Strong Competition Hands SJU a 1-2 Record at National Duals

DES MOINES, Iowa – No. 22 Saint John’s went 1-2 at the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA/Cliff Keen Division III National Duals on Saturday, Jan. 11, in Des Moines, Iowa. Both losses were to top-five programs.

SJU (7-8 dual record) started the day with a 27-12 loss to No. 5 Wilkes (Pa.) and defeated Centenary (N.J.) 27-23 before ending the day, and the dual tournament, with a 21-19 loss to No. 3 Wabash (Ind.).

Saint John's JohnniesWilkes jumped out to an 8-0 lead before sophomore Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer) put SJU on the scoreboard with a 6-5 decision at 141 pounds. With the match tied at 4-4, Henle picked up a point for riding time and another for stalling in the third period.

The Colonels picked up their second technical fall of the dual at 149 pounds before senior Ryan Arne (Orono, Minn.) turned heads with a 4-3 upset of Kris Krawchuck, last year’s national runner-up and the second-ranked wrestler at 157. Down 2-0 entering the third period, Arne tallied a takedown and a two-point near-fall to earn the victory.

A 10-7 lead escaped senior Brandon Seppelt (Foley, Minn.) late in an 11-10 loss at 165 pounds and the skid continued for the Johnnies until senior John Scepaniak (Avon, Minn./Holdingford) posted a pin at the 3:27 mark in a match between two national qualifiers from last season.

Sophomore John Wells (Janesville, Wis./Milton), on the cusp of earning a technical fall, started the dual against unranked Centenary with a win via injury default at 125 pounds. The Cyclones gained a 7-6 lead before junior Joe Hessing (Loretto, Minn./Delano) and Arne recorded back-to-back pins to give the Johnnies an 18-7 lead. CC answered with a major decision and two pins of their own to take a 23-18 lead with two matches left.

Junior Ryan Michaelis (Monticello, Minn.) earned a solid 4-0 win at 197 pounds to cut the Johnnies’ deficit to two before sophomore Matt Kadrlik (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley) brought the win home with a pin at heavyweight.

SJU built a 10-3 lead over Wabash, but the third-ranked Little Giants, sparked by an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on SJU following Arne’s match at 157 pounds, won four straight matches to build a 21-10 lead. Arne fell in his match, 5-2, to third-ranked Reece Lefever. When SJU head coach Brandon Novak questioned as to why Arne was not awarded back points, the referee issued the penalty and awarded Wabash an additional team point.

Michaelis earned a decision at 197 pounds and Scepaniak closed the dual with another pin.

NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals Results and Information

The Johnnies travel to compete at the Cornell (Iowa) Matman Invitational next Saturday, Jan. 18, in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

No. 5 Wilkes (WU) 27, No. 22 Saint John’s (SJU) 12
125: Michael Fleck (WU) tech. fall John Wells, 16-1 [0-5]
133: Myzar Mendoza (No. 10, WU) dec. Mike Pleski, 7-0 [0-8]
141: Ben Henle (No. 9, SJU) dec. Pankil Chander, 6-5 [3-8]
149: Mark Hartenstine (No. 7, WU) tech. fall Joe Hessing, 16-0 [3-13]
157: Ryan Arne (SJU) dec. Kris Krawchuck (No. 2), 4-3 [6-13]
165: Philip Racciato (WU) dec. Brandon Seppelt, 11-10 [6-16]
174: Kyle Diesel (WU) major dec. Teddy Erickson, 8-0 [6-20]
184: Levi Veppert (WU) major dec. Brock Friesen, 11-3 [6-24]
197: Eric Bach (No. 10, WU) dec. Ryan Michaelis, 8-4 [6-27]
285: John Scepaniak (SJU) pinned William Fletcher, 3:27 [12-27]

No. 22 Saint John’s (SJU) 27, Centenary (CENT) 23
125: John Wells (SJU) injury def. Erick Orellana, 6:19 [6-0]
133: Zach Huxford (CENT) major dec. Mike Pleski, 13-3 [6-4]
141: Collin Farley (CENT) dec. Ben Henle (No. 9), 12-11 [6-7]
149: Joe Hessing (SJU) pinned Joe Bartolini, 2:04 [12-7]
157: Ryan Arne (SJU) pinned Craig Montgomery, 0:51 [18-7]
165: Chris Burdge (No. 2, CENT) major dec. Brandon Seppelt, 10-1 [18-11]
174: Josh Sibblies (CENT) pinned Teddy Erickson, 2:52 [18-17]
184: Giovanni Santiago (CENT) pinned Brock Friesen, 4:23 [18-23]
197: Ryan Michaelis (SJU) dec. Marvin Hayden, 4-0 [21-23]
285: Matt Kadrlik (SJU) pinned Brian Grise, 3:23 [27-23]

No. 3 Wabash (WAB) 21, No. 22 Saint John’s (SJU) 19
125: John Wells (SJU) dec. Tommy Poynter, 9-5 [3-0]
133: Robbie Carter (WAB) dec. Mike Pleski, 7-3 [3-3]
141: Ben Henle (No. 9, SJU) major dec. Patrick Parham, 14-5 [7-3]
149: Joe Hessing (SJU) dec. Michael Venezia, 5-2 [10-3]
157: Reece Lefever (No. 3, WAB) dec. Ryan Arne, 5-2 [10-7*]
165: Josh Sampson (WAB) dec. Brandon Seppelt, 7-2 [10-10]
174: Conner Lefever (No. 6, WAB) pinned Teddy Erickson, 1:25 [10-16]
184: Riley Lefever (No. 3, WAB) tech. fall Brock Friesen, [10-21]
197: Ryan Michaelis (SJU) dec. Austin O’Neal, 4-2 [13-21]
285: John Scepaniak (SJU) pinned Ian Kelton, 2:22 [19-21]
*Wabash was awarded an addition team point for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on SJU

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