SMSU preps for NCAA Central Region tournament

The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team is gearing up for the NCAA Central Region Tournament that will be held this weekend Feb. 28-March 1, in Edmond, Oklahoma. SMSU went 12-5 overall with a 6-2 conference record during the regular season and will look to improve upon its four wrestlers that it sent to the NCAA tournament last season. Justin Reinsma (133), Kyle Begin (165), Jacob Begin (174), and Travis Peralta (184) all punched their tickets last season and are looking to return once again.

Southwest Minnesota State wrestler’s Justin Reinsma (133), Jacob Begin (165) and Kyle Begin (174) all claimed berths to the NCAA National Tournament that will be held in Birmingham, Ala., March 8-9 by placing in the top four at the NCAA Division II Super Regional 3 today. Kyle Begin, the fourth seed and a true freshman, captured the 174 crown by going 4-0 in the championship bracket. Jacob Begin lost in the championship bout for his only hiccup of the day, while Justin Reinsma qualified for his second straight nationals by finishing fourth at 133 pounds. 130 wresters were in action today, vying for 40 berths to the NCAA National Tournament. The last time the Mustangs qualified three wrestlers for the NCAA Division II Nationals was the 2010-11 season.

Andrew Rodas has put together a team-high six bout winning streak over the course of the last month. The senior 184-pounder is 15-8 this season with two pins and five major decision wins. Kyle Begin had a season-high 13-bout winning streak earlier this season, while Justin Reinsma won nine straight.

Southwest Minnesota State defeated Augustana and Minnesota earlier this season. SMSU’s 15-14 win over Augustana on Jan. 14, was SMSU’s first under head coach Jesse Nelson and first since the 1998-99 season. SMSU’s 31-9 win over Minnesota State on Feb. 1, was the first Mustang victory in a dual over the Mavericks since the 1990-91 season – a streak that was ended at 22 consecutive duals.

SMSU’s five upper weight class wrestlers finished the 2013-14 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season 30-10 in dual bouts, while the lower five weight class wrestlers finished 22-18 — Justin Reinsma went 7-1 at 133 pounds.

SMSU recorded a school record six Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference dual wins during the 2013-14 season, including wins over Minnesota State and No. 17 Augustana. SMSU finished third in the NSIC standings — its highest finish since joining the NSIC and Division II level in 2000.

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