KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two former Montana state wrestling champions were top-ranked in the NAIA wrestling coaches poll released on Thursday.
At 133 pounds, Dickinson State's Gresh Jones retained his No. 1 ranking from the preseason poll. Jones, a four-time State A champion at Sidney, finished third at the NAIA national tourney this past season. Jones, a senior, placed fourth at 133 pounds at the NAIA national meet in 2018.
At 157 pounds, Providence's Casey Dobson was the top-ranked wrestler. Dobson, a redshirt senior from Great Falls, was ranked second in the initial rankings. Dobson closed his prep career in 2015 with his second straight State AA championship. Dobson was the state runner-up his freshman and sophomore years. He helped the Bison win three straight State AA titles from 2013-15. Dobson was seventh at 157 at last season's national tourney.
At 149 pounds, UP's Shonn Roberts was ranked fourth. Roberts is a redshirt senior from Columbia Falls. He was tied for third in the weight class in the first set of rankings.
Isaac Bartel of MSU-Northern was rated second at 197 pounds. He was also ranked second at 197 in the preseason poll. Defending national champion Evan Hansen of Grand View is top-ranked at the weight. At last season's national tourney, Hansen scored a 6-4 decision over Bartel for the title.
Providence moved up two spots from the last poll and is now the 14th-ranked team. MSUN dropped one stop in the rankings to 18th. Dickinson State was again was in the others receiving votes category.
Eight-time defending national champs Grand View (Iowa) was the No. 1 team for the 53rd consecutive time.