SJU Finishes Seventh at National Duals

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Saint John’s finished seventh out of 16 teams with a 1-1 record on the final day of the NWCA/Cliff Keen Division III National Duals Sunday, Jan. 8, in Springfield, Ill.

The Johnnies came out flat-footed and dropped their first dual of the day to No. 10 Olivet (Mich.) before avenging Saturday’s opening-round, one-point loss to Mount Union (Ohio) with a 24-13 victory over the Purple Raiders Sunday afternoon.

Senior Chad Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer), ranked No. 10 at 133 pounds according to, answered a Comet pin at 125 with a 10-6 decision over Robbie Bidlingmaier, the ninth-ranked wrestler at 125. Olivet, however, answered with five straight wins to take a commanding 24-3 lead.

Junior Nick Schuler (Roseville, Minn./Totino-Grace) lost a tough 4-2 decision to James Myers, who is ranked as high as fourth, at 165 pounds. Senior Matt Pfarr (Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson) followed suit with a close 11-8 loss to Trevor Tyler, who is ranked as high as seventh at 174.

Junior Mitch Hagen (Sunburg, Minn./Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg), ranked sixth in the country by the NWCA, stopped the bleeding with a 9-5 win at 184. Senior Dustin Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska/West Valley) followed with a 3-2 win at 197 pounds to remain perfect in the tournament.

SJU (6-4 dual record) responded with a 24-13 win over Mount Union to claimed seventh. The dual’s first four matches followed the same pattern as Saturday morning’s matchup, the difference of one point (11-3 Saturday to 10-3 Sunday), before sophomore Brandon Seppelt (Foley, Minn.) broke through with a 7-5 win at 157 pounds. Schuler gave SJU the lead for good with a pin at 165, followed by a 7-2 victory from Pfarr at 174. Hagen earned a 6-4 win and Baxter won via forfeit to give the Johnnies a 24-10 lead.

Baxter went 5-0 with a pin, major decision and two forfeits. He is now 18-0 on the season. Henle also posted a perfect 5-0 record to improve to 14-6 on the season. Hagen, Pfarr and Schuler all went 4-1 in the two-day tournament. All four wins for Schuler were bonus-point victories (two pins, a technical fall and a major decision), while Pfarr upset the fourth-ranked wrestler in Division III, Elmhurst’s (Ill.) Danny Balderas, 3-1 on Saturday.

The Johnnies return to action against No. 6 (Division II) Augustana (S.D.) this Saturday, Jan. 14. The dual is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Sexton Arena in Collegeville.

Results on Division III

No. 10 Olivet, Mich. (OC) 27, No. 7 Saint John’s (SJU) 9
125 – Esteban Gonzales (OC) pinned sophomore Matt Hickerson (SJU), 1:19 [0-6]
133 – Senior Chad Henle (No. 10, SJU) dec. Robbie Bidlingmaier (No. 9 @ 125, OC), 10-6 [3-6]
141 – Kenny Richmond (OC) tech. fall senior Scott Padrnos (SJU), 18-2 [3-11]
149 – Gage Pederson (OC) major dec. sophomore Joe Hessing (SJU), 16-5 [3-15]
157 – Steven Mena (OC) dec. junior Chris Stevermer (SJU), 8-3 [3-18]
165 – James Myers (No. 4/6, OC) dec. junior Nick Schuler (SJU), 4-2 [3-21]
174 – Trevor Tyler (No. 7/9, OC) dec. senior Matt Pfarr (SJU), 11-8 [3-24]
184 – Junior Mitch Hagen (No. 6, SJU) dec. Josh Crawford (OC), 9-5 [6-24]
197 – Senior Dustin Baxter (No. 2/3, SJU) dec. Justin Leonard (OC), 3-2 [9-24]
Hwt – Logan Renas (No. 10, OC) dec. sophomore John Scepaniak (SJU), 9-4 [9-27]

No. 7 Saint John’s (SJU) 24; No. 24 Mount Union, Ohio (UMU) 13
125 – Brad Kress (UMU) dec. freshman Brian Waldron (SJU), 9-4 [0-3]
133 – Senior Chad Henle (No. 10, SJU) dec. Bryant Roby (UMU), 6-5 [3-3]
141 – Josh Malave (No. 8/9, UMU) major dec. senior Scott Padrnos (SJU), 12-2 [3-7]
149 – Kevin Shadrach (UMU) dec. sophomore Ryan Arne (SJU), 11-5 [3-10]
157 – Sophomore Brandon Seppelt (SJU) dec. Jon Garrison (UMU), 7-5 [6-10]
165 – Junior Nick Schuler (SJU) pinned Joe Schindel (UMU), 1:21 [12-10]
174 – Senior Matt Pfarr (SJU) dec. Jeremy Hathaway (UMU), 7-2 [15-10]
184 – Junior Mitch Hagen (No. 6, SJU) dec. Andy Jenkins (UMU), 6-4 [18-10]
197 – Senior Dustin Baxter (No. 2/3, SJU) won by forfeit [24-10]
Hwt – Derick Hesson (No. 2/4, UMU) sophomore John Scepaniak (SJU), 8-2 [24-13]