Waterloo, Iowa – The #1 St. Cloud State University wrestling team captured its third consecutive NCAA Division II Super Region 3 championship on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa.
The Huskies posted 140.5 team points ahead of second place Upper Iowa with 95.5 points. SCSU captured four individual titles at the region tournament and will advance nine wrestlers to the upcoming NCAA Division II championships on March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala.
The Huskies also brought home first place finishes at 133-pounds by senior Andy Pokorny, 157-pounds by redshirt freshman Clint Poster and 285-pounds by senior Jacob Kahnke. SCSU gained second place finishes at 125-pounds by sophomore Eric Forde and 149-pounds by Jacob D. Horn.
SCSU wrestlers also earning trips to the DII championships for third place finishes at the regional include freshman Matt Nelson at 141-pounds, freshman Gabe Fogarty at 165-pounds and senior Kurt Salmen at 174-pounds.
O’Grady charted a 4-0 record for the Huskies at 184-pounds as he charted two major decisions in the opening rounds of the regional. In the semifinals, O’Grady scored a 6-2 win over #5 Sean Derry of Augustana. He capped the day with a big 2-0 win over Aaron Norgren of Minnesota State.
In another big win for the Huskies, 2 Kahnke gained a thrilling 3-1 win in overtime against 1 Matt Meulners of Northern State. To reach the showdown against the two-time defending national champ from NSU, Kahnke scored two wins in the opening rounds and then scored a 3-0 win over James Malechek of UW-Parkside.
At 133-pounds, #3 Pokorny opened with wins in the first two rounds before charting a 9-2 win over Alphonso Vruno of MSU. In the title bout, Pokorny gained a big 4-1 win over Upper Iowa’s Trevor Franklin.
At 157-pounds, Poster gained a first round bye and added a second round win to set up a 4-0 win over #3 seed Bryce Lumzy of Upper Iowa. In the title match, Poster grabbed the title with 7-2 win over Joey Moorhouse of Maryville.
At 149-pounds, Horn received a first round bye and won his quarterfinal match. In the semi’s Horn charted a 4-1 win over #1 seed Nate Herda of Augustana. In the bout for first place, Horn dropped a 4-1 match to Keenan Hagerty of Maryville.
The Huskies added another second place finish at 125-pounds. Forde received a first place bye and posted a quarterfinal victory over NSU’s Anthony Bruno. In the semi’s, Forde charted a key 2-1 decision over #2 seed David Demo of MSU. In the bout for first, Forde lost a 5-0 decision against #1 seed Alex Johns of Indianapolis.
At 141-pounds, Nelson gained a quarterfinal technical fall over Matt Ruby of Minot State. In the semi’s Nelson suffered a 4-3 loss to Justin Kieffer of Indianapolis. Nelson charged back with a pair of wins in the wrestlebacks that was capped by a 16-6 win over Angel Vega of MSU Moorhead in the bout for third place.
At 165-pounds, Fogarty earned a first round win before losing in the quarterfinals. In the wrestlebacks, Fogarty stayed alive with a 6-5 decision against Northern State’s Blake Lundgren. He then added a 7-3 win over Wade Gobin of UIU. In the bout for third place, Fogarty scored a 12-5 win over Jeff Weiss of Indianapolis.
Salmen earned his trip to the NCAA finals with his third place ending at 174-pounds. After a first round bye, Salmen scored a 6-3 win over Shelby Mappes of Indianapolis. In the semi’s Salmen lost a close 3-2 match to Blake Sorensen of UIU. Salmen fired back with a 4-1 win over #1 seed Brendan Eichmann of MSU in the wrestlebacks and then scored a 10-1 major over Josh Anthony of UW-Parkside in the bout for third.
At 197-pounds, SCSU’s Chris Brassell won a first round match against Micah Larson of SMSU. He lost in the quarterfinals and then advanced to the wrestleback semi’s before losing to Davien Willis of UW-P. In the bout for fifth place, Brassell lost a close 6-5 decision to Northern State’s Chad Gibson.
The four individual titles marks the most Super Region 3 titles won by the Huskies.
SCSU will continue its season with a trip to the 2013 NCAA Division II championships on March 8-9 at the Spring Sports Festival in Birmingham, Alabama.
SCSU has finished as the runner-up at the NCAA championships in 2012 and 2011.