Missouri Wrestling Earns High Preseason Honors
COLUMBIA - A season after their fifth consecutive Mid-American Conference Championship, the Missouri Wrestling team was ranked atop the MAC in the preseason poll.
Mizzou received 29 points in the poll, followed by Central Michigan with 18 and the University of Buffalo with 16 points.
In addition to the high team praise, the Tigers can boast five wrestlers as the preseason favorites in their respective weight classes. Redshirt-junior John Erneste (133-pounds), redshirt sophomore Jayden Eierman (141-pounds), redshirt senior Joey Lavallee (174-pounds), redshirt junior Daniel Lewis (174-pounders) and redshirt senior Willie Miklus (197-pounds) all took home first place honors.
Miklus has moved up to the 197-pound class with the loss of three-time national champion J’den Cox. The redshirt senior from Altoona, Iowa was a two-time NCAA All-American (2015,2016) in the 184-pound weight class but sat out a majority of the 2017 campaign with a knee injury.
Second place honors were handed to redshirt sophomore Connor Flynn (165-pounds), who has yet to wrestle on the mat for the Tigers. Flynn, transfer from West Virginia University, sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules. As a Mountaineer however, he placed fourth in the 165-pound weight class in the Big 12 tournament and collected three major decisions and three technical falls.
After an extremely successful 2017 season in which the team finished fifth in the NCAA champions in St. Louis and head coach Brian Smith was named the 2017 NWCA Coach of the Year, expectations are extremely high for the Tigers again.