FARGO, N.D. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team kicked off the 2011-12 season on Saturday as All-American Corey Ulmer and Jacob Bennett led the team into the Bison Open.
The tournament held at the Bison Sports Arena marked the start of head coach Kris Nelson’s third season with the Dragons. 17 Dragons took the mat as seven placed sixth or higher.
Corey Ulmer, the seventh place finisher from the 2010-11 NCAA DII National Wrestling Championships, earned a victory in his first match of the day against the University of Minnesota’s Jordan Kingsley. Following the 7-0 decision, Ulmer fell to Trent Sprenkle of North Dakota State 23-9. Two more victories against Travis Borchert (14-1 major decision) of Southwest Minnesota State and Ben Presler (4-3 decision) of Concordia would give Ulmer a third place finish in the 125 weight class.
Freshman Paul Nolden took part in the 125 class finishing 0-2. Nolden fell 11-1 in his opening match against Tony Morrow of Minnesota. A second loss to Kingsley ended the day for Nolden. Mario Tuccitto was the only Dragon in the 133 class and finished 0-2. Tuccitto was pinned (4:15) in his first matchup against Concordia’s Hieu Pham. Another Cobber would take Tuccitto down as Tyler Chapple earned a 8-3 decision over the Dragon.
Tyler Steinwand paved the way for the Dragons in the 141 class by earning a fifth place finish and a 5-2 record in his matches. Steinwand won his first two matches in a 9-6 decision against unattached Bison Kameron Hamely and a 12-7 decision over the Mustang’s Devin Terry. Richard Byrd of Minnesota State Mankato handed Steinwand his first loss in a close 5-3 decision. Victories of 9-3 and 8-4 over Adam Ketcher and Tanner Carlisle, respectively, put Steinwand in a chance for the third place match. Trevor Johnson of Mary (N.D.) sent Steinwand to the fifth place match though following a 10-4 decision. A potential rematch with Byrd was avoided as an injury gave Steinwand the fifth place finish.
Nathan Galvan took part in the 141 class finishing 0-2. Ethan Hildebrandt of SMSU earned a 12-3 major decision in Galvan’s first match. The Dragon freshman was sent home following a 9-0 major decision in favor of John Schwartz from Mary (N.D.).
Connor MacGregor and Derek Lee wrestled in the 149 class. MacGregor earned one victory on the day following an opening match loss of 16-1 to the Cobbers’ Kyle LeDuc. The 19-2 victory came in the next round against unattached Mustang Josh Anderson. David Baker of Concordia pinned MacGregor at the 2:05 mark to end the Dragon’s day. Lee finished the day 2-2 following an opening round win of 8-0 over Anderson. A 15-4 loss from NDSU’s Mark Erickson ensued the win. A close victory of 2-0 over Drew Spaulding of Mankato was followed by a major decision loss of 11-2 to the Bison’s Hayden Zillmer.
The two Dragons in the 165 class, Jacob Bennett and Jesse Puncochar, would ultimately face-off in the third-place match. Bennett took a 7-5 loss to Josten Coleman of Concordia but would not lose again. The Apache Junction native advanced through the next round due to an injury to Jake Hanson of the University of Minnesota Duluth. Decisions of 10-3 and 6-3 followed against another Bulldog Connor Pariseau and Jaymes Stanley of Duluth, respectively. Puncochar would face a similar path with a slightly different result. After an opening round loss of 22-6 to Cody Yohn of Minnesota, Puncochar earned wins of 6-2 over Garrett Bothum of Concordia and 11-6 over Coleman. The third place match was the end of the road for both Dragons. Bennett would overtake his teammate Puncochar in a 3-1 decision to finish in third.
Three Dragons took part in the 174 weight class. Trent Sovde earned a 8-4 decision over Carl Maiers from Duluth in Sovde’s first match. The victory was followed by a 6-1 loss to Kurtis Julson of NDSU. A 8-2 decision over Terrance Maier of SMSU sent Sovde to the third place match. He would take fourth on the day after a 8-2 decision against Sebastin Gardner of Concordia. Tyler Kivel earned a 3-0 decision over Maier for his first win of the day. Two losses followed as a 18-3 decision against Logan Storley from Minnesota and a 13-6 decision against Gardner. Kivel would answer the two losses by earning fifth place in a 4-0 rematch against Maier. Lucas Monderow dropped his first two matches coming as a 19-5 major decision and a 5-1 decision against Julson and Maier, respectively.
Raymond Orwig and Kody Kalkbrenner took part in the 184 weight class for the Dragons. Orwig would drop his first two matches, ending his day. The losses both came from pins. The first at the 4:16 mark came from Danny Pike of Concordia and the second at the 1:01 mark against Luke Michaelson of Mankato. Kalkbrenner fell in his opening match 10-2 against Kallen Kleinschmidt of NDSU. The sophomore answered the loss with two wins. Kalkbrenner earned a 3-2 decision over Zach Deffinbaug of Concordia and a pin of Pike at the 2:23 mark. The day ended for Kalkbrenner thanks to a 7-5 decision against Kody Sorenson from NDSU.
Brandon Manderschied led the way in the 197 class earning a record of 2-2. He took a 9-3 decision over John Devito of Mary (N.D.) then lost a 4-2 decision to Andrew Rodas of SMSU. The next match resulted in a 3-2 decision over teammate Max Collins. The sophomore’s day ended from a 11-2 major decision from John Gusewelle from NDSU. Max Collins fell in both his matches including a 6-3 decision in favor of Trevor Parlberg from SMSU and the 3-2 loss to Manderschied. Eric Lehmann faced the same fate as he fell 20-5 to Gusewelle in the opening match and 13-8 to Nathan Schmitz from Concordia.
The lone Dragon heavyweight of the day Gerad Fugleberg took sixth place with a record of 2-3. He opened the tournament with a pin 28 seconds into the match over Patrick Hughes from Concordia. A 7-0 decision over Todd Klemz from SMSU followed to put Fugleberg on the path for the finals. The Fargo native was derailed as he was pinned 3:39 into the match against Matt Meuleners from Northern State. Fugleberg would drop the next two matches cementing his sixth place finish.
The Dragons finished the day with two third-place, two fourth-place, two fifth-place and one sixth-place winners. The team will travel to Jamestown, N.D. on Nov. 17 for the next action of the season.