#2 SCSU Sending Eight Wrestlers to NCAA Championships

#2 SCSU Sending Eight Wrestlers to NCAA Championships


NCAA Division II Championships:
March 11-12 at Kearney, Neb.

NCAA DII Championships Website:

NCAA DII Championship Ticket Information:


  • #2 St. Cloud State University (19-2, 6-1 NSIC) will be sending eight wrestlers to the 2011 NCAA Division II championships, which will be held on March 11-12 in Kearney, Neb.  The tournament is being hosted by the University of Nebraska-Kearney.  For complete information on the tournament, check out the NCAA website at http://www.ncaa.com/championships/wrestling/d2
  • THE CHAMPS!  St. Cloud State captured its first NCAA Regional title with a first place finish a at the 2011 NCAA DII Super Regional #3 on Feb. 27 in Sioux Falls, S.D.  SCSU led the tournament with 131.0 points, while Augustana placed 2nd at 120.0.  Mankato (99.0), Upper Iowa (99.0), UW-Parkside (74.0), Moorhead (49.0), Indianapolis (42.5), SW Minnesota State (38.5), Northern State (34.0),  Mary (21.5) and Newman (16.0) completed the field.
  • SCSU sophomore Shamus O’Grady earned top honors at the NCAA Regional at 174-pounds and was named the tournament’s MVP.  He was joined on the top step of the award stand by SCSU junior Tad Merritt, who won first at 165-pounds and sophomore Jake Kahnke claimed first at 285-pounds.
  • SCSU wrestlers who earned bids to the upcoming NCAA championships are Eric Ellington (133), Gabe Suarez (141), Jacon D. Horn (149), John Sundgren (157), Tad Merritt (165), Shamus O’Grady (174), Lucas Munkelwitz (197) and Jacob Kahnke (285).  This marks the fourth consecutive NCAA bids for Suarez and Sundgren.  SCSU wrestlers making their third consecutive NCAA appearances are Munkelwitz and Merritt, and second time NCAA wrestlers for SCSU are O’Grady and Kahnke.  This will mark Horn’s first trip to the NCAA tournament.  Last year, Kahnke, Merritt, Suarez and O’Grady all gained All-America status for the Huskies, who placed 7th as a team in 2010.
  • The 19 wins is a team record for most dual wins in a season for the Huskies.  The old record of 16 wins in a season was set in 1970-71 by the Huskies under the leadership of coach John Oxton.
  • The Huskies were ranked #2 in the finalDII Coaches’ Poll behind Nebraska Omaha. Here is a rundown of SCSU’s nationally ranked wrestlers in 2010-11:  Gabe Suarez (#6 at 141-pounds), Jacob D. Horn (#5 at 149-pounds), John Sundgren (#4 at 157-pounds), Tad Merritt (#2 at 165-pounds), Shamus O’Grady (#3 at 174-pounds) and Jake Kahnke (#1 at 285-pounds).
  • Junior Tad Merritt continues to lead the Huskies this season with 35 victories (35-3) and 12 pins. Merritt is ranked #2 in the nation. Of note, the team record for wins in a season is 38.
  • The Huskies have already shattered the team’s dual match point record for a season.  SCSU has 599 points in dual matches this season, which breaks the old team record of 515 points set in 2009-10.  In contrast, SCSU has allowed only 164 dual match points this winter.  SCSU set a team record by allowing just 7.81 points per dual match this season.  The old team record of 8.06 points allowed per dual match was set in 1963-64.
  • SCSU placed 3rd at the 2011 NWCA Division II National Duals on Jan. 8-9.  The third place finish is the best in team history for the Huskies at the DII National Duals.
  • The St. Cloud State University wrestling team (14-7, 5-2 NSIC/3rd) captured 7th place at the 2010 NCAA Division II wrestling championships on March 12-13, in Omaha, Neb.  This marks the Huskies best NCAA finish since capturing 7th place in 1983.  This also marked the best finish for the Huskies at the NCAA tournament since Steve Costanzo took over as head coach in 2006-07.  This marked the 8th time since 1975 that SCSU has charted a top-10 place at the NCAA championships.  The 7th place finish is the best ever for the Huskies at the NCAA DII level. SCSU placed eighth at the nationals in 2009, 1986 and 1976.  SCSU also placed third at nationals during the 1963 and 1965 seasons as an NAIA affiliate.
  • The Huskies qualified 8 wrestlers for the NCAA championships in 2010.  SCSU wrestlers earning All-America status at the meet were Jacob Kahnke (4th place at 285), Tad Merritt (5th place at 165), Shamus O’Grady (6th place at 174) and Gabe Suarez (8th place at 141).  The 4 All-Americans ties a team record for the Huskies, as SCSU also brought home 4 All-America honors in 1983 and 1975.

SCSU COACH STEVE COSTANZO: Steve Costanzo is in his 5th season as the Husky head wrestling coach.  Overall, this marks Costanzo’s 12th season as a head college wrestling coach.  He has a career record of 120-53-2 while coaching 98 National Qualifiers, 41 All-Americans, 2 National Champions and 36 NWCA All-Academic recipients.  His record at St. Cloud State now stands at 58-23.  An All-American wrestler at Nebraska-Omaha (1996 graduate), Costanza previously coached at Dana College from 1999 to 2006.  Costanza led Dana to a national title in 2006.

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