#1 St. Cloud State Headed to NCAA Championships on March 9-10

The #1 ranked Huskies (21-0, 7-0- NSIC) will travel to the NCAA Division II championships on March 9-10. The tournament will be hosted by Colorado State University-Pueblo in Pueblo, Colo. SCSU finished the 2010-11 season as the runner-up at the NCAA championships last winter.

Complete Tournament Information:

NCAA Championship Brackets Website:


  • The Huskies are fresh from their second consecutive NCAA Division II Super Region 3 championship, which they claimed on Feb. 26 in Halenbeck Hall. SCSU earned the top spot with 164.0 points, while Upper Iowa was second at 155.5. Senior Tad Merritt earned Outstanding Wrestler honors with his first place finish at 165-pounds, while SCSU’s Steve Costanzo was named the meet’s Coach of the Year. SCSU qualified seven wrestlers out of the regional including Merritt, Jake Kahnke (2nd at 285), Shamus O’Grady (2nd at 174), Lucas Mukelwitz (2nd at 197), Jacob D. Horn (2nd at 149), Derek Skala (3rd at 184) and Andy Pokorny (3rd at 133).
  • SCSU remained in the #1 spot in the latest DII coaches’ poll released on March 1, ahead of #2 Newberry and #3 Nebraska Kearney. Tad Merritt (165), was ranked #1 in this week’s national poll, while Jake Kahnke is ranked #2 at 285. Shamus O’Grady (174), Andy Pokorny (133) and Derek Skala (184) were ranked #3 and Jacob D. Horn is ranked #4 at 149 in the poll. Lucas Munkelwitz was ranked #5 in the poll at 197.
  • Tad Merritt leads the Huskies with 33 wins this season (33-2) and he also has 17 pins. Jake Kahnke is 33-2 this season, while Luke Munkelwitz owns a 25-5 record this winter. Others of note include Derek Skala at 27-4 and Andy Pokorny at 27-11. Merritt currently has 139 career wins, and he needs three more wins this season to tie the SCSU career record of 142 wins set by Dustin Darveaux from 1999-03. Merritt also tie his own record of 17 pins set in 2008-09, with his 17th pin of the season at the Regional.
  • Steve Costanzo ranks second in the SCSU records with 79 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.
  • DID YOU KNOW?: At 7-0 in 2011-12 in NSIC competition, this marks 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…this is SCSU’s first conference title since the Huskies won the NSIC crown back in 1977-78 (then called the NIC)…this is the first time in team history that SCSU has finished its dual season with an unblemished record (21-0)…this marks the first time in Coach Costazno’s coaching career that he has gone undefeated. In 2005-06, Costanzo’s team at Dana College placed first in the nation at the NAIA tournament and finished the year with an 18-1-1 record…SCSU will send several NCAA vets to the upcoming championships including 4-time national qualifiers Tad Merritt, Lucas Munkelwitz and Derek Skala. Three-time qualifers out of SCSU include Jake Kahnke and Shamus O’Grady, while Jacob D. Horn is a two-time qualifier. Andy Pokorny is making his first NCAA appearance for the Huskies…the Huskies established a new team standard in 2011-12 by earning six All-America awards at the NCAA championships. SCSU qualified eight wrestlers for the nationals last year and placed 2nd behind Nebraska-Omaha.

2011-12 SCSU Honors:

  • Daktronics Open 1st Place: Jake Kahnke (285)
  • Daktronics Open 1st Place: Derek Skala (184)
  • NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 8: Jake Kahnke
  • Finn Grinaker Open 1st place: Tad Merrritt (174)
  • Finn Grinaker Open 1st place: Lucas Munkelwitz (197)
  • NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 12: Tad Merritt
  • NSIC Wreslter of the Week on Jan. 3: Tad Merritt
  • NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 9: Lucas Munkelwitz
  • NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 30: Andy Pokorny
  • 2012 NWCA DII National Duals – 1st place
  • 2011-12 NSIC Regular Season Champions
  • 2012 NCAA Division II Super Region 3 Champions
  • Tad Merritt – Super Region 3 Tournament Outstanding Wrestler
  • Tad Merritt – Super Region 3 champion at 165
  • Steve Costanzo – Super Region 3 Tournament Coach of the Year
  • 2012 NCAA Championships Qualifiers: Tad Merrit (165), Jake Kahnke (285), Shamus O’Grady (174), Derek Skala (184), Jacob D. Horn (149), Lucas Munkelwitz (197), Andy Pokorny (133).

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