St. Cloud State University senior Tad Merritt (Canby/Canby H.S.) has been selected as the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 12. A team captain for the Huskies in 2011-12, Merritt earned the honor thanks to his first place finish in the 174-pound division at the 2011 Holiday Inn Husky Open on Dec. 10 in St. Cloud, Minn.
Merritt scored a perfect 4-0 record in tournament action, which included two pins and a major decision. To open the tournament, Merritt posted a 1:50 pin over Javon Davis (unattached). Merritt then scored a 14-4 major decision over Augsburg’s Justin Bowland. In the semi’s, Merritt notched a 4:49 pin against Brendan Eichmann of Minnesota State.
In the battle for first place at 174-pounds, Merritt charted a huge 8-7 overtime victory over UW-Parkside’s Luke Rynish, the nation’s number two ranked wrestler at 174-pounds. Merritt now owns a 13-2 record this season for the #3 Huskies.
For his work at the Husky Open, Merritt was named the tournament’s John Oxton Award Winner (MVP). The award is named after longtime SCSU wrestling Coach John Oxton, who led the Huskies from 1967 to 1987.
Of note, Merritt is currently ranked #1 in the nation at 165-pounds and will most likely move down to that weight class for the remainder of the season. This marked the fourth consecutive season that Merritt has won first place honors at the Husky Open.
The #3 ranked Huskies will return to the mats on Dec. 31 with an appearance at the Grand Canyon Duals in Phoenix, Ariz. SCSU is slated to wrestle Mercyhurst, Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon and Colorado Mesa at the tournament.
Check out the video interview below with Tad Merritt and assistant coach Brady Wilson after the Husky Open on Dec. 10.