NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Saint John’s wrestling went 1-3 at the Gator Duals on Saturday, Dec. 20, in Nashville, Tenn.
The Johnnies started the day with a 34-20 loss to Simpson (Iowa) before bouncing back with a 39-12 win over Washington and Lee (Va.), the first dual victory for interim head coach Tony Willaert ’11. SJU (1-7 dual record), which forfeited its match at 165 pounds in all four duals, then lost its final two bouts to nationally-ranked opponents: 30-14 to No. 3 Delaware Valley (Pa.) and 40-3 to No. 18 Johnson & Wales (R.I.).
Simpson tallied four pins, a forfeit and a major decision to hand SJU a 34-20 defeat in the first dual of the day. Junior John Wells (Janesville, Wis./Milton) earned a forfeit win at 125 pounds and classmate Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer), who is ranked eighth nationally by D3wrestle.com, collected a technical fall at 141 pounds to give SJU an 11-6 lead. The Storm won the next five matches to clinch the victory before the Johnnies claimed the final two bouts. Senior Ryan Michaelis (Monticello, Minn.) won his first match of the season, delayed due to the Johnnies’ playoff run in football, in fine fashion with a pin in 1:52. A two-time national entrant, Michaelis is ranked ninth by D3wrestle.com. Sophomore Colin Fisher (Eagan, Minn.) ended the dual with a 6-2 win at heavyweight.
The tides turned for SJU in its second dual of the day as the Johnnies, aided by three forfeits, jumped out to a 30-0 lead over Washington and Lee. Henle and seniorJesse Rogers (Dillingham, Alaska/Mt. Edgecumbe) tallied back-to-back pins at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively. Sophomore Teddy Erickson (Annandale, Minn.) earned an 8-3 decision at 174 pounds and junior Matt Kadrlik (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley) closed it out with a pin at heavyweight.
Wells started the dual with third-ranked Delaware Valley with a close 4-2 loss to Connor Kirkegard, who is ranked as high as sixth nationally at 125 pounds. Henle collected another win, an 8-0 major decision, but the Aggies won each of the next five matches (a pin, forfeit and three major decisions). Michaelis stopped the bleeding with a major decision of his own, 10-1, at 197 pounds and Fisher earned his second win of the day, via pin, at heavyweight to end the dual.
Wells lost a heartbreaker on a last-second takedown to ninth-ranked Bobby Jordan to start the dual with Johnson & Wales. Henle moved to 4-0 on the day and put SJU on the scoreboard with a 6-3 decision at 141 pounds. He is now 14-4 on the season, with all four losses to Division I or Division II student-athletes. The Wildcats responded, however, with wins in the final seven matches.
Junior Josh Willaert (Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson), who is ranked as high as sixth nationally at 174 pounds, did not wrestle for SJU.
The Johnnies return to action in the New Year on Saturday, Jan. 3, at the Chicago Duals.
Simpson (SIM) 34, Saint John’s (SJU) 20
125: John Wells (SJU) won by forfeit [6-0]
133: Zach Johnston (SIM) pinned Austin Miley, 2:04 [6-6]
141: Ben Henle (No. 8, SJU) tech. fall Dalton Kenig, 18-2 [11-6]
149: Jonathan Melton (SIM) pinned Brian McCann, 2:16 [11-12]
157: Jake Mize (SIM) pinned Jack Edberg, 3:00 [11-18]
165: Brian Haynes (SIM) won by forfeit [11-24]
174: Brett Roberts (SIM) major dec. Teddy Erickson, 10-1 [11-28]
184: Spencer Ward (SIM) pinned Aaron Baker, 2:54 [11-34]
197: Ryan Michaelis (No. 9, SJU) pinned Ryan Policheri, 1:52 [17-34]
285: Colin Fisher (SJU) dec. Colby Vlieger, 6-2 [20-34]
Saint John’s (SJU) 39, Washington and Lee (WLU) 12
125: John Wells (SJU) won by forfeit [6-0]
133: Evan Guffey (SJU) won by forfeit [12-0]
141: Ben Henle (No. 8, SJU) pinned Zach Papin, 4:44 [18-0]
149: Jesse Rogers (SJU) pinned Marshall Olszewski, 4:00 [24-0]
157: Jack Edberg (SJU) won by forfeit [30-0]
165: Brandon LeFore (WLU) won by forfeit [30-6]
174: Teddy Erickson (SJU) dec. Sal Diaz, 8-3 [33-6]
184: Ron Tassoni (WLU) dec. Robert Tait, 8-7 [33-9]
197: Bennett Lewis (WLU) dec. Nick Pegelow, 7-4 [33-12]
285: Matt Kadrlik (SJU) pinned Mathew Kaminer, 5:07 [39-12]
No. 3 Delaware Valley (DVC) 30, Saint John’s (SJU) 14
125: Connor Kirkegard (No. 6/9, DVC) dec. John Wells, 4-2 [0-3]
133: Zach Haynes (DVC) dec. Evan Guffey, 7-0 [0-6]
141: Ben Henle (No. 8, SJU) major dec. Michael Caldwell, 8-0 [4-6]
149: Vincent Fava (No. 1, DVC) major dec. Branden Schorr, 14-1 [4-10]
157: Jeff Reimel (DVC) pinned Jesse Rogers, 1:05 [4-16]
165: Alec Horan (DVC) won by forfeit [4-22]
174: Ben Schweiger (DVC) major dec. Teddy Erickson, 15-4 [4-26]
184: Alex Price (DVC) major dec. Robert Tait, 15-3 [4-30]
197: Ryan Michaelis (No. 9, SJU) major dec. Ethan Barnes, 10-1 [8-30]
285: Colin Fisher (SJU) pinned Thomas Tehan, 4:00 [14-30]
No. 18 Johnson & Wales (JWU) 40, Saint John’s (SJU) 3
125: Bobby Jordan (No. 9, JWU) dec. John Wells, 3-1 [0-3]
133: Joao Vicente (JWU) dec. Evan Guffey, [0-6]
141: Ben Henle (No. 8, SJU) dec. Justin Colon, 6-3 [3-6]
149: Michael Ferinde (No. 10 at 141, JWU) major dec. Jesse Rogers, 11-3 [3-10]
157: Michael Stewart (JWU) pinned Branden Schorr, 0:32 [3-16]
165: Sean Prell (JWU) won by forfeit [3-22]
174: Michael Labell (JWU) pinned Teddy Erickson, 0:56 [3-28]
184: Ken Dougherty (JWU) dec. Glenn Castro, 3-1 [3-31]
197: Andrew Cavanna (JWU) dec. Nick Pegelow, 5-3 OT [3-34]
285: Phil Kelly (JWU) pinned Matt Kadrlik, 1:56 [3-40]