MSUM’s Bosch and Monk Qualify for National Tournament

EDMOND, Okla. – MSU-Moorhead freshman Blake Bosch and senior Conner Monk both qualified for the NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships with top-five finishes at the Super Regional 3 Tournament, which concluded Saturday in Edmond, Okla.

MSUM finished in 11th in the team competition with 36.5 points, ahead of four teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, including Minnesota State, Mankato. Nebraska-Kearney won the regional title at 106.5.

MSU-Moorhead DragonsBosch finished fifth at 125 pounds for MSUM while Monk was fourth at 174 pounds. The top five individuals in each weight class qualified for the national tournament, which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 14-15.

“They both had great tournaments,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said.

Bosch (20-12) lost in the quarterfinals at 125 pounds on Friday and pinned Hunter Menendez of Mary in his first consolation match later that day. On Saturday morning, he opened with an impressive 9-3 win over Central Missouri’s Malacai Collins.

“Collins had beat Tanner Johnshoy from St. Cloud State. We knew he was a really good wrestler,” Nelson said. “Blake was ready to go and controlled that match against Collins. That was a great way to start the morning.”

Bosch suffered an 8-5 loss to Marco Tamayo of Lindenwood in the consolation semifinals. He needed a win in the fifth-place match over Lawson Ludwin of Fort Hays State to reach the national tournament. Bosch prevailed 5-3 over Ludwin to advance.

“He went out there and seemed pretty confident,” Nelson said. “He wrestled a great match against Ludwin. He controlled the match in pretty much every aspect. Overall, Blake had a great tournament. He came in seeded seventh and finished above that.”

Bosch will be joined by Monk, who continued his late-season surge at 174 pounds. Monk, who won two matches by fall on Friday to reach the semifinals, fell to Josh Rodriguez of Fort Hays State, 7-1 in his semi match.

Monk came back with a pin of Minot State’s Tiger Paasch in 5:11 in the consolation round to clinch his trip to nationals.

“He ended up putting Paasch to his back and getting the fall in the third period,” Nelson said.

Monk (14-12) lost in the third-place match to Southwest Minnesota State’s Jacob Begin by technical fall, 17-1 to finish fourth.

“Conner finished the tournament with three falls and getting that national qualifier status,” Nelson said.

Senior Matt Lewellen finished his season with a 26-16 record after losing by fall to Ouachita Baptist’s in 4:29 in the consolation bracket.

“Matt Lewellen wrestled a tough tournament,” Nelson said. “He’s been a great leader and captain. We’re going to miss him.”