Jacks return home to face rival Bison

BROOKINGS, S.D. — The South Dakota State wrestling team returns to Frost Arena for the final homestand of the season as the team hosts North Dakota State Friday at 7 p.m. in Western Wrestling Conference action.

Aaron Pickrel leads the Jackrabbits with a 2-1 WWC record and a 24-8 overall record. Pickrel notched four-straight wins at the North Country Open last week to win the 125-pound weight division. Pickrel is 5-0 in falls with the quickest in one minute three seconds. He will not compete Friday against NDSU due to injury. 

This week’s Competition

North Dakota State Bison – North Dakota State enters the weekend 7-4 overall and 1-3 in the WWC. The Bison dropped a dual against Air Force 22-19 and no. 25 Wyoming 35-3 in their last conference action.

Trent Sprenkle, ranked no. 19 by Intermat and no. 22 by the NCAA owns a 26-7 record, including 3-1 in the WWC. Sprenkle lost his first conference bout to no. 18 Michael Martinez of Wyoming Jan. 30, but he won seven of his last eight matches. The sophomore lost only two of 11 dual matches on the season so far.

Vince Salminen, ranked no. 18 by Intermat and the NCAA, is 31-5 on the season and 4-0 in the WWC. The 157-pounder was the lone Bison to tally a win against no. 25 Wyoming in NDSU’s last conference matchup. The senior has won seven of his last eight bouts and has only three dual losses.

The Jacks are 19-34-1 against the Bison all time.

Jacks by numbers – The 11 grapplers on the probable lineup for the matchup against NDSU own 59 wins on the season with 126 bout losses.

As a team, the Jacks won 35 matches by fall with the two quickest falls in 32 seconds (Joe Brewster) and 34 seconds (Cord Willers).

David Michaud and Dustin Walraven claim the most wins by fall, both with a 6-0 falls record. Aaron Pickrel follows with a 5-0 falls record.

The Jacks have 68 wins by decision, 20 wins by major decision and six wins by technical fall.

Wrestlers on Facebook – Fans can show their support for the Jackrabbit wrestlers on Facebook. Log onto Facebook.com/JackrabbitWrestling to keep up with the Jackrabbit grapplers.

Fans can also follow Jackrabbit Athletics on the all new Facebook page by logging onto Facebook.com/SDSU.Jackrabbit.Nation.

Jackrabbit Extra – Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com can view select SDSU wrestling matches live on the internet. To subscribe to the Jackrabbit Extra, log onto GoJacks.com, select Jackrabbit Extra on the Audio/Video tab and click  “sign up.”

Jackrabbit Insider on FOX and FSN –  “Jackrabbit Insider” airs at 10:30 p.m. Sundays on KTTW FOX 7.  The show can also be seen on FOX Sports North Tuesdays at 6 p.m. CT. FOX College Sports Central will air the program Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. “Jackrabbit Insider” is also available through the Jackrabbit Extra video on-demand service at GoJacks.com.

Hosted by Tyler Merrium, “Jackrabbit Insider” is a weekly half-hour program that provides Jackrabbit fans with a behind-the-scenes look at South Dakota State University Athletics.

Last week – Aaron Pickrel and Dustin Walraven tallied top finishes for the South Dakota State wrestling team Saturday in the North Country Open, hosted by Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.

No. one seed Pickrel went 4-0 at the tournament to win the 125-pound weight class. He defeated his opponents 52-12, including two wins by decision, one major decision and a technical fall.

No. two seed Walraven went 4-1 in the 149-pound division to place second. Walraven won his first match by fall in 51 seconds against Alex Stepanek of Concordia Nebraska. He went on to win his next match by medical forfeit. He defeated the no. seven seed by technical fall 28-7 in 5:12 before beating the no. three seed by fall 4:47. He dropped the championship match to no. one seed Myanganbayar Batsukh of St. John’s 20-4. 

Next Up – The Jacks wrap up the regular season when they host Utah Valley Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in Frost Arena.