Broncs 25th in Nation
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ-- After a 3-0 weekend at the Hokie Duals in Blacksburg, Va., Rider University debuted at No. 25 in the first USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll of the regular season.
The Broncs, led by coach Gary Taylor, defeated Kent State 18-14, Old Dominion 20-12 and Chattanooga 19-17 to start the year.
“Our kids wrestled well this past weekend,” said associate head coach John Hangey. “We have always told them that hard work pays off and as a result of their performance people have noticed. We also understand the effort that it takes to stay there and the challenges that go along with it. We look forward to those opportunities for our athletes and program.”
The Broncs won’t have to wait long to put their ranking on the line as they host No. 1 Penn State on Nov. 16 at 4pm in Alumni Gymnasium. Penn State captured nine of 10 possible first-place votes to remain the nation’s top-ranked team. The Nittany Lions, the three-time defending National Champions, competed this past weekend at the Bearcat Open in Binghamton, N.Y., and won six individual championships.
Rider is led by sophomore Robert Deutsch (Cherry Hill, NJ/Eastern Regional), who is 3-0, senior Ramon Santiago (Sayreville, N.J./Sayreville), who is 2-1, and junior Donald McNeil (Plainville, Mass./Wyoming Seminary), who is 3-0.
All three were NCAA qualifiers last year.
Deutsch is ranked 11th in the nation at 125 and Santiago is ranked 14th at 165 by Amateur Wrestling News. McNeil is ranked 28th by the Wrestling Report.
The 1996-97 Broncs were ranked seventh in the nation over the final five weeks of the season by Amateur Wrestling News and the 1981-82 squad was ranked 15th. The 1988-89 and 1990-91 Broncs were ranked 20th, the 1992-93 squad was ranked 19th and the 1995-96 squad was ranked 24th.
The 1979-80 Broncs finished 18th at the NCAA Championships and the 1990-91 squad finished 20th at Nationals.
The Rider-Penn State match will be televised on The Comcast Network.