No. 25 NDSU Wrestling Opens Season at Daktronics Open on Nov. 1

The 25th-ranked (USA Today/NWCA Top 25) North Dakota State wrestling team is set to open the 2015-16 season at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open hosted by South Dakota State University on Sunday, Nov. 1, in Brookings … Action begins at 9 a.m. in Frost Arena … Tournament field includes Minnesota, Nebraska and SDSU, along with a number of regional Division II, NAIA and junior college programs.

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NDSU BisonReturning Bison Claim Daktronics Open Individual Title, Runner-up Finish in 2014
North Dakota State University returning wrestler Mitch Bengtson (141) won individual titles, while Hayden Zillmer (184) was runner-up at the 2014 Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open … A trio of returning Bison also placed in the top six at the tournament … Kyle Gliva and Justin Scherkenbach placed fourth and fifth in the 133-pound division, while Clay Ream placed fourth at 149 pounds.

NCAA All-American, Three NCAA Qualifiers Return for North Dakota State
NDSU returns NCAA Division I All-American 184-pound senior Hayden Zillmer (Crosby, Minn.), and three NCAA qualifiers in 125-pound junior Josh Rodriguez (Guadalupe, Calif.), 141-pound sophomore Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud, Minn.) and 149-pound sophomore Clay Ream (Wentzville, Mo.) … North Dakota State had a school-record six national qualifiers and two All-Americans at the NCAA Division I championship last year … The Bison are coming off back-to-back NCAA West Region championships and won two of the last three Western Wrestling Conference regular-season titles.

Bison in the Rankings
North Dakota State was ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/NWCA Top 25 released on Nov. 1 … NDSU was ranked No. 18 in the WIN Magazine’s 2015-16 Preseason Tournament Power Index (Sept. 2, 2015) … The next top 25 polls will be released Nov. 3.

Individually, in the (Oct. 20) individual weight class rankings, Josh Rodriguez is No. 17 at 125 pounds; Hayden Zillmer is No. 6 at 184 pounds … In the Asics/Flowrestling Rankings (Oct. 21), Josh Rodriguez was No. 12 at 125 pounds, Hayden Zillmer is No. 5 at 184 pounds … In (Oct. 19) preseason rankings, Josh Rodriguez was No. 16 at 125, Clay Ream is No. 19 at 149 pounds, Hayden Zillmer is No. 6 at 184 pounds … In WIN Magazine’s (Sept. 2, 2015) preseason rankings, Josh Rodriguez is No. 13 at 125 pounds, Mitch Bengtson is No. 14 at 141 pounds, and Hayden Zillmer is No. 6 at 184 pounds.

Big 12 Adds North Dakota State to Wrestling Membership
North Dakota State along with Air Force, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming will join Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia in the Big 12 Conference … NDSU and the other affiliate members are eligible immediately and will compete for the Big 12 postseason championship and the league’s automatic qualification to NCAA postseason competition … The 10-team Big 12 wrestling championship will shift to a neutral site and expand to a two-day event with the 2016 championship set for March 5-6 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

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