MOORHEAD, Minn. – As Minnesota State University Moorhead hosted the 2011 Dragon Open Saturday, three Dragon wrestlers earned first place finishes. The Dragons hosted 15 teams in two divisions, the Red Division (upperclassmen) and the White Division (lowerclassmen).
Corey Ulmer led the way for the Dragons in the Red Division by earning the top spot in the 125 class for a second straight year. Ulmer began his day in quick fashion by pinning opponent Justin Valhuerdi (Itasca Community College) in 1:18. The Wishek native then continued his run to the top by earning an 8-0 major decision over cross-town rival Phil Levine (North Dakota State University). The semi-final match proved to be another stepping-stone for Ulmer as he took a 14-0 major decision against Lonny Booshu (Ridgewater College). The final match of the day came down to a three-point difference. Ulmer took on Bryden Lazaro (Dickinson State) and earned a 5-2 decision.
Eric Lehmann brought in one of two championships for the Dragons in the White Division. Lehmann coasted through the 197 class while pinning all of his opponents. The Wahpeton native began the day with a pin against Jordan Arndt (Rochester Community College) 54 seconds into the match. The second match for Lehmann proved to be more difficult. Jonathan Morales (Dickinson State) lasted 2:25 with Lehmann before the Dragon earned another pin victory. The semi-final match seemed to be the best performance for Lehmann as he pinned John Lendvoy (University of Regina) in just 50 seconds. After riding three pin victories into the final match, Lehmann earned the championship in the same fashion as his other wins. 4:23 into the match is when Lehmann ended Andrew Rodas’s (Southwest Minnesota State University) hopes for the title.
Zach Odden-Lemar was the only Dragon heavyweight in the White Division and the Casselton native made sure to bring the championship to the Dragon team. Odden-Lemar began his day by earning a 9-2 decision over Tayler Andrews (Minnesota West Comm and Tech). An injury to Ryan Karl (University of Minnesota, Duluth) sent Odden-Lemar to the semi-final match. Odden-Lemar faced Casey Johnson (SMSU) for a trip to the final and the Dragon came out victorious, 3-0. Cole Wilson, another Mustang, fell to the hands of Odden-Lemar as the Dragon took a 4-1 decision for the championship.
Jesse Puncochar and Jesse Munos earned trips to the semi-finals of the 165 class in the White Division. Puncochar began his day by defeating unattached wrestler JD Herst (Augustana), 7-1. Another six-point victory, this time over Coty Milhausen (Ridgewater College), put Puncochar in the semi-final with a match-up against Zach Reister (Augsburg College). Puncochar took a close 5-4 decision over Reister into the finals match. Unattached Tim Weber (Augustana) was the challenger for Puncochar and handed the Dragon his first loss of the day to set him in second place. Munos earned two big wins right away as the freshman defeated Jake Krogstad (Concordia College), 16-8, and Michael Downham (Ridgewater College), 16-0. The semi-final match-up for Munos was against eventual champion Weber. Weber took the match with an 8-4 decision to send Munos to the third-place match. Munos put up a fight against Reister but ultimately fell, 8-4.
The Dragons ride these high finishes into an 8th street rivalry against Concordia College on December 6. The dual will take place at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse with action starting at 7 p.m.