The SJU wrestling team hosts the annual North Country Open at 9 a.m. this Saturday, Jan. 30, in Sexton Arena.
A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Saint John’s (3-13, dual record) fell to No. 8 Augsburg, the defending Division III champions, 37-4 last Sunday (Jan. 24) in Collegeville. Senior Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer) accrued 3:08 of riding time and recorded a takedown with two seconds remaining to put SJU on the scoreboard with an 11-3 major decision at 141 pounds. Henle is ranked seventh nationally by the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA) and is 15-9 on the year. Down 7-0 in the third period, sophomore T.J. Fulton (Wabasso, Minn.) battled back to within three (9-6), only to lose by a 15-7 score in his third collegiate match at 157 pounds. Junior Teddy Erickson (Annandale, Minn.) scored a takedown with 30 seconds remaining to close within two (8-6), but lost by a 9-6 score at 165 pounds. On Thursday, Jan. 21, the Johnnies fell 40-3 to Division II No. 14 MSU-Mankato. Senior Mike Pleski (Stacy, Minn./Forest Lake) recorded the lone win for SJU, a 5-4 decision at 133 pounds. SJU suffered two one-point losses on the night. Junior Teddy Erickson (Annandale, Minn.) entered the third period with a 3-1 lead in an eventual 4-3 loss, while junior Colin Fisher (Eagan, Minn.) took a 5-4 loss at heavyweight.
WHO WILL BE HERE: Wrestlers from Augsburg, Division II Augustana (S.D.), Division I Minnesota, Division II MSU-Moorhead, Division II MSU-Mankato, Division I North Dakota State, Division II Southwest Minnesota State and Division II St. Cloud State are expected to join the Johnnies on Saturday.
North Country Open Brackets/Results on TrackWrestling.com
LAST YEAR’S NORTH COUNTRY: The Johnnies had 22 participants in last year’s North Country Open and had three place in the top six. Fisher went 3-2 on the day to finish fourth at heavyweight. He started the day with a pin and a 5-3 decision, but fell to St. Cloud State’s Mike Hobbs in the semifinal. Fisher bounced back with a pin of North Dakota State’s Jerrad Nieland before falling to the Minnesota’s Luke Destiche by a narrow 2-0 score in the third-place match. Senior Evan Guffey ’15 and sophomore Nick Pegelow (Eagan, Minn./Eastview) each finished sixth at 133 and 184 pounds, respectively. Guffey, like Fisher, started the tournament with two wins before falling in the semifinal via fall. Guffey exited the tournament after the match. Pegelow, meanwhile, battled back from a loss in his first match to take sixth. Both of his wins were against fellow Johnnies.