OMAHAM, NEB. -- Eight Lake Erie College wrestlers earned mention in the preseason Basford Division II Regional Rankings released Thursday (Oct. 10) with the Storm earning a fourth-place team ranking in Super Region 2.
Lake Erie received 37 points and his the highest ranking Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team. Newberry College, which moved to Super Region 2 after six consecutive Region 1 team championships, is the preseason favorite. The Wolves (56 points) are followed by the University of Indianapolis (43) and McKenderee University (41) ahead of the Storm.
Individually, LEC has two individuals ranked at the top of their respective weight class. Senior All-American Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy), the national runner-up at 157 pounds last season, is the top-ranked wrestler in the region at 165 pounds. Redshirt junior Dylan Zivcic (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor/Lakeland) is ranked first at 174 pounds, a weight class in which he qualified for the NCAA Championships last winter.
Other ranked wrestlers for Lake Erie include: freshman Giovanni Castillo (Corona, Calif./Centennial) at 125 pounds (7th), junior 2012 national qualifier Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area) at 133 pounds (6th), junior 2012 All-American Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) at 157 pounds (3rd), senior Zev Green (Marysville, Ohio/Marysville) at 184 pounds (3rd), redshirt junior Mikey Samijlenko (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) at 197 pounds (7th) and sophomore Almonte Patrick (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) at heavyweight (7th).
The Storm finished fourth at the Super Regional 2 tournament last winter and return 15 wrestlers with significant starting experience, including national qualifiers Vargo, Zivcic and junior Ian Ross (Newark, N.Y./Newark).
Head Coach Kevin Hoogenboom, the 2013 Super Region 2 Coach of the Year, and the Storm open the season Nov. 9 at the Michigan State University Open in East Lansing, Mich.