CLEVELAND -- After finishing second in last years Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championship, the leagues head coaches have tabbed Kent State as the favorite to win the league title. The Golden Flashes' 36 points, edged Buffalo's 30 for second place, while Northern Illinois and Ohio are tied for fourth with 29 points. Defending champion Central Michigan was picked fifth (12 points) and Eastern Michigan sixth (5 points).
Points were awarded to each team based on the individual weight class preseason rankings. Five points were given for the top spot in each weight class, four for second-place, three for third-place, two for second-place and one for fifth-place.
Five individual champions return from last year and one from 1999 and are all ranked at the top spot in their respective weight classes entering the 2000-01 campaign. Three Kent State wrestlers will look to defend their titles this season -- Brent Thompson (125 lbs.), Anthony Ralph (157 lbs.) and Nick Nemeth (165 lbs.) -- while Northern Illinois David Potter is the defending champion at 184 lbs. and Ohio's David Bednar at 197. In addition, Buffalo's John Eschenfelder was champion at heavyweight in 1999 but was redshirted last season.
Also garnering top rankings include: Buffalo's Shawn Kegel at 133, Ohio's Shane Hartzler at 141 and Alex Cooper at 149, and Eastern Michigan's Mike Feeney at 174.
The 2001 Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championship will be held hosted by Ohio University, March 3-4 in Athens, Ohio.
The individual rankings from the coaches are as follows:
125: 1. Brent Thompson (KSU); 2. Alexis Rivera (NIU); 3. Ahmad Sanders (CMU); 4. Paul Hodermarsky (Ohio); 5. Charlie Voorhees (UB)
133: 1. Shawn Kegel (UB); 2. Ryan Egan (NIU); 3. Joe DiMichele (KSU); 4. Jordan Webster (CMU)
141: 1. Shane Hartzler (Ohio); 2. Mark Wentz (KSU); 3. Ryan Bentley (UB); 4. Steven Bradley (NIU)
149: 1. Alex Cooper (Ohio); 2. Mike Tolar (KSU); 3. JC Gaunt (NIU); 4. Bill Jacoutot (UB)
157: 1. Anthony Ralph (KSU); 2. Scott Owen (NIU); 3. Russell Clark (CMU); 4. Shawn Brightman (Ohio)
165: 1. Nick Nemeth (KSU); 2. Gary Cooper (UB); 3. John Wervey (Ohio); 4. Zach Becker (NIU)
174: 1. Mike Feeney (EMU); 2. Luke Moore (Ohio); 3. Jack Hageman (KSU); 4. Garrett Vontempo (UB)
184: 1. David Potter (NIU); 2. Josh States (UB); 3. Mark Shrout (Ohio); 4. Nick Magistrelli (KSU)
197: 1. Dan Bednar (Ohio); 2. Joe Downey (UB); 3. Zeb Miller (KSU); 4. Jason Nape (NIU)
HWT: 1. John Eschenfelder (UB); 2. Jack Leffler (CMU); 3. Jon Lovrich (NIU); 4. Jim Swetter (KSU)