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CU wrestling cracks top 10 in NAIA coaches' poll

Jan. 13—Cumberland climbed inside the top 10 for the first time this season checking in at No. 9 in the fourth NAIA top 20 wrestling coaches' poll of the season, announced Thursday by the national office.

The Phoenix stand with a 5-1 dual record this season with the lone loss coming to the new No. 1 team in the NAIA, Life University. The Phoenix have three wins over teams in the ranking or receiving votes category thus far with another match slated against a team receiving votes tonight.

Life (Ga.) overtookGrand View (Iowa) after the Running Eagles won the NWCA National Duals as the new No. 1 team. Menlo (Calif.) remains third and Doane (Neb.) fifth while Campbellsville (Ky.) leaps into the fourth position.

Southeastern (Fla.) slid from fourth to sixth while the Cumberlands (Ky.) stayed put at No. 7. Ottawa (Kan.) jumped up two slots to No. 8 followed by the Phoenix at No. 9. Providence (Mont.) dropped from eighth to 10th to round out the top 10.

Cumberland now has eight wrestlers in the individual rankings welcoming in Ivan Arguello as the new Phoenix in the poll. Sammy Shires, Jared Dinh, Jack Latimer, Victor Guzman, Eli Clemmons, Cole Smith and Rocco Horvath each remained ranked.

Shires stayed put as the third-ranked wrestler at 133. Shires has wrestled up at 141 most of the season before moving back down to 133 at the Rocky Mountain Duals. He is 11-2 (all records are before Thursday's match) overall this season with a 9-2 record at 141.

Arguello is the newly ranked Phoenix cracking the top 25 at 133 as the 25th-ranked wrestler. Arguello is no stranger to the rankings though as he was ranked when he wrestled at Reinhardt and started the season as the No. 10 wrestler in the weight class in 2022 before sitting out last season. Arguello has the highest win percentage for Cumberland this season with a 6-1 record and two pins.

Dinh continues to move up jumping up one spot to No. 8 at 141. Dinh holds a 10-5 record this season with three ranked wins already. He has posted one pin this season and two tech falls.

Latimer stayed put as the sixth-ranked wrestler at 149. Latimer is 11-3 on the season and has wrestled up a weight class at 157 going 3-0 with a ranked win at the Rocky Top Duals. Latimer has four pins this season, two tech falls and a major decision.

Guzman also continued to move up going from No. 15 to No. 13 at 149. Guzman is now 9-3 on the season after going 4-1 this past weekend at the Hawk Classic Open. Guzman took second place at the 149 weight class running through the bracket before medically forfeiting the finals.

Clemmons stayed put as the No. 16 ranked wrestler at 165. The Lebanon High graduate was impressive at the Rocky Top Duals going 2-1 in three ranked bouts. He beat No. 15 Wetzel Hill from St. Thomas with a tech fall and followed that with a tough 4-3 win over No. 12 Wyatt Higgins from Reinhardt. Clemmons went toe to toe with No. 5 Jaden New from Life, but lost a 4-2 decision. Clemmons' showing shot him up the rankings from No. 23 to No. 16. He is 8-6 on the season.

Smith retained his No. 3 ranking at 174. Smith is 12-3 on the season. He went 2-1 his last time out at the Rocky Top Duals with a tech fall and a pinfall. He had to battle it out with last season's 174 third place finisher and the current No. 1 Riley Smucker from Life and lost with a 11-5 decision.

Horvath is the biggest mover for Cumberland in the poll jumping up from No. 24 to No. 19 in the 184-weight class. Horvath has posted the most wins for Cumberland this season with a 19-5 record for a .792 win percentage. He has also posted four falls this season.

The Phoenix had their home opener Thursday night against receiving votes Midway. They will next go to Campbellsville next Wednesday.