PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College freshman Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) is ranked seventh nationally at the 165 pound weight class in the latest NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association released Wednesday.
With the ranking, Vandermeer becomes the Storm's first wrestler to be ranked in the top eight nationally at any weight class in the program's two-year history.
Vandermeer is currently 22-6 overall after a third place finish at the prestigious Midwest Classic and a fifth-place showing at the Lake Erie Storm open. He leads the Lake Erie squad in wins.
"It's really impressive the way Matt has come in here and wrestled right away," said Lake Erie Head Coach Kevin Hoogenboom. "Being ranked this high as a freshman means Matt is really capturing people's attention and should be a force to reckon with for years to come."
As a team, Lake Erie has yet to crack the Top 20 national ranking despite dual wins over the 10th and 14th-ranked teams. However, the Storm is ranked sixth of 13 teams in the latest Midwest regional rankings.
Six Lake Erie wrestlers are ranked in the region, led by Vandermeer in the top spot. Others ranked are sophomore Zev Green (Marysville, Ohio/Marysville) who is third in the 174 lb class, sophomore Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) slatted fourth in the 149 lb division and freshman Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area), sophomore Tyler Tesny (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/Cuyahoga Falls) and redshirt freshman Mike Samijlenko (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) who are sixth at the 125, 157 and 197 lb classes, respectively.
"We just need to keep going out there and beating quality teams and individuals," said Hoogenboom. "We have a couple of really strong victories already and if we just keep doing that the accolades will keep coming."