Southwest State Visits the SJU Mat Friday Night

The Saint john’s wrestling team hosts Division II Southwest Minnesota State for a 7:30 p.m. dual on Friday, Dec. 13, at Sexton Arena in Collegeville.

Saint John's JohnniesA LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: The nationally-ranked Saint John’s wrestling team (2-2 overall) returns to action after going 2-1 at the Wisconsin-La Crosse Duals last Saturday (Dec. 7). SJU, ranked No. 18 by the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA), started the day with a 28-6 win over No. 21 Wisconsin-Stevens Point and tallied a 31-10 victory over NAIA Waldorf (Iowa) before falling to No. 25 Cornell (Iowa), 26-11. The Johnnies cut their deficit against Cornell to 13-11, but lost the final four matches.

Both of SJU’s nationally-ranked wrestlers went undefeated on the day. Senior Ryan Arne (Orono, Minn.), ranked eighth at 157 pounds (NWCA), topped Stevens Point’s Jamey Simmons (7-4) and Waldorf’s Bryce Robbins (17-3), one point from a technical fall, and posted his second major decision of the day against Cornell, 10-0. Sophomore Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer), ranked fifth (NWCA) at 141 pounds, tallied a 3-2 win over the Pointers’ Jared Kust, a transfer from Division II St. Cloud State, and returned to the mat with an 11-1 major decision against Cornell’s Samuel Chalkley.

The Johnnies posted perfect 3-0 records at 141, 157 and 165 pounds on the day. Junior Evan Guffey (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) won his lone match of the day, 3-2, at 141 pounds, while senior Brandon Seppelt (Foley, Minn.), recorded a trio of decisions at 165.

Senior John Scepaniak (Avon, Minn./Holdingford) and junior Ryan Michaelis (Monticello, Minn.) went 2-1 at heavyweight and 197 pounds, respectively.

VS. DIVISION III: Though each of them have two losses on the year, Arne (6-2 record) and Henle (5-2 overall) combine for a 7-1 record against NCAA Division III opponents so far this season. Four (pin, technical fall and two major decisions) of Arne’s six wins were for bonus points with his lone loss decided by a 6-3 score to fifth-ranked Will Keeter of Augsburg Nov. 23. Henle, meanwhile, is 4-0 against Division III competitors, including two major decisions.

A LOOK AT THE MUSTANGS: Southwest State (2-2 overall), like SJU, went 2-1 at the La Crosse Duals last Saturday. The Mustangs’ lone loss was a 25-15 decision to No. 19 (Division III) Wisconsin-La Crosse. SMSU, which fell to Concordia-Moorhead by an 18-15 score Nov. 13 at home, touts two nationally-ranked wrestlers at the Division II level: senior Justin Reinsma (12-7 record), No. 8 at 133 pounds; and senior Jacob Begin (9-5 record), No. 7 at 174 pounds. Reinsma is a two-time All-American, while Begin was a national qualifier at 165 pounds with a 17-5 record in 2012-13.

SERIES HISTORY: The Johnnies are 5-2 all-time against the Mustangs. The last time these two teams met in a dual match resulted in a 38-6 SJU win on Jan. 16, 2008, in Marshall.

SATURDAY: SJU travels to compete at the St. Cloud State Husky Open at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in Halenbeck Hall.

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