#1 St. Cloud State Wrestling to Host #3 Upper Iowa

Alumni and SCSU Seniors to be Saluted on Feb. 12

St. Cloud State will salute its Alumni Wrestlers and Senior Wrestlers on Feb. 12. This year’s group of seniors includes Tad Merritt, Lucas Munkelwitz, Derek Skala and Jake Tabbert. Senior student manager Kristine Schiller will also be recognized at the match. SCSU will also introduce the Alumni Wrestlers in attendance that day and a post-match reception for the SCSU Wrestling Alumni will take place at D.B. Searle’s in downtown St. Cloud. For more information on the Alumni/Senior Day festivities, please call the Wrestling Office at 320-308-2996 or e-mail sscostanzo@stcloudstate.edu

THE MATCH:
Feb. 12 – #3 Upper Iowa at #1 St. Cloud State, 2 p.m.

WATCH ON THE WEB:
http://www.pennatlantic.com/main.php?module=event-detail&eventId=23187

HUSKIES HEADLINERS:

  • The Huskies gained their 19th dual win of the season on. Feb. 2, with a 30-10 win over nearby rival St. John’s (ranked #8 in DIII wrestling this season). The victory tied the SCSU season record of 19 dual wins set during the 2010-11 season at 19-2. SCSU still has two more dual matches left on the 2011-12 schedule to break the team record. Dylan Wright (125) and Jacob Kahnke (285) both posted pinfalls in the match, while Jay Hildreth (141) and Jacob R. Horn (157) each had major decision wins over the Johnnies. Josh Howk also gained a tech fall over SJU at 149.
  • 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 28 wins this season (28-2) and he also has 15 pins. Jake Kahnke is 27-1 this season, while Luke Munkelwitz owns a 21-4 record this winter. Others of note include Derek Skala at 21-2 and Josh Howk is 22-12 this year with a team-high 16 pins. Merritt currently has 134 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. 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 77 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.
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