AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -- Mount Union's wrestling team was picked second in the Ohio Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
With 42 points and a first place vote, the Purple Raiders welcome back 15 wrestlers with the addition of 17 newcomers.
Senior Jairod James (Bedford) headlines the returning squad for head coach Josh Malave. Last season, James became the second wrestler in Mount Union history to win a national title.
Finishing with an overall record of 22-1, James won the 174-pound bracket in Cleveland in a 4-1 decision over Jon Goetz of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Sophomores Michael McIntire (Wadsworth/St. Vincent-St. Mary) and Nolan Wochna (Brecksville/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) also saw the national stage in 2018 as they were two of Mount Union's four national qualifiers.
McIntire compiled a record of 31-8 while Wochna went 22-16, both taking second at the NCAA Division III Central Regional at Wabash College (Ind.).
Wrapping up the list of returners for the Raiders is sophomore captain Luke Hernandez (Nashport/Tri-Valley). In his first collegiate season, Hernandez logged an overall record of 28-8 and a sixth place finish at regionals.
As a team, Mount Union went 11-2 in duals and 5-1 in the OAC as they climbed through the national polls all season long, all the way to No. 9 in the country. Landing 10th at the national championships, the Raiders achieved their fifth-ever Top-10 finish.
Looking to pick up where they left off, Mount Union opens the season on the road at the Adrian Invitational in Adrian, Mich. on Saturday, November 3rd at 10:00 a.m.
2018 OAC Coaches Poll Results
|Rank||School (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1||Baldwin Wallace (7)||49|
|2||Mount Union (1)||42|