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Liberty Sits Atop Latest D1CW Rankings
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As the Flames enter the final week leading up to the NCAA East Regional Championships, Liberty finds itself atop the latest Division I College Wrestling East Region rankings.
Liberty enters the event as the three-time defending NCAA East Regional champions, having walked away the event title holder each year since the program was reinstated for the 2006-07 season.
During the three-year span at the regional tournament, Liberty has qualified 14 grapplers for the NCAA national championships. The figure is more than the combined national qualifiers by the rest of the remaining four teams at this year's East Regional Championships.
According to D1CW.com's Feb. 11th rankings, Liberty is the top ranked program in the East Region, followed by Millersville, who will be hosting this year's regional championships inside Pucillo Gymnasium on Saturday.
Following behind the Marauders in the regional rankings are Gardner-Webb at No. 3, Duquesne at No. 4, with Campbell rounding out the list at No. 5.
D1CW.com has also ranked each of the 10 weight classes and four of Liberty's grapplers are favored to capture individual titles at the regional championship, based upon the web site's latest rankings.
Joe Pantaleo (133 pounds), Scott Clymer (141 pounds), Frankie Gayeski (149 pounds) and Chad Porter (165 pounds) each head their individual weight class listings.
Based upon the Feb. 11 rankings, Jonathan Childress (125 pounds), Shaun Smith (157 pounds), Brad Clark (174 pounds), Nick Knowles (184 pounds) and Jacobi Johnson (197 pounds) are each listed as the No. 2 wrestler in their weight divisions.
Liberty's Gayeski and Gardner-Webb's Dustin Porter enter the weekend as the top ranked grapplers in the East Region, based up the latest national wrestling individual rankings.
Gayeski, who has won four of his last five bouts to raise his record to 24-6, is currently ranked No. 20 in the latest W.I.N. magazine national 149 pound listing.
Porter will come into the weekend as the NCAA East Region leading winner, as the heavyweight is 31-5 on the season. He currently ranks No. 12 by W.I.N. Magazine and No. 23 by D1CW.com and by the Wrestling Report.
Today's rankings story begins LibertyFlames.com's lead-in coverage of the 2010 NCAA East Regional Championships.
Throughout the rest of the week, the web site will run a wrestling-related feature piece each day, helping prepare readers for Saturday's national qualifying event. Be sure to check back each day for the latest wrestling story at LibertyFlames.com.