WWC/West Regional Awarded 15 Auto Qualifier Spots for NCAA Championships

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Heavyweight Adam Fager is ranked 12th by the coaches and 15th on the RPI.
Heavyweight Adam Fager is ranked 12th by the coaches and 15th on the RPI.

Feb. 27, 2014

Complete NCAA Coaches' Panel Rankings/RPI

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA announced on Thursday the qualifier allocations for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and the Western Wrestling Conference/NCAA West Regional has been awarded 15 spots. The 15 automatic qualifier spots will be on the line at next week's WWC Championships/NCAA West Regional Tournament that will be held in Orem, Utah, on March 8.

The NCAA also released the final Coaches' Panel Rankings as well as the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) for the 2013-14 wrestling season and 21 WWC wrestlers made the cut, including two from UVU. Junior heavyweight Adam Fager led the way for the Wolverines as he comes in at 12th in the coaches' panel ranking and 15th on the RPI. Senior 141-pounder Avery Garner was the lone other Wolverine grappler that made the cut as he is ranked 30th in his weight class on the RPI.

The breakdown of the 15 automatic bids per weight class for the WWC Championships/NCAA West Regional, are as follow: 125 pounds (2), 133 (1), 141 (1), 149 (1), 157 (2), 165 (3), 174 (1), 184 (2), 197 (1) and 285 (1).

Last season, the NCAA West Regional Tournament, at which all WWC institutions currently compete to qualify for nationals, was awarded 16 spots. The WWC was also given three additional at-large bids for a total of 19 spots.

The Western Wrestling Conference, which is in its eighth year of competition, is comprised of six schools including the Air Force Academy, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming.

This year's NCAA West Regional Tournament/WWC Championships will be held at Utah Valley University's UCCU Center in Orem, Utah, on March 8. The three-day NCAA Championships will then take place March 20-22 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.



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; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches' ranking.

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 40 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 12. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.

The following is the list of WWC wrestlers that were named to the final coaches' panel rankings, as well as the RPI. For a complete listing of the coaches' panel ranking and RPI click here.

Of the 21 wrestlers ranked from the WWC, Wyoming led the way with six of its grapplers listed, while NDSU had five and SDSU four.

Weight Class - WWC Wrestler (Institution) Coaches' Rank/RPI
125 - Josh Martinez (Air Force) 4th/4th
125 - Tyler Cox (Wyoming) 8th/11th
125 - Trey Andrews (Northern Colorado) NR/32nd
141 - Avery Garner (Utah Valley) 30th/NR
141 - Cole Mendenhall (Wyoming) NR/33rd
149 - Alex Kocer (South Dakota State) 32nd/24th
157 - Cody Pack (South Dakota State) 16th/17th
157 - Andy McCulley (Wyoming) 31st/25th
157 - Mitchell Polkowske (Northern Colorado) NR/28th
165 - Steven Monk (North Dakota State) 3rd/5th
165 - Dakota Friesth (Wyoming) 22nd/23rd
165 - Joe Brewster (South Dakota State) 27th/30th
174 - Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota State) 10th/11th
174 - John Nething II (South Dakota State) 33rd/33rd
184 - Benjamin Stroh (Wyoming) 17th/28th
184 - Kurtis Julson (North Dakota State) 23rd/23rd
197 - Shane Woods (Wyoming) 25th/24th
197 - Tyler Lehmann (North Dakota State) 30th/NR
285 - Adam Fager (Utah Valley) 12th/15th
285 - Evan Knutson (North Dakota State) 29th/NR
285 - Henry Chirino (Northern Colorado) 33rd/NR