A week after dropping its home opener to Drexel, South Dakota State showed major improvements at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open, hosted by Iowa State University. Nine Jackrabbits reached the quarterfinals, including Alex Kocer, Isaac Andrade, Hunter Weddington and J.J. Everard, who each reached the semifinals. Andrade, a freshman and Weddington, a sophomore, were each competing unattached for SDSU.
After receiving a first-round bye, Andrade defeated UNK’s Jake Gentzler 6-4, Central’s Daniel Page 8-2 and SCSU’s Dallas Collier to reach the semis where he defeated Iowa State’s Earl Hall in overtime. Andrade dropped a major decision to Minnesota in the title bout.
“Zeke (Andrade) stepped up today,” head coach Chris Bono said. “We knew he had potential and he finally showed it. He beat some quality opponents and didn’t back down from anyone. The sky is the limit, he just has to continue to train everyday.”
Kocer, a redshirt freshman, defeated St. Cloud State’s Brady Johnshoy 11-0 in the second round after initially receiving a bye. Kocer went on to defeat Iowa State’s nationally ranked Luke Goettl and Minnesota’s Jake Short in back-to-back matches to reach the semifinals. Kocer fell to Minnesota’s Conrad Rangell via major decision. Kocer bounced back with back-to-back wins, including a pin in the consolation semis to take third.
Everard defeated SCSU’s Lukji Belich 9-4, and pinned Iowa State’s Quean Smith and Nebraska-Kearney’s Ivan DeLeon in back-to-back matches to reach the semifinals. Everard went on to lose back-to-back decisions to Golden Gophers en route to a fourth-place finish.
Weddington defeated Iowa Central’s Bryce Fisher 10-3 and pinned ISU Wrestling Club’s Jeffrey Henry before defeating ISU’s Jacyn Goebel to reach the semis where he fell in a major decision to Minnesota’s Scott Schiller.
Weddington dropped the fifth-place match en route to a sixth-place finish.
John Nething II, (174 pounds) Trey Hable (197 pounds) and Nate Rotert (197 pounds) also reached the quarterfinals.
Other Jackrabbits to place included Pack, who took fifth via a tech fall in the fifth-place match, Brewster, who took fourth and Ben Schwery, who took fifth.
“It was nice to come out here and compete after our dual last weekend against Drexel, Bono said. “We trained really hard this week and tried to correct our problem areas and we fixed some, but we have a long way to go.”
SDSU will return to the mat Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. as Nebraska makes the trek to Frost Arena.