Mustangs begin NSIC season on Sunday at No. 3 Upper Iowa

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State University wrestling team will open the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference portion of its schedule on Sunday, Jan. 22, traveling to Fayette, Iowa to take on No. 3 Upper Iowa University. The dual is set for a 2 p.m. start at Dorman Gymnasium.

About the Mustangs: Southwest Minnesota State enters the dual with a record of 6-2 on the season in dual meets. The match will be SMSU’s first NSIC contest of the season. The Mustangs are coming off a 2-1 performance at the Western State Duals last weekend where SMSU earned a 20-19 victory over 20th-ranked Colorado State-Pueblo and a 22-15 win over Colorado Mesa University, who is receiving votes in the latest national polls.

The Mustangs have six wrestlers that have picked up 10-plus wins on the season, led by Jacob Begin who enters the dual with a record of 14-4 on the season. Justin Reinsma owns a season record of 12-9 while senior Martin Hagen boasts a record of 12-5. Ethan Hildebrandt has won five straight matches to improve to 11-6 on the season. Cole Wilson has had a strong showing at heavyweight compiling a 10-1 record on the season.

About the Peacocks: Upper Iowa enters the dual with a record of 6-1 on the season, including 2-0 in the NSIC. UIU is currently ranked third in the nation and third in the region. The Peacocks are riding a three-match winning streak after winning its first two conference duals of the season last weekend against Northern State and U-Mary. UIU has five wrestlers ranked in the top-10 in the nation in their respective weight classes, including two individuals ranked No. 1. Kyle Pedretti is ranked first in the nation at 125 pounds and Trevor Franklin is ranked first at 133 pounds.

The series: Southwest Minnesota State and Upper Iowa will meet for the 12th time in a series that began during the 1991-92 season. The Peacocks hold the series lead at 7-4. UIU is currently riding a seven-match winning streak over the Mustangs.

In the ranks: Southwest Minnesota State is currently ranked sixth in the NSIC rankings and eighth in the NCAA Super Region 3 rankings released on Wednesday, Jan. 11. The Mustangs received seven points in the regional rankings and 13 points in the NSIC rankings. Justin Reinsma is ranked fifth in the region and the NSIC while Jacob Begin currently ranks third in the region and second in the NSIC at 165 pounds. Senior Martin Hagen ranks sixth in the region and fifth in the NSIC at 197 pounds while senior Brian Rodas ranks fourth in the region and the NSIC.

Player of the Week: Jacob Begin was named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Wrestler of the Week on Monday Jan. 16.

Begin won all five of his matches last week, starting with a 13-5 major decision over Nicholas Hutcheson of Dakota Wesleyan on Wednesday. Begin helped the Mustangs to its win over Waldorf (Iowa) pinning Cameron Childs at 1:07. The sophomore continued to wrestle strong for the Mustangs at the Western State Duals in Gunnison, Colo. Begin helped the Mustangs pick up a 20-19 win over No. 20 Colorado State-Pueblo pinning Matt Addington at 4:14. He followed that with a 10-3 decision over Chester Granard of Colorado Mesa University and a 10-6 decision over Cody Frankum of Western State (Colo.). Begin is the first Mustang to earn NSIC Wrestler of the Week honors this season.

Projected lineups:

SMSU
125 – Travis Borchert (8-6)
133 – Justin Reinsma (12-9)
141 – Ethan Hildebrandt (11-6)
149 – Codie Lane (7-8)
157 – Josh Anderson (2-9)
165 – Jacob Begin (14-4)
174 – Trent Molacek 5-7)
184 – Andrew Rodas (7-7) or Micah Larson (6-7)
197 – Martin Hagen (12-5)
285 – Brian Rodas (2-0)

Upper Iowa
125 – No. 1 Kyle Pedretti (14-2)
133 – No. 1 Trevor Franklin (15-0)
141 – Duane Richardson (15-13) or Blake Hilmer (13-15)
149 – Jordan Rinken (23-4)
157 – Winston Robbins (20-7)
165 – Blake Sorensen (16-6)
174 – No. 6 Wade Gobin (25-10)
184 – No. 4 Mitch Schultz (19-4)
197 – No. 4 Carl Broghammer (20-7)
285 – Luke Stika (14-13)