#3 St. Cloud State Wrestling to Face Top Competition on Dec. 31

St. Cloud State will travel to the Grand Canyon Duals on Dec. 31 in Phoenix, Ariz. This tournament is hosted by Grand Canyon University. SCSU will compete in four duals on the day starting against California Baptist. The remainder of the day includes matches against #18 Colorado Mesa, #8 Mercyhurst and host #5 Grand Canyon. Fans can watch the match against Grand Canyon live on the American One Pay Per View service at http://www.b2livetv.com/partner_members.asp?id=28.

HUSKY NOTES:

  • The #3 St. Cloud State wrestling team will travel to the Cliff Keen National Duals on Jan. 7-8 in Springfield, Ill. The Huskies placed third at this elite tournament last year. DII Teams scheduled to compete at the tournament include: Augustana, Central Missouri, Central Oklahoma, Findlay, Kings, Limestone, Maryville, Nebraska Kearney, Newberry College, Northern State, San Francisco State, SCSU, Truman State, UM- Mankato, Upper Iowa, and UW-Parkside.
  • Tad Merritt was named the NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 12 after his first place finish at 174-pounds at the 2011 Husky Open. A four-time Husky Open champion, Merritt defeated #2 ranked Luke Rynish of UW-Parkside in the title bout at 174. Merritt is currently ranked #1 in the nation at 165-pounds with a 13-2 record in 2011-12.
  • Other SCSU wrestlers to capture first place finishes at the 2011 Husky Open were Jake Kahnke at 285, Zach Stewart at 133 and Dan Dick at 165. Kahnke is also ranked #1 in the nationa at 285-pounds in the last DII national poll. As a team, SCSU was ranked #3 in the poll.
  • The Huskies earned the #1 spot in the 2011-12 NSIC preseason poll. The Huskies also received the top spot in the 2011-12 preseason national poll. Senior Tad Merritt was ranked #1 in the nation at 165-pounds and Jake Kahnke was ranked #2 in the nation at 285-pounds in the DII preseason polls. In those same preseason polls, Shamus O’Grady (174) and Derek Skala (184) both gained #4 rankings and Jacob D. Horn (149) was ranked 7th.
  • Kahnke tops the team this season with a 15-1 record. Zach Stewart and Dan Dick rank second on the team with 14 wins apiece. Josh Howk, Kurt Salmen and Luke Munkelwitz have also impressed this year with 13 wins apiece.
  • St. Cloud State University (19-2, 6-1 NSIC) set a new team standard by capturing 2nd place at the 2011 NCAA Division II championships on March 11-12 in Kearney, Neb. This is the best finish at a national championship for the Huskies since the program started in 1949-50. The previous best efforts for the Huskies were 3rd place finishes at the NAIA tournament in 1963 and 1965. In NCAA Division II action, the best finish prior to 2011 was a 7th place finish in 2010 and 1983. SCSU scored 90.5 team points at the NCAA championships, while Nebraska-Omaha won its third consecutive team title with 102.5 points. This was the most points scored at a national meet by the Huskies in team history. The previous high was 50 points scored at the NCAA tournament in 2010.
  • SCSU’s John Sundgren captured 1st place at the NCAA championships in the 157-pound bracket. He was the first Husky to win a national title since Gene Hanemann won his title in 1995. This was the 12th individual national title for a Husky wrestling since 1958, and it was just the 2nd NCAA Division II individual national title for a Husky wrestler.
  • The Huskies bring back the following All-Americans from the 2011 championships: Jacob Kahnke (2nd at 285), Tad Merritt (3rd at 165), Shamus O’Grady (4th at 174) and Jacob D. Horn (5th at 149). Senior Derek Skala was a redshirt last year but he has earned All-America honors at previous NCAA meets.
  • Tad Merritt set a new team record for victories in 2010-11. Merritt charted a 40-4 overall record last winter. Merritt currently owns 119 career wins at SCSU in his first four seasons of competition.

UPCOMING MATCHES:

  • Dec. 31 – at Grand Canyon Duals in Phoenix, Ariz.