The Johnnie wrestling team travels across the border to compete at the Wisconsin-Eau Claire Open this Saturday, Feb. 6. The tournament is scheduled for a 9 a.m. start.
A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: No. 8 Concordia took advantage of a forfeit and three bonus-point wins in a 29-9 victory over Saint John’s Wednesday night (Feb. 3) in Moorhead. Three of the Johnnies’ losses were decided by three points or less. Concordia (12-4 dual record) built an 8-0 lead with a pair of wins from its nationally-ranked wrestlers, including a 4-3 overtime victory from No. 4/6 Gabe Foltz over senior Mike Pleski (Stacy, Minn./Forest Lake) at 133 pounds. Down 3-1 entering the third period, Foltz chose down and earned an escape. Riding time in favor of Foltz sent the match to overtime, where neither wrestler scored a point in the first sudden-victory period. Pleski was unable to escape in his first 30-second frame, while Foltz registered one of his own to earn the win. Senior Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer), who is ranked seventh nationally by the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA), improved to 20-10 with a 7-4 win at 141 pounds. The Johnnies (3-14 dual record) followed the forfeit at 157 pounds with back-to-back wins from juniors Teddy Erickson (Annandale, Minn.) and Robert Tait (Faribault, Minn./Bethlehem Academy). Erickson moved his record to 13-15 with a 12-8 win at 165 pounds, while Tait improved to 7-4 with a 6-2 decision at 174.
WHO’S GOING: The Johnnies are scheduled to send seven wrestlers to Eau Claire Saturday.
125: Ben Kollaja (2-22)
149: Branden Schorr (5-15)
165: Jack Barsody (8-16)
174: Nick Hoff (4-9)
184: Luke Dodd (8-9)
285: Colin Fisher (10-12), Bryan Scepaniak (0-4)
WHO WILL BE THERE: In addition to SJU and the host Blugolds, other schools scheduled to have wrestlers present at Saturday’s tournament include Augsburg, Concordia-Moorhead, Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wis.), MSU-Mankato, North Central (Ill.), St. Cloud State, St. Olaf, Winona State (club), Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Wisconsin-Parkside.
THE LAST TIME: The last time SJU participated at the Eau Claire Open was back in 2013, where the Johnnies placed four wrestlers. SJU sent 14 wrestlers to the tournament, including its starters at 141 pounds and heavyweight. Ochirbat Bayanjargal ’15 went 3-1 to claim fifth at 157 pounds. He tallied two pins and a major decision on the day, with his lone loss produced from a 2-1 decision to St. Cloud State’s Damien Luchterhand. Senior Matt Kadrlik (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley) battled back from a loss to top-ranked Chad Johnson of Augsburg in his first match to post two pins and claim the consolation title at heavyweight. John Scepaniak ’14 went 1-2 to finish sixth in the same bracket. Pleski went 1-2 to finish fourth in the eight-man, 133-pound bracket.