Six Gophers Earn Titles at North Country Open

North Country Open

COLLEGEVILLE, MINN. – Six members of the fourth-ranked Minnesota wrestling team earned individual titles on Saturday, wrestling at the 2011 North Country Open in Collegeville, Minn.

Redshirt freshman Jake Kettler earned the heavyweight title after going 4-0 in the event. Kettler opened the tournament with a 13-3 major decision over Carter Ash (SMSU) and a pair of decisions over Andrew Peralta (MSU-Moorhead) (3-0) and Nikolas Bogojevic (Aug) (3-2) before scoring a fall at 4:52 of the championship bout over Gerad Fugleberg (MSU-Moorhead).

True freshman Scott Schiller also was perfect in Collegeville on Saturday, going 4-0 to win the 197 lbs. bracket. Schiller scored a pair of technical falls in his first two matches (20-4 over Dylan Shequan and 18-2 over Zecharia Schiley) and then pinned Jacob Morris at 4:30 in the semifinal matchup. The freshman added a 9-8 decision over St. John’s Tony Willaert, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, to win the individual title.

Another Gophers true freshman added the 184 lbs. title as Joel Bauman picked up five wins on Saturday. Bauman opened with an 11-5 decision over Alex Kratkramer of Augsburg and then added two major decisions to reach the semifinals. The freshman outscored Erik Rogness (SCSU) 13-5 in his second-round match and then came out ahead against Cody Pahan 10-2. Bauman would defeat Todd Beck (WC) 11-7 in the semifinals and lock up the title with a 7-2 decision over Mitchell Hagan of St. John’s.

Redshirt junior Brian Peterson earned the 157 lbs. championship with a 4-0 performance including a pair of falls in the preliminary rounds. Peterson opened the competition with an 11-0 major decision over Michael Roth (STO) and followed up with his first pin of the day at 6:35 over Garrett Bothun (CC). The redshirt junior would also pin Matthew Vercillo (WC) at 6:59 in his third match of the day before scoring two decisions in the semifinals and finals (6-4 over Justin Skillings of STO and 5-3 over Brandon Seppelt of St. John’s, respectively).

Seth Lange, a freshman for the Gophers, added the 141 lbs. title to his list of accolades. Lange opened the day with a 3-2 decision over Matt Leibforth of St. Cloud State before pinning Michael Orange of Augsburg at 4:13 of his second match. The freshman would tally a 13-4 major decision over Nathan Vaske of WC in the semifinals and finally record a 20-9 major decision over Ryan Timmerman of STO in the finals to secure the title. Redshirt freshman Tom Giaimo would finish fourth in the 141 lbs. bracket with a 4-2 record.

The sixth individual champion for the Gophers at this year’s North Country Open was sophomore Thane Antczak, who picked up four wins to capture the 133 lbs. title. Antczak started the tournament out hot with a pin over James Woiwor of St. John’s at 2:07. He would go on to secure a 6-3 decision over Nathan Lexvold of Augsburg and a 13-4 major decision over Adam Joseph before winning the bracket on a default.

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