The North Dakota State wrestling team travels to Cedar Falls, Iowa for the NCAA West Regional Sunday, March 4. The regional serves as the national qualifying tournament for the Western Wrestling Conference. Action begins at the McLeod Center on the campus of Northern Iowa at 11 a.m. Central. Finals will be held at 4 p.m. Central. The NCAA allocated 17 automatic qualifying spots to the West Regional based on Division I winning percentage, Coaches’ Panel Rankings and RPI.
NDSU is looking to improve on last year’s fourth place finish at the NCAA West Regional. The Bison have lost two-time 157 pound champion Vince Salminen, but 11th ranked Steven Monk looks to continue the Bison streak at that weight class after finishing second at 165 pounds last year. At 125 pounds, No.19 Trent Sprenkle looks to avenge an 0-2 performance last year. Mark Erickson aims to improve on a fourth place finish at 149 pounds.
Three Bison in final Coaches’ Panel Rankings
Steven Monk is ranked No. 10 at 157 pounds, junior Trent Sprenkle is No. 19 at 125 pounds and junior Mac Stoll is No. 32 at 184 pounds in the final edition of the NCAA Division I Coaches’ Panel Rankings released Feb. 23 by the NCAA. Both Monk and Stoll maintained the same rank from the second edition, which was released Feb. 9. Sprenkle moved up one spot. Additionally, the NCAA released the second Rating Percentage Index (RPI). Four members of the Bison were named in the top 33 of their respective weight classes. To be eligible for an RPI ranking, a wrestler must have a minimum of 17 Division I matches at a given weight class. Monk is No. 10 in the RPI at 157 pounds, Sprenkle is No. 18 at 125 pounds and Stoll is No. 16 at 184 pounds. Mark Erickson is No. 32 at 149 pounds.
Monk No. 11, Sprenkle No. 19 in InterMat rankings
North Dakota State sophomore Steven Monk maintained his position as No. 11 at 157 pounds in the latest InterMat rankings released Feb. 28. He is also ranked No. 11 by WrestlingReport.com, No. 8 by WIN Magazine and No. 12 by D1 College Wrestling. Junior Trent Sprenkle holds down his position as No. 19 at125 pounds in the InterMat rankings. Sprenkle is ranked No. 18 by WIN Magazine, No. 19 by D1 College Wrestling and No. 21 by WrestlingReport.com.
Wyoming defeats NDSU in regular season finale
Steven Monk was the lone Bison to pick up a win in NDSU’s 31-6 loss to No. 11 Wyoming on Friday, Feb. 17, pinning Andy McCulley in 6:08. The win gave Wyoming its third WWC title in the past four years. Prior to the dual, four Bison seniors – Tyler Johnson, Mark Erickson, Justin Solberg and Mac Stoll – were recognized for their contributions to the program.
Monk first Bison to 30
Steven Monk hit the 30-win mark for the first time in his career with his win against Wyoming. Three other Bison have reached the 20-win mark for the year. Trent Sprenkle has 27, while Mark Erickson and Mac Stoll have 20 each. Monk also leads the team in dual wins with 13.