BUFFALO, NY - The Bulls' four returning national qualifiers each found themselves ranked in the top 20 in the country for their respective weight classes. The polls, released by WIN Magazine, theopenmat.com and D1CollegeWrestling.net, gave high marks for senior Jimmy Hamel and juniors Desi Green, John-Martin Cannon and Kevin Smith.
At 133 pounds, Smith earned a rank of 16th from WIN Magazine and theopenmat.com and 19th from D1CollegeWrestling.net. The Mexico, NY native has 58 career wins and finished second on the team in 2009-10 with 29 wins. Smith finished second at the UB Open, Body Bar Invitational and the "A" bracket of the New York State Championships and will look to grow even more in his junior year.
Desi Green earned rankings in two classes, positioned 8th at 149 pounds by WIN and 15th and 17th at 157 pounds by theopenmat and D1CollegeWrestling, respectively. The Henrietta, NY native led the team with 30 wins and won the MAC Championship at 149 pounds. After beating sixth ranked Jason Chamberlain of Boise State, Green earned MAC wrestler of the week (1/12). With 70 career wins, Green is poised to become the first Bulls wrestler to ever win 100 matches as a junior.
John-Martin Cannon sprung onto the national scene as a sophomore 165 pound wrestler, winning MAC wrestler of the week after defeating sixteenth ranked Justin Kerber of Cornell (1/26). After finishing third in his class at the MAC Championships, Cannon earned his first ever trip to the NCAA championships. WIN ranks him 13th overall at 165, while D1CollegeWrestling and theopenmat puts him at 20th in the nation.
As the lone senior on the list, Hamel looks to close out his career on a high note. At 88 wins, Hamel should become the fifth player in program history to win 100 matches before midseason. Dropping down to 184 pounds from his usual 197, Hamel received rankings in both weight divisions. He is currently ranked at number 20 by WIN at 197, but D1CollegeWrestling.net puts him at eighteenth in the nation at his new weight of 184. With a final season ahead that holds plenty of promise, Hamel will, in all likelihood, find his name at the top of multiple career statistical lists in the Bulls' record book by season's end.
In a recent preseason poll released by Intermat.com, Smith was ranked 14th at 133, Green was ranked 11th at 149, Cannon was ranked 17th at 165 and Hamel earned the 16th rank at 184.
"We are glad that these four wrestlers are ranked in the top 20 and we certainly expect them to finish much higher than their preseason rankings," said assistant coach Frank Beasley. "Follow all four, as well as the rest of the Bulls' squad, as they strive for the All-American stand this season."