Cumberland moved up one spot to ninth in the latest NAIA wrestling coaches’ top 20 poll and junior Jake Williams, sophomore Kirk Johnson, senior Zeke Hunt, junior Cody Linton and junior Scott Stewart were all ranked in their respective weight classes, as announces Wednesday by the national office.
The Bulldogs received 51 total team points in the team rankings and trail Mid-South Conference squads Lindsey Wilson (2nd) and Campbellsville University (5th) in the Top 10.
Williams has compiled a 19-2 overall mark at 149, all in the last six weeks, with victories over five ranked opponents, including No. 5 Chase Burns from the University of Great Falls and Lindsey Wilson’s eighth-ranked Isaac Thomas twice.
Johnson is 19-11 this academic year at 165 with 10 victories in dual matches. His biggest victory of the season came over No. 7 Shawn Lau from Great Falls.
Hunt moved up one spot at 174 to sixth and has registered a 19-6 mark for the Bulldogs. The Dacula, Ga., native is 10-3 this year in dual matches with victories over Campbellsville University’s 10th-ranked Travis McIntosh and Lindsey Wilson’s Erick Gomez.
Linton also moved up one spot at 184 to second nationally. He has posted a 12-2 overall record this academic year, with his only losses to No. 3 Kamron Jackson from Great Falls and Lindsey Wilson’s top-ranked Jameel Bryant last week, a difficult 3-2 Decision.
Stewart has compiled a 20-8 record this year at 197 and is ranked ninth for the Bulldogs. He has posted 13 dual match wins, including Campbellsville’s No. 9 Nate Knauf and Missouri Valley College’s Carl Lawrence.
Cumberland will take this weekend off before participating in the NAIA East Region Qualifier at Life University in Marietta, Ga., on Feb. 22.