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Five Golden Bears Ranked in Super Region I Preseason Poll

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Five Golden Bears Ranked in Super Region I Preseason Poll

Postby Allen Brown » Fri Oct 30, 2015 1:55 pm

by Bryan Salvadore, Sports Information Director

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Golden Bear wrestlers are ranked in half of the weight classes to open the year as the team is ranked fifth in Super Region I in Thursday's preseason poll.

Mercyhurst, ranked fourth in Division II, is the favorite in SR1. Notre Dame (Ohio) is second, Pitt-Johnstown is third, Wheeling Jesuit is fourth and KU slots in at fifth.

Individually, five Golden Bears were ranked in the preseason poll. Sophomore Travis Roper (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) is ranked fifth at 141 pounds, redshirt junior Joe Esposito (Sewell, N.J./Saint Augustine Prep) is fourth at 149, redshirt senior Matt Martoccio (Kintnersville, Pa./Council Rock South (Lock Haven)) is third at 157 and fourth in the national poll, redshirt junior Ryan Krecker (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth Area (Campbell)) is fourth at 165 and redshirt senior Brandan Clark (Audubon, Pa./Methacton) is third at 197.

Roper wrestled at 133 last year and nearly became a national qualifier as a freshman. He placed fifth at regionals, fourth at the conference championships and was second on the team with nine pins. He held a 16-8 record last year and moves up to 141 for his sophomore season.

Esposito missed most of last year with an injury, but returns this year at 149. He went 7-9 last year after posting a 12-12 record as a freshman in 2013-14. He is also a two-time member of the NWCA All-Academic Team.

Martoccio was an All-American last year and is also ranked fourth in the nation. He placed seventh at nationals and had a career-high 28 wins in his junior season. He enters his season year with 61 career wins at KU, 13th in program history.

Krecker took over at 174 midway through last year and will wrestle at both 174 and 165 this year. He finished last year with an 11-7 record and placed fifth at the Super Region I Championships, missing a national qualification by one place.

Clark enters his final season at KU and posted a 13-14 record last year. He is a 2012 national qualifier and has won double-digit matches in each of his first three seasons. He holds a career 47-44 record and placed sixth at regionals last year.

Kutztown opens its season this weekend, Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Terrapin Duals, hosted by the University of Maryland. KU takes on Division I Pittsburgh at 10 a.m. and West Liberty at 1:30 p.m. in College Park, Md.
Allen Brown


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