The USMMA wrestling team has been picked to finish fourth in the 2012-13 Centennial Conference Standings in a vote of the league's head coaches. The Mariners are coming off of a 7-8 season in which they posted a 5-3 record in conference play. Merchant Marine will look to improve on its fifth place finish at last year's conference championship after claiming four straight league titles in 2008-11.
Ursinus collected four first-place votes and was named the preseason favorite after going undefeated in conference dual meet action in 2011-12. Defending league champion Johns Hopkins, who collected four first-place votes of their own, returns four all-conference performers and sits just behind Ursinus in the rankings. Stevens picked up the remaining first-place nod and are perched just ahead of USMMA in the poll. The preseason pecking order is rounded out by Gettysburg (T-5th), McDaniel (T-5th), NYU (7th), Washington & Lee (8th), and Muhlenberg (9th).
The Mariners top-two returners are Tyler Russell (Georgetown, ME) at 197 lbs. and Josh Miller (Jackson Hole, WY) at 165 lbs. Both return for their junior campaign after finishing fourth in their respective weight class at the 2012 Centennial Conference Championships. Head Coach Greg Ilaria also welcomes 12 new freshmen into the fold for the upcoming season. USMMA will be without the services of Erik Schott, who finished his collegiate career last year second on the Academy's all-time win list as well as capturing the 2012 Centennial Conference crown at 184 lbs.
Merchant Marine opens the 2012-13 season November 17-18 as they travel to Ithaca, NY for the New York State Championships.