Johnnies Post 2-1 Mark at First Day of National Duals

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Third-ranked Saint John’s went 2-1 in the first day of the NWCA/Cliff Keen Division III National Duals held Saturday, Jan. 8, in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Tournament Website | Bracket

The Johnnies (10-2 dual record) defeated No. 26 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 42-0 in the first round before losing two matches in overtime and forfeiting the heavyweight match in a 24-10 loss to No. 6 Ithaca (N.Y.). SJU bounced back with a 23-18 win over No. 25 Delaware Valley (Pa.) in the day’s finale to set up a showdown with No. 7 Concordia-Moorhead at 9 a.m. Sunday. The winner/loser will face the winner/loser between No. 5 Coe (Iowa) and No. 10 Wisconsin-Stevens Point at 1 p.m.

The Johnnies swept all 10 matches, including a 6-5 upset win from senior Dustin Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska/West Valley), ranked eighth nationally, over No. 6 Brennan Ward at 184 pounds. SJU picked up two pins, three major decisions and a forfeit in the dual.

The second round was not as kind as the first, however. Ithaca opened the dual with five straight decision wins, including a 7-5 overtime upset over senior Minga Batsukh (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia/St. Benedict’s, N.J.) at 149 pounds, to take a 15-0 lead. Senior Matt Baarson (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park), one of SJU’s three wrestlers to go 3-0 on the day, put the Johnnies on the scoreboard with a 13-5 major decision at 165 pounds. In fact, all three of No. 5 Baarson’s wins were by major decision. Unranked junior Matt Pfarr (Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson) upset No. 6 David Priest 2-1 at 174 pounds to cut the deficit to 15-7. Pfarr also went 3-0 on the day with pins in his other two matches.

Down eight points with three matches left, head coach Brandon Novak decided to bump up Baxter and fellow senior Tony Willaert (North Mankato, Minn./Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial) from their normal weight classes, leaving sophomore Mitch Hagen (Sunburg, Minn./Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg) to lead off at 184. Hagen, however, lost a tough 3-1 decision in overtime to increase the Bombers’ lead to 18-7. Baxter surrendered 13 pounds and tallied a 2-1 decision at 197 pounds, but SJU needed pins in the final two weight classes to earn the win. With the dual decided, 18-10, Novak decided to forfeit the heavyweight match.

Delaware Valley took an early 3-0 lead with a decision at 157 pounds before SJU rattled off three straight wins to take a 13-3 lead. Baarson tallied a major decision, Pfarr stuck a pin and Baxter earned his third win of the day, 10-3. The Aggies responded, however, with two decisions and a pin to regain the lead, 15-13. Junior Chad Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer) recorded a crucial pin at 133 pounds to thrust SJU ahead, 19-15. A decision loss at 141 cut the Johnnies’ lead to one heading into the dual’s final match at 149. Batsukh rose to the occasion, posting a 13-4 major-decision victory to secure the win.

No. 3 Saint John’s (SJU) 42, No. 26 Johnson & Wales University (JWU) 0
125 – Junior Scott Padrnos (SJU) pinned James Soprano (JWU), 1:16 [6-0]
133 – Junior Chad Henle (No. 8, SJU) dec. John Donaleski (JWU), 3-1 [9-0]
141 – Senior Chris Sandy (No. 5, SJU) major dec. Daniel Franco (JWU), 8-0 [13-0]
149 – Senior Minga Batsukh (No. 3, SJU) won by forfeit [19-0]
157 – Senior John Vaith (SJU) dec. Thomas Webster (JWU), 9-4 [22-0]
165 – Senior Matt Baarson (No. 5, SJU) major dec. Justin Scalise (JWU), 9-0 [26-0]
174 – Junior Matt Pfarr (SJU) pinned Colin Lenhardt (JWU), 4:02 [32-0]
184 – Junior Dustin Baxter (No. 8, SJU) dec. Brennan Ward (No. 6, JWU), 6-5 [35-0]
197 – Senior Tony Willaert (No. 10, SJU) major dec. William Mulligan (JWU), 15-2 [39-0]
Hwt – Junior John Linn (SJU) dec. Humphrey Swift (JWU), 5-3 [42-0]

No. 6 Ithaca College (ITH) 24, No. 3 Saint John’s (SJU) 10
125 – Max Cohen (ITH) dec. junior Scott Padrnos (SJU), 7-2 [3-0]
133 – Seth Ecker (No. 5, ITH) dec. junior Chad Henle (No. 8, SJU), 6-0 [6-0]
141 – Jeremy Stierly (ITH) dec. senior Chris Sandy (No. 5, SJU), 7-1 [9-0]
149 – Blaine Woszczak (No. 5, ITH) dec. senior Minga Batsukh (No. 3, SJU), 7-5 OT [12-0]
157 – Derek Brenon (No. 7, ITH) dec. senior Drew Larson (SJU), 10-7 [15-0]
165 – Senior Matt Baarson (No. 5) major dec. Nick Sanko (ITH), 13-5 [15-4]
174 – Junior Matt Pfarr (SJU) dec. David Priest (No. 6, ITH), 2-1 [15-7]
184 – Josue Mendez (ITH) dec. sophomore Mitch Hagen (SJU), 3-1 OT [18-7]
197 – Junior Dustin Baxter (No. 8 at 184, SJU) dec. Shane Bartrum (ITH), 2-1 [18-10]
Hwt – Matt Mahon (No. 4, ITH) won by forfeit

No. 3 Saint John’s (SJU) 23, No. 25 Delaware Valley College (DVC) 18
125 – Charlie Frankel (DVC) pinned junior Scott Padrnos (SJU), 1:42 [13-15]
133 – Junior Chad Henle (No. 8, SJU) pinned James DeLillo (DVC), 4:15 [19-15]
141 – Matt Ulrich (DVC) dec. senior Chris Sandy (No. 5, SJU), 7-3 [19-18]
149 – Senior Minga Batsukh (No. 3, SJU) major dec. Emanual Ajagbe (DVC), 13-4 [23-18]
157 – Jesse Harrington (No. 2, DVC) dec. senior John Vaith (SJU), 11-5 [0-3]
165 – Senior Matt Baarson (No. 5, SJU) major dec. Dale Fava (DVC), 10-0 [4-3]
174 – Junior Matt Pfarr (SJU) pinned Juan Vega (DVC), 6:33 [10-3]
184 – Junior Dustin Baxter (No. 8, SJU) dec. Jake Phillips (DVC), 10-3 [13-3]
197 – Aaron Karns (No. 8, DVC) dec. senior Tony Willaert (No. 10, SJU), 9-5 [13-6]
Hwt – Cody Gardner (DVC) dec. junior John Linn (SJU), 10-3 [13-9]
*the dual started at 157 pounds

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