Sprenkle, Monk Lead Bison Over Utah Valley, 25-10
FARGO, N.D. – No. 19 ranked Bison Trent Sprenkle upset No. 13 Ben Kjar and Steven Monk earned a key pin as the North Dakota State wrestling team defeated Utah Valley, 25-10, in front of 291 fans at the Bison Sports Arena on Saturday, Feb. 19. NDSU finishes the regular season 10-4 overall and 3-3 in the Western Wrestling Conference. Utah Valley falls to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the WWC.
Sprenkle’s win capped off a string of four straight Bison wins to start the night.
In the home finale of his career, senior Kenny Moenkedick got the match off to a strong start at 184 pounds, winning a 6-3 decision over Casen Eldredge. Moenkedick notched two takedowns in the win, his 26th of the season.
At 197 pounds, junior Drew Ross used a takedown and two-point near fall in the first period to claim a 5-1 decision over Trevor Rupp. Sophomore Will Johnson won his first dual of the season at heavyweight, defeating Christian Denny, 6-5. Johnson’s takedown 20 seconds into the third period clinched the win.
Sprenkle matched up with Kjar in the next bout at 125 pounds. After a slow start, Sprenkle got the scoring started with a takedown with six seconds remaining in the first period. He then notched an escape and a takedown in the second period to push his lead to 5-0. Kjar scored a reversal and a takedown in the final period, but Sprenkle’s strong start could not be overcome. Sprenkle earned a bonus point for riding time for the final 8-4 margin.
At 133 pounds, No. 13 Flint Ray jumped out to a 6-2 lead and then tallied a takedown and three-point near fall at the buzzer to earn a 12-3 major decision win over junior Justin Solberg.
Utah Valley claimed the next two bouts at 141 pounds and 149 pounds as well. Justin Morrill defeated senior Geoff Martin at 141 pounds, 7-1, while Josh Wilson won a 7-3 decision over Mark Erickson at 149 pounds.
At 157 pounds, No. 18 Vince Salminen halted the Utah Valley run with a 9-1 major decision over Richard Winger to give the Bison a 16-10 lead. Salminen tallied two takedowns and a three-point near fall in the win.
Monk clinched the win for the Bison with a pin of Jeb Clark in 1 minute 38 seconds at 165 pounds. Monk earned a takedown and had Clark on his back for the next 10 seconds before sticking him with 1:22 to go in the period.
Sophomore Tyler Wells capped the day with a 3-2 decision over Brad Darrington at 174 pounds. Wells’ escape to open the third period proved to be the clinching point.
The Bison now have a week off before traveling to Colorado Springs, Colo. for the NCAA West Regional Sunday, March 6.
North Dakota State 25, Utah Valley 10
184 – Kenny Moenkedick (NDSU) dec. Casen Eldredge (UVU), 6-3
197 – Drew Ross (NDSU) dec. Trevor Rupp (UVU), 5-1
285 – Will Johnson (NDSU) dec. Christian Denny (UVU), 6-5
125 – No. 19 Trent Sprenkle (NDSU) dec. No. 13 Ben Kjar (UVU), 8-4
133 – No. 13 Flint Ray (UVU) maj. dec. Justin Solberg (NDSU), 12-4
141 – Justin Morrill (UVU) dec. Geoff Martin (NDSU), 7-1
149 – Josh Wilson (UVU) dec. Mark Erickson (NDSU), 7-3
157 – No. 18 Vince Salminen (NDSU) maj. dec. Richard Winger (UVU), 9-1
165 – Steven Monk (NDSU) fall Jeb Clark (UVU), 1:38
174 – Tyler Wells (NDSU) dec. Brad Darrington (UVU), 3-2