St. Cloud State Tops NSIC Preseason Wrestling Rankings

Burnsville, Minn. – The two-time defending NCAA National Champions of St. Cloud State sit on top of the NSIC Preseason Wrestling Coaches’ Rankings.  The Huskies had 79 points and five wrestlers ranked number one in their weight class.  Upper Iowa was second with 57 points and Augustana was third with 33.  Northern State was fourth with 19 points and boast NSIC Preseason Wrestler of the Year Joe Gomez.  Gomez, a two-time All-American, was NCAA National Runner-up last season and held a 7-1 record in NSIC dual action.

NSIC Wrestling’s non-conference schedule gets underway this weekend with UIU, MSU, NSU, Augie and UMary all in action. The first NSIC dual will take place on Thursday, December 1 when St. Cloud State travels to SMSU at 7 p.m.

1.St. Cloud State (5)79
2.Upper Iowa (1)57
3.Augustana (1)33
4.Northern State (1)19
5.MSU Moorhead (1)17
Minnesota State (1)17
7.University of Mary8
9.Minot State2
Top Ranked Wrestlers in ( )
All points were figured from the top 5 individuals in each weight class.
The following point system was used:
First = 10, Second = 7, Third = 4, Fourth =2, Fifth = 1


NSIC Preseason Wrestler of the Year
Joe Gomez (197 lbs, Sr., Graham, Wash. / Graham-Kapowsin HS)
Northern State University
– 2016 NCAA National Runner-up up 197 pounds
– Two-Time NCAA All-American
– Held a 7-1 record in NSIC duals in 2015-16
– 2016 Super Region Champion at 197 pounds
– All-NSIC First Team in 2015-16

NSIC Preseason Individual Wrestling Rankings
1Brett VelasquezR-So.St. Cloud State1Blake BoschSr.MSU Moorhead
2Maleek WilliamsSo.Upper Iowa2Jarrod OftedahlR-Jr.St. Cloud State
3Josh JensenSo.UMary3Tate BarnhardtSo.UMary
4Taylor CurtisR-Jr.SMSU4David PotratzJr.Augustana
5Jared GoldsmithSo.MSU Moorhead5Paul SelmanSo.Minnesota State
6Trevor SchultzSr.Minnesota State6Kenny JonesFr.Northern State
7Duncan StoebnerSo.Augustana7Lincoln MonroeSr.Upper Iowa
8Richard CasillasFr.Northern State8Antonio MeikelR-Jr.SMSU
9Michael RangelR-Fr.Minot State9Shane Williams Jr.Fr.Minot State
1Matt NelsonR-Sr.St. Cloud State1Damian PenichetSo.Upper Iowa
2Brandon CharbonneauSr.Augustana2Taner TrembleyR-Jr.St. Cloud State
3Jordan RothsSr.Upper Iowa3Tyler StenbergSr.Northern State
4Kristian VazquezR-So.MSU Moorhead4Colin AyersSo.Augustana
5Tanner MillsR-Jr.Minnesota State5Isaac NovacekR-Sr.MSU Moorhead
6Reed CroninR-So.UMary6Daniel CloseSo.Minnesota State
7Tyler ForcellaR-So.Minot State7Jakob WeisbrodR-So.UMary
8Zach BeaumasterR-So.SMSU8Cody HaugenR-JRMinot State
9Matt BettencourtSr.Northern State9Cortez ArredondoR-So.SMSU
1Larry BomstadJr.St. Cloud State1Gabe FogartyR-Sr.St. Cloud State
2Zak BenitzSr.Upper Iowa2Nick GeorgeanJr.Upper Iowa
3Blake PerrymanJr.Northern State3Kegen FingalsenSo.SMSU
4Bailey NeisesR-Fr.Augustana4Mitch RechtzigelJr.Augustana
5Jake SlocumR-Sr.SMSU5Sean HavlovicR-Sr.Northern State
6Dane FischerJr.UMary6Paul MichaelsonR-Jr.UMary
7Dylan HermanJr.Minnesota State7Jonathan HoffnerSo.MSU Moorhead
8Brayden KuntzSo.MSU Moorhead8Zach JohnstonFr.Minnesota State
9Shane SheppardSr.Minot State9Zach CummingsR-Jr.Minot State
1Adam CoolingSr.Minnesota State1Aero AmoJr.Augustana
2Clayton JennissenR-Sr.St. Cloud State2Dalton WesterlundSr.Upper Iowa
3Colby VanceSr.Upper Iowa3Chevy FarrisR-Sr.St. Cloud State
4Adam BleesSo.MSU Moorhead4Corey AbernathyJr.Minnesota State
5Griffin OsingR-So.SMSU5Austin MaySo.MSU Moorhead
6Brent HavlikSr.Augustana6Cole HennenR-Fr.SMSU
7Tanner OlsonJr.Northern State7David MurphyJr.Northern State
8Austin EichmannFr.UMary8Briley CrisslerR-Jr.Minot State
9Carlos ToledanoSr.Minot State9Jacob GreenSo.UMary
1Joe GomezSr.Northern State1Austin GoergenR-Sr.St. Cloud State
2Ryan ParmelySo.Upper Iowa2Michael LowmanSr.Augustana
3Uthman RabiuR-Sr.St. Cloud State3Logan HoppJr.Upper Iowa
4Darick VancuraSr.Minnesota State4Mitch EullSr.Minot State
5Clayton WahlstromSo.Augustana5Chris ZimmerR-Jr.Minnesota State
6Cody AndersonSo.MSU Moorhead6Dom TudorFr.UMary
7Ashton BartlettR-Jr.SMSU7Nader AbdullatiffSr.MSU Moorhead
8Jonathan PelachSo.UMary8Andrew PetersonR-Fr.SMSU
9Andrew HelfrichFr.Minot State9Sam SchaunamanR-Fr.Northern


Augustana University Vikings
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
18-6, 5-3 NSIC817 returning4th
Team Preview
Augustana finished fourth in the NSIC last season with an 18-6 (5-3 NSIC) record. The Vikings return their lone Nationals competitor in junior Aero Amo, who went 33-3 with 15 pins at 184 pounds. Amo earned first-team All-NSIC honors last season after winning the NCAA Super Region 3 Championship. The Vikings return eight starters and 17 letter winners off of last season’s team. Joining Amo as Augustana’s top returners will be sophomore Colin Ayers and senior Michael Lowman. Ayers went 18-8 at 149 pounds and Lowman went 23-10 at 285 pounds. Augustana brought in 11 freshmen and two transfers to vie for time on the mat.
Wrestler to Watch
Aero Amo (184, Jr., Rapid City, S.D. / Central HS)
First Match
Sunday, Nov. 6 Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D. –  9 a.m.


University of Mary Marauders
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
7-12, 2-6 NSIC712 returning7th
Team Preview
The University of Mary finished seventh in the Northern Sun last season but returns seven starters this year. Sophomore Tate Barnhardt, the wrestler to watch for the Marauders, returns for his second season in a Blue & Orange singlet. Barnhardt (133-pound) finished 27-12 last season and was named one of the Marauders Rookie of Year for his success in his first-year. Barnhardt lost in the consolation round of the NCAA Super Regional 3 Tournament last season. Sophomore 125-pound Josh Jensen returns after a successful freshman year campaign where he finished in fifth place at the regional tournament and just shy of an opportunity to compete in the national tournament. Jensen went 24-16 last season. Teammate Jakob Weisbrod earned 10 wins and nine losses at the 149-pound spot last season, unfortunately he lost in the third consolation round of the tournament. Lone true junior, Dane Fischer finished 13-18 at the 157-pound spot last season and teammate Paul Michaelson who won his first match in the first consolation round also comes back for Mary. Michaelson finished with a 18-16 last season. At the 184-pound spot Jacob Green finished with a 5-21 record last season and surrender two losses at the regional tournament last season. Mary finished 12th with a score of 23.5 at NCAA Super Regional Three Tournament. On the 2016-2017 roster, the Marauders have six freshmen, nine sophomores, one junior, three redshirt sophomores and two redshirt juniors.
Wrestler to Watch
Tate Barnhardt (133, So., Bismarck, N.D. / St. Mary’s HS)
First Match
Sunday, Nov. 6 Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D. –  9 a.m.


Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
10-4, 6-2 NSIC612 returning3rd
Team Preview
Minnesota State returns six starters from a team that finished ninth in the nation in 2015-16. Senior Adam Cooling finished third at 174 in nationals last year and racked up a 30-5 won-loss record. Sophomore Daniel Close went 23-15 in his first season of college wrestling last year and looks to improve on his sixth-place finish at regions. Another sophomore, Andrew McFall, fashioned a 22-4 mark last year
Wrestler to Watch
Adam Cooling (174, Sr., Madelia, Minn. / Madelia HS)
First Event/Match
Nov. 5 at RCTC Yellowjacket Open in Rochester, Minn.


Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
8-7, 3-5 NSIC8 Ret./2 Lost13 returning6th
Team Preview
MSUM returns eight starters from last year’s team that went 8-7 overall and 3-5. That group is led by two-time All-American Blake Bosch, who finished fourth in the nation at 133 pounds. Bosch is 83-33 in his three years as a Dragon. Seniors Isaac Novacek (149) and Nader Abdullatif (285) are two other senior starters returning. Also returning with lineup experience are sophomore Jared Goldsmith (125), sophomore Kristian Vazquez (141), sophomore Dylan Connell (149), senior Dan Murakami (157), sophomore Adam Blees (165), sophomore Brayden Kuntz (174), sophomore Austin May (184) and sophomore Cody Anderson (197).
Wrestler to Watch
Blake Bosch (133, Sr., Wishek, N.D. / South Border HS)
First Match
Saturday, Nov. 12, at Bison Open, Fargo, N.D., 10 a.m.


Minot State University Beavers
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
4-14, 0-8 NSIC614 returning9th
Team Preview
Minot State went 4-14 last season which included a home win against the University of Mary in a non-conference matchup. The Beavers were 2-4 at home with their other win coming against the University of Jamestown. MSU was led by Mitchell Eull, senior heavyweight, last season with 22 wins. Eull also earned a team-high five wins by fall. Junior 149-pounder Tanner Crissler was second in wins last season with 17, five of which were earned by major decision. Junior Cody Haugen (141/149) is another returning wrestler to earn double-digit wins last season with 14. Haugen won two matches by fall, one by tech fall and another by major decision. Minot State will be coached by Evan Forde in his second season as a head coach and sport 17 new athletes on its roster.
Wrestler to Watch
Mitchell Eull (285, Sr., Buffalo, Minn. / St. Michael-Albertville HS)
First Match
Saturday, Sept. 3 vs. Northern State – 1 p.m.


Northern State University Wolves
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
7-14, 1-7 NSIC57 returning8th
Team Preview
NSU enters the 2016-17 season with one of the largest rosters in recent history, returning nine student-athletes from a season ago and welcoming 16 new faces. Joe Gomez earned his second straight All-American honor as a junior finishing as the NCAA National Runner-up at 197 pounds. The Graham, Washington native was tabbed as Northern’s wrestler to watch after winning the NCAA Super Region 3 Tournament in undefeated fashion and going 7-1 in the postseason. Gomez finished the year with a 30-4 record overall making him the 20th wrestler in program history to record a 30 win season. Gomez was ranked nationally throughout the season, as well as returning 149-pounder Tyler Stenberg. Stenberg ultimately fell in the true fourth match at the Super Region Tournament and will look to battle back in his senior season to reach the NCAA Championships. Seniors Sean Havlovic and C.J. Voegeli will also return to the mats for the Wolves at 165 and 141 pounds respectively after suffering injuries in 2015-16.  After wrestling a majority of the 2015-16 season open at 285 pounds, Northern has to rostered at the weight in redshirt freshman Sam Schaunaman and freshman Harrison Townsend. NSU will see weight class battles throughout the roster with multiple student-athletes listed at each weight, a luxury the Wolves haven’t always had in past seasons. All 16 newcomers are state tournament qualifiers, including eight state place winners and six state champions at their respective weights. Northern will face off in six tournaments this season and ten duals, including eight conference matches.
Wrestler to Watch
Joe Gomez (197, Sr., Graham, Wash. / Graham-Kapowsin HS)
First Match
Sunday, Nov. 6 at SDSU Open – 9 a.m.


Southwest Minnesota State University
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
8-11, 4-4 NSIC413 returning5th
Team Preview
Jesse Nelson, entering his 10th season as head coach of the Mustangs, has 27 wrestlers on this season’s roster. The roster consists of one senior, five juniors, eight sophomores, six redshirt freshmen and seven freshmen. SMSU returns 13 letterwinners from last year’s squad that finished 8-11 overall and placed fifth in the NSIC with a 4-4 mark. SMSU had one NCAA All-American last season in heavyweight, Cole Wilson, who placed eight at nationals. Leading the list of returners for SMSU is sophomore Kegen Fingalsen, who tallied a 27-13 record at 165 pounds last season, the second highest victory total on the squad. Another sophomore, Cortez Arrendondo, returns at 141, after recording 12 victories a season ago, while junior Taylor Curtis is back at 125, following a solid sixth place finish at last season’s NCAA Super Regional.
Wrestler to Watch
 Kegen Fingalsen (165, So., Manly, Iowa / Central HS)
First Match
Saturday, Nov. 12 at Dakota Wesleyan Open – 9 a.m.


St. Cloud State University Huskies
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
16-1, 8-0 NSIC927 returning1st
Team Preview
The two-time defending national champion St. Cloud State University wrestling team has received the number one ranking in the 2016-17 National Wrestling Coaches Association pre-season Division II national poll.  The Huskies won the 2015 and 2016 NCAA Division II national titles and have won five consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championships under the leader of head coach Steve Costanzo.  SCSU posted a 16-1, 8-0 NSIC record in 2015-16.   SCSU had nine individual wrestlers ranked among the poll’s weight class top 10.  The group was led by number one ranked sophomore defending national champ Brett Velasquez at 125-pounds and three-time All-American Austin Goergen at 285-pounds.  The Huskies other nationally ranked wrestlers included Matt Nelson (3rd at 141-pounds), Taner Trembley (7th at 149-pounds), Larry Bomstad (3rd at 157-pounds), Gabe Fogarty (4th at 165-pounds), Clayton Jennissen (4th at 174-pounds), Chevy Faris (10th at 184-pounds) and Uthman Rabiu (10th at 197-pounds).
Wrestler to Watch
Austin Goergen (285, R-Sr., Caledonia, Minn. / Caledonia HS)
First Match
Sunday, Nov. 13 – SCSU at Harold Nichols Open (Iowa State)


Upper Iowa University Peacocks
Last YearReturning StartersLetter winners2015-16 Standings
14-2, 7-1 NSIC8132nd
Team Preview
The Peacock wrestling program will open their 2016-17 schedule at home with the Showdown at Sundown on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.  Upper Iowa will host Truman State University in a dual outside in the middle of Grace-Meyer Square.
In addition to the dual with the Bulldogs, Upper Iowa will compete in five tournaments, their annual trip to the NWCA National Duals, and nine duals including eight Northern Sun Conference battles prior to their appearance in the postseason.  UIU will appear in Fayette for six duals this season from November to February.
UIU returned to the top-20 at the NCAA Division II Championships a season ago thanks to six national qualifiers and a pair of NCAA All-Americans in the form of Jordan Rinken and Ryan Parmely.  The Peacocks placed third as a team at the NCAA Division II Super Regional Championship with eight of their ten wrestlers placing fifth or better at the regional qualifying three for the NCAA Championships through true fourth-place matches.
Upper Iowa earned 14 wins in their 16 duals last season with the only two losses coming to Maryville University at the NWCA National Duals, the Saints were ranked #1 at the time, and to St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn., the Huskies were ranked #2 at the time.
In their ten years in the Northern Sun Conference, the Peacocks own a 58-13 record in duals and have either won the conference title or finished as the runner-up eight times.
Wrestler to Watch
Logan Hopp (HWT, R-Jr., New Hampton, Iowa/New Hampton HS)
First Match
Thursday, Nov. 3 vs. Truman State at 6 p.m. in Fayette (Outside) Showdown at Sundown
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