WVU Moves Up Two Spots in the Ranks

By Ira Green, WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (November 12, 2008) – The West Virginia University wrestling team moved up two spots to No. 23 in the latest USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Team Rankings, announced late Tuesday. The six Mountaineers who were ranked individually in the preseason poll remained in the Top 20.

“From my perspective, it’s nice to begin the season in the Top 25,” Coach Craig Turnbull says. “We’d like to believe it’s a starting place for us and we can work our forward from there. It’s also nice recognition for the work done of the athletes in the program to have six of our wrestlers ranked in the top 15 in the country. It’s something to build momentum in the program.”

Junior Brandon Rader maintained his individual ranking as he stayed at No. 6 in the 141-pound division. The Parkersburg, W.Va., native is a two-time All-American and has qualified for the NCAA Tournament each year in the Old Gold and Blue. His 2007-08 season was cut short after he injured his knee at Cal Poly.

Senior David Jauregui moved up four spots to No. 6 in the poll. The 149-pounder from Santa Ana, Calif., is a three-time NCAA qualifier. He recorded wins at the NCAA Tournament against Edinboro’s Daryl Cocozzo and Oregon State’s Kyle Larson.

In the 184-pound division, senior Kurt Brenner remained in the Top 10, holding the No. 8 spot. A Freedom, Pa., native, Brenner has qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times. He recorded his most dual victories in the 2007-08 season, going 14-3. Brenner went undefeated in EWL dual meets, registering a 6-0 mark.

Moving up one spot in the poll was Chance Litton. The 174-pound senior qualified for his first NCAA Tournament and won his first career postseason match, defeating Bucknell’s Shane Riccio, 7-1. A Parkersburg, W.Va., native, Litton registered a 9-3 mark in dual meets.

Fellow senior Dustin Rogers ranks at No. 14 in this week’s poll. The heavyweight continued his success in dual meets, posting six victories en route to qualifying for his second NCAA Tournament. The Corning, Calif., native had two victories at the tournament, including a 7-4 victory against Minnesota’s Ben Berhow.

Rounding out the individual rankings is junior Donnie Jones. In the 165-pound division, Jones earned the No. 18 ranking. In his first full season, the Slickville, Pa., native notched his first career postseason match, defeating Cal State Bakerfield’s Daniel Atondo. Jones posted a 5-1 dual meet record in 2007-08.

WVU commences its season on Saturday, Nov. 15, with the 26th annual WVU Open. The event is slated to begin at 10 a.m. in the WVU Shell Building.

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