#1 St. Cloud State Wrestling to Host St. John’s on Feb. 2

The #1 ranked St. Cloud State Huskies (18-0, 5-0- NSIC) will return to Halenbeck Hall on Feb. 2 for a 7 p.m. match-up against cross-county rival St. John’s University. This match has been designated as Military Appreciation Night and all active members of the military and veterans will be admitted free to the match. As a special salute to the U.S. military, the Huskies will be wearing special camo singlets for the match. These unique singlets will be auctioned off at the end of the match with all proceeds going to a designated military charity.

The Match:
Feb. 2 – St. John’s at #1 St. Cloud State, 7 p.m. – Military Appreciation Night (Tickets Available at the Gate)

HUSKY HEADLINERS:

  • In one of the top DII duals of the winter, #1 SCSU gained a big 26-9 win over #3 Augustana on Jan. 27 in Halenbeck Hall. The Huskies earned key wins by Dylan Wright (125), Andy Pokorny (133) and Jay Hildreth (141) over their nationally ranked opponents from Augie to ice the win. To finish the weekend, SCSU chalked up a 33-6 win over Southwest Minnesota State on Jan. 28. This match was held in the Canby H.S. gymnasium in Canby, Minn. SCSU senior Tad Merritt is a resident of Canby, who won state champion honors during his prep career at Canby H.S.
  • For his big win over Augie, Andy Pokorny was named the NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 30.
  • SCSU remained in the #1 spot in the latest DII coaches’ poll released on Jan. 25, ahead of #2 Newberry and #3 Upper Iowa. Merritt (165) and Kahnke (285) are both ranked #1 in this week’s national poll, while O’Grady (174), Skala (184) and Munkelwitz (197) are all ranked #3. Jacob D. Horn is ranked #5 at 157 in the poll this week. SCSU is also ranked #1 in this week’s DII Super Region 3 poll.
  • Tad Merritt leads the Huskies with 27 wins this season (27-2) and he also has 15 pins. Jake Kahnke is 26-1 this season, while Luke Munkelwitz owns a 21-4 record this winter. Others of note include Derek Skala at 20-2 and Josh Howk is 21-12 this year with a team-high 16 pins. Merritt currently has 133 career wins, and he needs nine more wins this season to tie the SCSU career record of 142 wins set by Dustin Darveaux from 1999-03.
  • 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.
  • The top finish at the 2012 NWCA DII National Duals was the best finish for the Huskies at that prestigious tournament. Last year, SCSU finished in third place at the NWCA DII National Duals.