Univ of the Cumberlands edges Simon Fraser for No 1 in TheMat com North American Women s College Poll

By Gary Abbott | Nov. 22, 2005, 12 a.m. (ET)
The first TheMat.com North American Women's College Wrestling Poll for the 2005-06 has been published.

In the poll released Nov. 22, The Univ. of the Cumberlands, a NAIA school in Kentucky coached by Kip Flanik, captured the No. 1 spot in the poll with 96 points, and three of the five first-place votes.

Just one point behind was Simon Fraser Univ. of British Columbia, Canada, coached by Mike Jones, with 95 points and two first-place votes.

The Univ. of the Cumberlands has been a force in U.S. women's wrestling in recent seasons. Simon Fraser was the CIS team champions in women's wrestling the last two years.

Capturing No. 3 in the poll is the Univ. of Calgary, from Alberta, Canada, coached by Mitch Ostberg with 92 points.

Coming in at No. 4 is Missouri Valley College, an NAIA school coached by Carl Murphree. Holding the No. 5 position was Brock Univ. for Ontario, Canada, coached by Richard DesChatelets.

Rounding out the Top 10 were two teams tied at No. 6, the Univ. of Regina and Lakehead Univ., No. 8 Pacific Univ., No. 9 the Univ. of Saskatchewan and No. 10 the Univ. of Alberta.

A total of 20 teams were ranked, and other teams receiving votes were also recognized. The entire poll can be found at:

The team ranking poll is elected by a panel of women's college coaches, three from Canada and two from the United States. Eligible for ranking are college varsity and club women's wrestling programs.

There are eight weight classes ranked in Women's College wrestling. They are the seven international weight classes contested in Senior-level women's wrestling, plus an additional weight class which is recognized by North American women's college programs as their highest weight division (80 kg).

For the first time, the CIS Canadian college programs in women's wrestling are using the seven international weight classes plus the 80 kg division. In past years, the CIS women's weights differed from the international weights, while U.S. women's college teams used the international divisions. This should allow more accurate rankings moving forward for individual wrestlers.

The Univ. of the Cumberlands had the most No. 1 ranked wrestlers with three: Alaina Berube at 63 kg/138.5 lbs., Heather Martin at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. and Toccara Montgomery at 80 kg/176 lbs.

This year, the poll will include individual wrestlers from the U.S. Olympic Education Program (USOEC) team at Northern Michigan Univ. The USOEC athletes are full-time college students who compete in women's freestyle wrestling. The USOEC will not be ranked in the team poll.

Two members of the USOEC program received No. 1 individual rankings: Mary Kelly at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. and Deanna Rix at 59 kg/130 lbs.

Other individual No. 1 ranked wrestlers are Miranda Dick of Simon Fraser at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.,
Brittany Lavadure of the Univ. of Calgary at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Stephany Lee of Missouri Valley College at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.

There have been a number of tournaments so far this season, where many of the women college wrestlers have seen competition and faced each other. A major test is coming up in December, with a women's college dual meet tournament set for Lakehead Univ. which will feature many of the teams and individuals in these rankings, both from Canada and the United States.

The November 2005 North American Women's College Individual rankings can be found at:

The individual rankings are selected by TheMat.com, with assistance from coaches. Athletes who are considered for ranking are eligible full-time college students, and are members of their college women's varsity or club program, or a member of their college men's wrestling team.

Women's wrestling is a growing sport in Canada and the United States on the college level. Women's freestyle wrestling was the newest sport in the Summer Olympic Games, making its debut at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The United States and Canada are among the most successful women's wrestling nations in the world.

Copyright 2005 by USA Wrestling and TheMat.com.