#1 St. Cloud State Wrestling Complete Regular Season at MSU on Feb. 16

The #1 ranked St. Cloud State Huskies (20-0, 6-0- NSIC) will complete the regular season on Feb. 16 with a 7 p.m. dual match at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn. This will mark the end of the NSIC dual season for the Huskies and a victory at MSU would provide the Huskies with the regular season title in the NSIC. This would be SCSU first regular season conference title for the Huskies since 1977-78.

THE MATCH:
Feb. 16: #1 St. Cloud State at RV Minnesota State University, 7 p.m.

FOLLOW SCOTT NELSEN’S LIVE CHAT ON THURSDAY:
http://www.msumavericks.com/sports/2012/2/1/WREST_0201120709.aspx?id=314

HUSKIES HEADLINERS:

  • The #1 Huskies set a team record by winning their 20th dual match of the season with a huge 19-12 win over #3 Upper Iowa on Feb. 12 at Halenbeck Hall. In front of a big Senior/Alumni Day crowd, the Huskies fell behind early in the match by a tally of 9-3 but then recovered to gain the win, which include bout victories at 165-pounds, 174-pounds and 184-pounds. The old SCSU season record of 19 dual wins in a season was set in 2010-11.
  • SCSU remained in the #1 spot in the latest DII coaches’ poll released on Feb. 7, 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, while Dylan Wright is ranked #7 at 125 and Andy Pokorny is ranked #4 at 133. SCSU is also ranked #1 in this week’s DII Super Region 3 poll.
  • Tad Merritt leads the Huskies with 29 wins this season (29-2) and he also has 15 pins. Jake Kahnke is 28-1 this season, while Luke Munkelwitz owns a 21-4 record this winter. Others of note include Derek Skala at 22-2 and Josh Howk is 22-13 this year with a team-high 16 pins. Merritt currently has 135 career wins, and he needs eight more wins this season to tie the SCSU career record of 142 wins set by Dustin Darveaux from 1999-03. Of note, Howk needs just one more pin to tie the team record of 17 pins set by Tad Merritt in 2008-09.
  • Steve Costanzo ranks second in the SCSU records with 78 dual match wins as the Huskies’ head coach after six seasons at the helm. He only trails Husky legend John Oxton, who had 167 wins from 1967-87 at SCSU.
  • 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.
  • The Huskies clinched a share of first place in the NSIC regular season dual meet standings with the win over Upper Iowa. The Huskies will finish their NSIC dual season on Feb. 16 with a match at Minnesota State in Mankato…if the Huskies can collect a win at Minnesota State, it would mark the first time since 1980-81 that the Huskies have finished their conference dual meet schedule with an undefeated record. SCSU charted a 6-0 record in the NIC under the leadership of Coach John Oxton that season…a victory over Minnesota State would also mark the first regular season conference title for the Huskies since they won first place in the NSIC back in 1977-78 (then called the NIC)…a victory over Minnesota State would also mark the first time that the Huskies have finished their dual meet season with an undefeated record.
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