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NCAA Releases Wrestling Allocations, Coaches' Panel Rankings, RPI

Day One of the 2015 NCAA Division I Championships at the Scottrade Center
Day One of the 2015 NCAA Division I Championships at the Scottrade Center

Story courtesy of Southern Conference

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA released qualifier allocations for the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships as well as the latest coaches' panel and Rating Percentage Index (RPI) for the 2016-17 season Thursday. The Southern Conference received 17 allocations and saw 26 student-athletes earn spots in one or both of the rankings. 

The final rankings will be tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA Championships, which will take place March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The Southern Conference was allocated three NCAA qualifiers at heavyweight, three at 184 pounds, two each at 125, 149 and 157 and one each in the remaining weight classes.

SIUE has three wrestlers listed among those ranked: Freddy Rodriguez (125), Jake Residori (174) and Jake McKiernan (HWT).

Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage at the weight class; ratings percentage index (RPI); and coaches' ranking. The SoCon Tournament is set for March 4 at Charleston, South Carolina.

For each wrestler that reached the threshold in at least two of the three categories, his qualifying tournament was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class. Each qualifying tournament, with automatic qualifying status, was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class, which will go to the tournament champion, even if they did not have any wrestlers reach at least two of the three thresholds. NCAA tournament spots for each qualifying event will be awarded at the tournament based solely on place-finish.

After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 49 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 7. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; quality wins; coaches' ranking; results against common opponents; RPI; qualifying event placement; and winning percentage.

The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. In order to be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days. The RPI requires a minimum of 17 Division I matches to be eligible for a ranking.

The SoCon's 26 ranked individuals are: 

125 pounds (2 NCAA allocations)
Nathan Kraisser, Campbell (No. 14 coaches/No. 19 RPI)
Freddie Rodriguez, SIUE (22/23)
Vito Pasone, Appalachian State (25/30)
Alonzo Allen, Chattanooga (--/28) 

133 pounds (1 NCAA allocation)
Colby Smith, Appalachian State (21/19)
Chris Debien, Chattanooga (--/32) 

141 pounds (1 NCAA allocation)
None 

149 pounds (2 NCAA allocations)
Matt Zovistoski, Appalachian State (18/18)
Chris Vassar, Gardner-Webb (28/20)
Ty Buckiso, The Citadel (31/--) 

157 pounds (2 NCAA allocations)
Aaron Walker, The Citadel (27/20)
Austin Kraisser, Campbell (33/--)
Neal Richards, VMI (--/19) 

165 pounds (1 NCAA allocation)
Tyler Marinelli, Gardner-Webb (26/20)
Forrest Przybysz, Appalachian State (29/33) 

174 pounds (1 NCAA allocation)
Austin Trott, Gardner-Webb (24/18)
Nick Kee, Appalachian State (32/--)
Jake Residori, SIUE (--/32) 

184 pounds (3 NCAA allocations)
Bryce Carr, Chattanooga (16/12)
Hunter Gamble, Gardner-Webb (18/16)
Ville Heino, Campbell (19/19) 

197 pounds (1 NCAA allocation)
Sawyer Root, The Citadel (--/32) 

Heavyweight (3 NCAA allocations)
Denzel Dejournette, Appalachian State (9/8)
Jared Johnson, Chattanooga (10/9)
Jere Heino, Campbell (24/18)
Boyce Cornwell, Gardner-Webb (29/28)
Jake McKiernan, SIUE (31/--) 

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Chattanooga Upends Cougars
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NIU Edges Cougars 18-16
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