 record in EWL competition en route to his second EWL title. He defeated Edinboro’s Chris Honeycutt in an 11-7 decision.
Also earning a Top 10 rank was senior 149-pounder David Jauregui. The Santa Ana, Calif., native, who is No. 10 in the poll in his respective weight class, qualified for his third NCAA Tournament last season and notched two wins at the NCAAs. Jauregui finished as the runner-up at the EWL Championships in a close, 4-2 decision against Edinboro’s Daryl Cocozzo.
At heavyweight, senior Dustin Rogers earned the No. 13 ranking. A Corning, Calif., native, Rogers overcame an early injury last season and worked his way toward a 13-8 overall mark. Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Rogers was ranked No. 15 by InterMat and posted a 2-2 mark at the event.
Senior Chance Litton garnered the No. 15 ranking at the 174-pound weight class. Also a Parkersburg, W.Va., native, Litton qualified for his first NCAA Tournament and also recorded his first win at the NCAAs, defeating Bucknell’s Shane Riccio, 7-1. Litton posted a 9-3 dual-match record.
Rounding out the rankings is junior Donnie Jones. The Slickville, Pa., native earned the No. 16 ranking at the 165-pound division. Jones qualified for his first NCAA Tournament last season after finishing second at the EWL Championships. He finished the season 5-1 in EWL competition and also notched a win the NCAAs.
WVU begins its season with the 26th annual WVU Open on Nov. 15 in the WVU Shell Building. The all-day event showcases several participating teams and serves as a tune-up for the rigorous season.
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