Jay Drowns, UVU Marketing
Utah Valley junior 165-pounder Demetrius Romero (left) looks to secure a takedown against Northern Iowa's Bryce Steiert at UVU's Lockhart Arena in Orem on Feb. 9, 2019. Romero leads UVU on the latest rankings by checking in at No. 9 on the RPI and No. 10 on the NCAA Coaches' Panel Ranking.

INDIANAPOLIS — A total of six Utah Valley University wrestlers are ranked in the latest NCAA Coaches' Panel Ranking and the first Rating Percentage Index of the 2018-19 season. Having six ranked grapplers ties a program high for the Wolverines.

Junior 165-pounder Demetrius Romero leads the way by earning the No. 9 ranking on the first RPI of the season and the 10th spot on the second NCAA Coaches' Panel Ranking. Romero currently leads the Wolverines with a 20-3 record on the year and is a returning NCAA qualifier for UVU.

Sophomore 141-pounder Matt Findlay is next by being ranked 11th in his weight class on the coaches' panel ranking. Findlay holds an impressive 14-2 record on the season and just missed qualifying for the RPI, as you have to have at least 17 Division I matches under your belt to qualify.

Junior 174-pounder and fellow returning NCAA qualifier Kimball Bastian (14-8) is next for UVU by checking in at 12th on both the coaches' panel ranking and the RPI, while the reigning Big 12 Wrestler of the Week and two-time NCAA qualifier for UVU in junior 197-pounder Tanner Orndorff (13-9) is ranked 14th on the coaches' panel and 20th on the RPI, and his brother Tate Orndorff (19-6), a redshirt freshman heavyweight, is 15th on the RPI and rated 17th on the coaches' panel. Senior 184-pounder Will Sumner (15-9) rounds out UVU's ranked grapplers by checking in at 15th on the RPI and 27th on the coaches' panel ranking.

The coaches' panel ranking is the second of four that will be announced on the year and first of three RPI rankings that will be announced. The final rankings will be tools used as part of the selection process to determine qualifiers and seeding for the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships that will be held March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, RPI and coaches' rankings to earn allocation spots for their qualifying tournaments for the championships. The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. The RPI is calculated based on results vs. Division I wrestlers and rankings only include wrestlers that have a minimum of 17 results vs. Division I opponents.

For coaches ranking purposes, they may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. To be eligible, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days.

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UVU will conclude its 2018-19 regular season with a pair of Big 12 Conference road duals in Colorado this weekend. The Wolverines will first take on Northern Colorado on Friday at 7 p.m. in Greeley, before closing the trip at Air Force on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Big 12 Championships will then be next for UVU, as they will be held March 9-10 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

UTAH VALLEY'S RANKED WRESTLERS

Coaches' Panel/RPI

#11/NR Matt Findlay (141)

#10/9 Demetrius Romero (165)

#12/12 Kimball Bastian (174)

#27/15 Will Sumner (184)

#14/20 Tanner Orndorff (197)

#17/15 Tate Orndorff (285)