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Eastern Oregon University’s Erin Redford, top, was one of four Mountaineers in the top 20 preseason rankings. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ 2020-21 preseason poll also ranked the EOU women’s wrestling team at No. 17.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eastern Oregon University’s women wrestlers cracked the top 20 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ 2020-21 preseason poll.

The Mountaineer women sit at the No. 17 spot in the first edition of the coaches’ poll, which came out in late November. Along with their national ranking, the team had a quartet of grapplers ranked in the top-20 individually. EOU is one of four Cascade Collegiate Conference teams in the national rankings.

The Mountaineers turn a new chapter this year as they have a new bench boss in Carlene Sluberski. She took over the EOU women’s wrestling program in early November and will look to lead the Mountaineers to new heights. She takes over a squad that is picked to finish fourth in the conference in 2020-21.

The four wrestlers who garnered individual top-20 rankings are Macy Higa at 130 pounds, Kaylee Moore at 136 pounds, Erin Redford at 143 pounds and Dempsi Talkington at 155 pounds. Higa and Redford both were ranked sixth. Talkington is ranked No. 9 in her weight class, followed by Moore at No. 16 in her class.

The other three CCC squads appearing on the top-20 poll were Menlo College (California), Southern Oregon and University of Providence (Montana).

Menlo led the way at the No. 4 spot, followed by SOU at No. 6. Providence also cracked the top 10 at No. 9.

The second edition of the top-20 rankings will be released Tuesday, Jan. 26.

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