Johnnies Finish Sixth at National Duals

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Saint John’s finished sixth out of 16 teams at the esteemed NWCA/Cliff Keen Division III National Duals on Sunday, Jan. 9. The Johnnies (11-3 dual record) defeated familiar-foe Concordia-Moorhead 22-21 to advance to the fifth-place dual, which was won by No. 5 Coe (Iowa), 23-18. SJU surrendered six points at the start of each dual due to a forfeit at 125 pounds.

Tournament Website

The Johnnies lost four matches and the forfeit to the No. 7 Cobbers, including two one-point decisions, but still held on for the 22-21 win. Concordia jumped out to a 9-0 lead with a 7-6 decision over junior Chad Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer) at 133 pounds, before seniors Chris Sandy(Spirit Lake, Iowa) and Minga Batsukh (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia/St. Benedict’s Prep, N.J.) posted back-to-back pins to give SJU a 12-9 lead. The Cobbers’ Justin Berns, ranked fourth nationally, narrowly escaped senior Drew Larson (Willmar, Minn.) with a 5-4 win due to riding time.

Senior Matt Baarson (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park) tallied his fourth consecutive major decision of the tournament (13-1) at 165 and juniorMatt Pfarr (Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson) tallied a 4-2 upset of fourth-ranked Ross Dankers to build a 19-12 lead.

Top-ranked Phil Moenkedick defeated junior Dustin Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska/West Valley) 8-3 to cut it to 19-15 with two weights to go, but seniorTony Willaert (North Mankato, Minn./Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial) clinched the win with a 6-1 victory at 197.

Coe took an early 12-0 lead via the forfeit and pin at 133. The Kohawks’ Clayton Rush, the top-ranked wrestler at 125, bumped up to 133 and pinned Henle. Sandy registered a 7-4 win to put SJU on the board before Batsukh collected eight takedowns in an 18-6 major decision over No. 6 James Locke. No. 3 Dale Handley extended Coe’s lead to 16-7 before Baarson and Pfarr combined for seven team points and cut it to 16-14. Steve Rehn edged Baxter 7-2, but Willaert brought the Johnnies to within one point with a major decision at 197. No. 7 Alex Burkle won by major decision, however, over junior John Linn (Foley, Minn.) to seal the win and fifth place for Coe.

Both Baarson and Pfarr ended the tournament with perfect 5-0 records. Four of Baarson’s five victories came by major decision, while Pfarr upset the Nos. 4 and 6 wrestlers in the nation. Baarson’s lone decision of the tournament was a 4-3 win over No. 3 Nick LeClere of Coe.

The Johnnies return to action this Friday, Jan. 14, against No. 2 (Division II) St. Cloud State. The dual is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Sexton Arena in Collegeville.

No. 3 Saint John’s (SJU) 22, No. 7 Concordia College-Moorhead (CON) 21
125 – Ben Presler (CON) won by forfeit, [0-6]
133 – Daron Hohbein (CON) dec. junior Chad Henle (No. 8, SJU), 7-6 [0-9]
141 – Senior Chris Sandy (No. 5, SJU) pinned Ben Anderson (CON), 4:08 [6-9]
149 – Senior Minga Batsukh (No. 3, SJU) pinned Kevin Fynboh (CON), 4:45 [12-9]
157 – Justin Berns (No. 4, CON) dec. senior Drew Larson (SJU), 5-4 [12-12]
165 – Senior Matt Baarson (No. 5, SJU) major dec. Jordan Bendson (CON), 13-1 [16-12]
174 – Junior Matt Pfarr (SJU) dec. Ross Dankers (No. 4, CON), 4-2 [19-12]
184 – Phil Moenkedick (No. 1, CON) dec. junior Dustin Baxter (No. 8, SJU), 8-3 [19-15]
197 – Senior Tony Willaert (No. 10, SJU) dec. Nate Schmitz (CON), 6-1 [22-15]
Hwt – Tom Bouressa (CON) pinned John Linn (SJU), 5:33 [22-21]

No. 5 Coe College (COE) 23, No. 3 Saint John’s (SJU) 18
125 – Jimmy Gotto (COE) won by forfeit, [6-0]
133 – Clayton Rush (No. 1 at 125, COE) pinned junior Chad Henle (No. 8, SJU), 5:17 [12-0]
141 – Senior Chris Sandy (No. 5, SJU) dec. Chris LeClere (COE), 7-4 [12-3]
149 – Senior Minga Batsukh (No. 3, SJU) major dec. James Locke (No. 6, COE), 18-6 [12-7]
157 – Dale Handley (No. 3, COE) major dec. senior John Vaith (SJU), 12-3 [16-7]
165 – Senior Matt Baarson (No. 5, SJU) dec. Nick LeClere (No. 3, COE), 4-3 [16-10]
174 – Junior Matt Pfarr (SJU) major dec. Jeremy Garvin (COE), 9-1 [16-14]
184 – Steve Rehn (COE) dec. junior Dustin Baxter (No. 8, SJU), 7-2 [19-14]
197 – Senior Tony Willaert (No. 10, SJU) major dec. Ethan Ball (COE), 9-1 [19-18]
Hwt – Alex Burkle (No. 7, COE) major dec. junior John Linn (SJU), 10-2 [23-18]

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