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UCO stays No. 1 in D2 poll

A pair of top-ranked individuals kept Central Oklahoma No. 1 in the final regular season poll released by the National Wrestling Coaches Association Monday afternoon.

Defending national champions Dalton Abney (197) and Shawn Streck (Hvy) maintained their No. 1 spots, while six other individuals are ranked in the top 12 at their respective weight. The defending national champion Bronchos finished with 87 points, seven ahead of second-place Lander.

Augustana was third with 67 points in the tournament-based points format poll, followed by St. Cloud State (57), Wisconsin-Parkside (48) and McKendree (48).

Gabe Johnson stayed No. 3 at 157 pounds, while 141 Dylan Lucas is ranked fourth, 184 Garrett Wells fifth, 149 Dylan Brown sixth, 133 Shaun Muse 11th and 174 Anthony DesVigne 12th.

“I’m proud of what our guys have accomplished this season,” said head coach Todd Steidley. “We’ve done a lot of good things to this point, but we have to put that all behind and focus on what’s ahead.”

UCO capped a perfect 15-0 dual season – just the fifth in school history – with road wins over Nebraska-Kearney and Fort Hay s State last weekend in capturing its fourth straight Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association title.

The Bronchos now turn their attention to the postseason, which starts March 2 at the NCAA Division II Regional IV Tournament in Indianapolis, Ind. The top-three finishers at each weight advance to the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships, set for March 15-16 in Wichita, Kan.

“Everything we’ve worked for comes down to how we do in the regional,” Steidley said. “We’re in one of the toughest regional in the country and it’s going to be a tremendous challenge for us. I like the way our guys have been working to get ready and I’m excited about our chances.”

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