USA Wrestling Simon Fraser retains...

Simon Fraser retains No 1 team spot in North American Women s Poll Missouri Valley and Cumberland

By Gary Abbott | Dec. 20, 2002, 12 a.m. (ET)

The December 2002 TheMat.com North American Women's College Wrestling Rankings for teams and individuals has been released. Simon Fraser Univ. of British Columbia, Canada remained the top North American college team in the poll, receiving all five of the first place votes from the coaches panel for 100 points. Simon Fraser has had strong performances in competitions in both Canada and the Western United States in the opening months of the season. Simon Fraser is a NAIA school that will also compete in the CIS this season. The teams ranked two through five were tightly bunched, and the order was adjusted from the preseason poll. Missouri Valley College, an NAIA school in the USA, moved up to the No. 2 spot with 88 points, an improvement from a pre-season No. 3 ranking. Missouri Valley has not yet competed this season, concentrating its season on the second-semester. Cumberland College, a NAIA school from the USA, moved to its highest ranking ever in the North American poll at No. 3, with 87 points, just one behind Missouri Valley. Cumberland was ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll. Earlier this month, Cumberland received the No. 1 ranking among U.S. teams for the first time in school history. Ranked No. 4 with 85 points is the Univ. of Calgary, a Canadian CIS school, a drop from the No. 2 position in the preseason poll. Moving up to No. 5, with 80 points, is Queens College, a Canadian CIS school, a jump from No. 6 last poll. Rounding out the Top 10 were No. 6 UM-Morris, No. 7 Neosho County CC, No. 8 Univ. of Regina, and two schools tied at No. 9, Lakehead Univ. and the Univ. of Saskatchewan. A total of 20 teams were ranked, and other teams receiving votes were also recognized. The entire poll Dec. 2002 can be found at: December North American Women's Team Poll 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. Canadian athletes dominated the individual rankings again, with seven of the eight No. 1 ranked wrestlers hailing from Canadian schools. In addition, seven of the eight top ranked wrestlers retained their No. 1 ranking from the November selections. The only new No. 1 wrestler in North America was Christina Wolfe of Simon Fraser at 77 kg (169.5 lbs.). Once again, the only U.S. wrestler with a No. 1 ranking was Toccara Montgomery of Cumberland College at 72 kg (158.5 lbs.) Montgomery, a sophomore, was a 2001 World silver medalist. The other top-ranked wrestlers who retained their No. 1 spots this month were Carol Huyhn of Simon Fraser at 48 kg (105.5 lbs.), Lyndsay Belisle of the Univ. of BC at 51 kg (112.25 lbs.), Erica Sharp of Calgary at 55 kg (121 lbs.), Emily Richardson of Simon Fraser at 59 kg (130 lbs.), Tara Hedican of Guelph at 63 kg (138.5 lbs.) and Shannon Samler of the Univ. of BC at 67 kg (147.5 lbs.). The entire December 2002 North American Women's College Individual rankings can be found at: December North American Women's College Individuals The individual rankings are selected by TheMat.com, with assistance from the panel of 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. The International Olympic Committee has named women's freestyle wrestling as the newest sport added to the Summer Olympic Games program. The United States and Canada are among the most successful women's wrestling nations in the world. Copyright 2002 by USA Wrestling and TheMat.com. Media outlets may reproduce these rankings only if they identify them as TheMat.com U.S. Senior rankings