Three Bison Set to Compete at NCAA Championships

FARGO, N.D. – Three members of the North Dakota State wrestling team will compete at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo. 125-pounder Trent Sprenkle and 157-pounder Steven Monk automatically qualified after winning NCAA West Regional titles two weeks ago. Mac Stoll earned an at-large bid at 184 pounds after finishing third at the regional.

Sprenkle preview
At 125 pounds, Trent Sprenkle (30-10) will open against Vince Rodriguez (18-9) of George Mason, the CAA runner-up. The winner will take on the winner of the bout between No. 1 seeded Matt McDonough (31-1) of Iowa and Jared Germaine (23-9) of Eastern Michigan. Sprenkle is 3-7 against ranked wrestlers this year with two of his wins coming against Wyoming’s Michael Martinez.Sprenkle earned an at-large bid to the championships last year and advanced to the consolation quarterfinals before being eliminated.

Monk preview
Steven Monk is the only Bison to earn one of the top 12 seeds at 157 pounds. This will be his first trip to the NCAA Championships. As the No. 12 seed, Monk (32-7) will wrestle MAC champion Donnie Corby (16-9) of Central Michigan in the first round. The winner will advance to wrestle the winner of No. 5 seed Ganbayar Sanja (22-3) of American and either Josh Demas of Ohio State or Mallie Schuster of Kent State. Demas and Schuster wrestle a play-in match with the winner taking on Sanja. Monk has compiled a record of 8-4 against ranked wrestlers this year.

Stoll preview
First-time NCAA qualifier Mac Stoll (23-12) will wrestle No. 9 seed and Southern Conference champion Austin Trotman (33-4) of Appalachian State in the first round. The winner will take on the winner of the bout between No. 8 seed Ryan Loder (32-4) of Northern Iowa, a WWC foe, and Grant Gambrall (10-10) of Iowa. Stoll was the only wrestler out of the Western Wrestling Conference to earn an at-large bid this year.

Live coverage
Television coverage will be available on multiple ESPN platforms. Updated brackets will be available on
Thursday, March 15 – Session 1 – First Round, 11 a.m. Central –
Thursday, March 15 – Session 2 – Second Round, 6:30 p.m. Central –
Friday, March 16 – Session 3 – Quarterfinals, 10 a.m. Central – ESPNU/
Friday, March 16 – Session 4 – Semifinals, 6 p.m. Central – ESPNU/
Saturday, March 17 – Session 5 – Medal Round, 10 a.m. Central – ESPNU/
Saturday, March 17 – Session 6 – Finals, 6:30 p.m. Central – ESPN/

Six Bison named All-WWC
Trent Sprenkle and Steven Monk earned first team All-Western Wrestling Conference honors after winning titles at the NCAA West Regional. Monk was a second team honoree last year. Four Bison were also named to the third team – Mark Erickson, Tyler Johnson, Mac Stoll and Evan Knutson.

Sprenkle, Monk win NCAA West Regional titles
Trent Sprenkle went 3-0 to claim the West Regional title at 125 pounds. He defeated No. 18 Michael Martinez of Wyoming in the final, 4-2. Steven Monk claimed the 157 pound title with a dominating 3-0 run, giving up only one point in three matches. He won a 4-0 decision over No. 17 David Bonin of Northern Iowa in the final. Four members of the team also placed third at the regional – Mark Erickson at 149, Tyler Johnson at 174, Mac Stoll at 184 and Evan Knutson at heavyweight.