INDIANAPOLIS - Four North Dakota State wrestlers appear in the first coaches' panel rankings released by the NCAA on Thursday for the 2012-13 wrestling season. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Senior Trent Sprenkle is ranked fifth at 125 pounds, and junior Steven Monk is sixth at 165 pounds. Joining Sprenkle and Monk in the rankings are senior Mac Stoll (20th at 184 pounds) and sophomore Evan Knutson (31st at 285 pounds).
Sprenkle is 21-2 on the season with seven wins by fall. He finished one win short of All-American honors at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Monk is 25-3 this season with nine pins and five victories over opponents ranked in the top 11 in the country. Monk also came up one win shy of an All-American finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Stoll, a returning NCAA qualifier, is 12-7 on the year with five of his losses coming to ranked opponents.
Knutson owns an 11-11 record this season. He earned third team All-Western Wrestling Conference honors in 2012.
Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches' rankings to earn spots for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. 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 and have wrestled within the last 30 days.
North Dakota State will open Western Wrestling Conference action at Air Force on Friday, Jan. 25, and take on defending WWC champion Wyoming on the road on Sunday, Jan. 27.
The 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will take place in Des Moines, Iowa, on Mar. 21-23.