Mustang wrestling opens dual season at home on Wednesday against St. Olaf

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State University wrestling team is set to open the dual portion of its schedule on Wednesday night. The Mustangs host St. Olaf College at the PE Gym beginning at 7 p.m. SMSU will continue action in open play on Saturday morning at the Dragon Open hosted by MSU Moorhead. Saturday’s action is set to begin at 10 a.m. in Moorhead, Minn.

Follow us live: All of SMSU’s home wrestling matches will be broadcast live and free of charge via New Media TV. To follow SMSU wrestling live log on to or click HERE.

Oles at a glance: St. Olaf enters the dual meet with a record of 1-0 on the season. The Oles have competed in three open tournaments. St. Olaf earned a 24-15 victory of No. 13 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on Nov. 16. The Oles finished 4-9 in dual meets in 2010-11. St. Olaf returns Ryan Timmerman who finished third at the NCAA Division III Tournament last season. Timmerman earned All-America honors at 141 pounds.

The series: SMSU is 3-2 all-time against St. Olaf. The Mustangs took over the series lead last season with a 34-10 victory over the Oles in Northfield, Minn. The two teams first met during the 1972-73 season.

Probable lineups:
125 – Travis Borchert (5-6)
133 – Justin Reinsma (8-8)
141 – Ethan Hildebrandt (8-6)
149 – Codie Lane (0-5)
157 – Blaine Miller (4-4)
165 – Jacob Begin (8-1)
174 – Trent Molacek (0-0)
184 – Micah Larson (4-7)
197 – Martin Hagen (4-5)
285 – Todd Klemz (3-6)

St. Olaf
125 – Wesley Azariah (5-3)
133 – Ian Peppel (0-3)
141 – Ryan Timmerman (3-1)
149 – Thomas Mork (2-3)
157 – Jake Bohler (2-2)
165 – Collin Jergenson (1-2) or Dylan McDonough (0-2)
174 – James Roach (8-1)
184 – Andre Rudd (3-2)
197 – Elliot Courhain (4-4)
285 – James Noneman (0-2)

Last time out: Southwest Minnesota State had eight place winners, including a pair of individual champions at the Concordia-Moorhead Open in Moorhead, Minn., on Saturday, Nov. 19.

In the Gold Division (Upper Classmen), Jacob Begin won the 165 lbs. class with a 4-0 record, while in the Maroon Division (Freshman) Terrance Maier went 3-0 at 174 lbs. to capture the title.

Justin Reinsma (133), Travis Peralta (184), Martin Hagen (197) and Todd Klemz (285) all placed in the top six of the Gold Division with Hagen earning a second place finish.

In the Maroon Division, Beau Buysse (141) and Blaine Miller (157) both placed, with Buysse earning second place.

Checking in at 133: Sophomore Justin Reinsma (Slayton, Minn.) finished the 2010-11 season with a record of 28-12. He became the first Mustang to record 28 or more wins in a season since Tyler Johnson was 31-19 during the 2007-08 season. Reinsma won seven matches by fall while recording 16 decisions on the season. Reinsma enters dual action with a record of 8-8 on the season.

Rippin’ through the opens: Sophomore Jacob Begin (165, Anoka, Minn.) has been on a roll in open tournaments to begin the 2011-12 season. Begin earned runner-up honors at the Bison Open losing just one bout to Cody Yohn of the University of Minnesota. Begin followed that with a championship performance at the Concordia-Moorhead Open the following weekend. Begin began the day with a 13-2 major decision over John Nething II of SDSU before picking up a decision and a tech fall to earn a spot in the championship match. He then earned a 6-2 decision over Jacob Bennett of MSU Moorhead.

The captains: Head coach Jesse Nelson announced the 2011-12 team captains on Oct. 3. Senior Trent Molacek, junior A.J. Jenniges and sophomores Justin Reinsma and Micah Larson were named team captains for this season.

In the 2010-11 Central Region Tournament: Southwest Minnesota State finished eighth out of 10 teams in the Super Regional Three Tournament last season. CD Johnson qualified for the national tournament winning the true-fourth place match over Mic Berg of St. Cloud State. Justin Reinsma, Demond Carter and Brian Rodas all earned fifth-place honors at the regional tournament just missing berths to the national tournament.

The coach: Jesse Nelson enters his fifth season as the head coach of the Mustang wrestling program. Following a winless dual season in 2007-08, the team’s dual win total has improved from three in 2008-09, four in 2009-10 and eight this past season. SMSU’s 8-4-1 dual record in 2010-11, was the program’s first winning season since 2002-03, while the team also finished tied for fourth in the eight-team NSIC and had one national qualifier. Nelson has had six different individuals qualify for the NCAA II national championships, including one two-time national qualifier. His recruiting efforts have also increased SMSU’s roster size from 15 during his first season to nearly 40 during the 2010-11 season.

According to the coaches: Southwest Minnesota State was picked to finish eighth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. St. Cloud State, ranked No. 1 in the country, was picked to win the league earning 55 points.

2011-12 NSIC Wrestling Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1 St. Cloud State 55
2 Upper Iowa 54
3 Augustana 44
4 Minnesota State 32
5 University of Mary 20
6 MSU Moorhead 17
7 Northern State 11
8 Southwest Minnesota State 7

SMSU Ranked Individuals
125 pounds
5. Travis Borchert
133 pounds
5. Justin Reinsma
141 pounds
6. Ethan Hildebrandt
149 pounds
6. Codie Lane
157 pounds
6. Blaine Miller
165 pounds
4. Jake Begin
174 pounds
7. Trent Molacek
184 pounds
5. Micah Larson
197 pounds
7. Martin Hagen
285 pounds
4. Brian Rodas