Gaethje ranked seventh in preseason poll
GREELEY, Colo. -- Northern Colorado senior Justin Gaethje is ranked No. 7 in the InterMat preseason NCAA Division I wrestling rankings at 157 pounds.
In 2009-10, Gaethje became the first Division I All-American for the Bears in 40 years, finishing seventh at the NCAA Championships in Omaha. He returns for his senior season with a 61-30 all-time record.
Adam Hall from Boise State is the top-ranked wrestler at 157 pounds to start the season. A year ago, he finished third at the NCAA Championship. American senior Steve Fittery is second on the list, while Arizona State senior Bubba Jenkins is third. Binghamton junior Justin Lister is fourth, Ohio State senior Colt Sponseller is fifth and Penn State freshman David Taylor is sixth. Fitter and Lister were both All-Americans a season ago at 157 pounds, while Sponseller drops down a weight from 165, where he was seeded fifth at last year's NCAA Championship. Jenkins sat out last season after transferring from Penn State. He was the national runner-up at 149 pounds in 2008.
Updated rankings are released every Tuesday during the college wrestling season. The next set of rankings will occur on Nov. 9.
The 2010-11 Bears will be tested often as four teams in the top 20 are on the dual portion of the schedule (2. Boise State; 3. Oklahoma State; 12. Nebraska; T17. Wyoming). The team will also face several other top-ranked teams at both the Reno Tournament of Champions and the Lone Star Duals.
Gaethje and the rest of the Bears begin the 2010-11 season on Nov. 13 at the annual Cowboy Open, hosted by the University of Wyoming.