Saint John’s wrestling hosts Division II Mary (N.D.) for its home finale, a 7 p.m. dual on Friday, Feb. 10, in Sexton Arena.
Ten Saint John’s (6-4 dual record) wrestlers competed at Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Don Parker Open last Saturday (Feb. 4). Senior Robert Tait (Faribault, Minn./Bethlehem Academy) finished second at 197 pounds with a 3-1 record to improve to 10-3 on the season. He rattled off three straight decisions, including a close 3-2 win over Division I Minnesota’s Dalton Lunde in the semifinal, before falling, by fall, to Brady Wetter from Division I Wisconsin in the championship bout.
Freshman Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) dropped his first match of the day but battled back with two straight wins to win the consolation title (seventh place) and improve to 21-8 on the year. Junior Mike Wagner (Shakopee, Minn.) and a pair of heavyweights, senior Colin Fisher (Eagan, Minn.) and freshman Quincy Spiering (Mounds View, Minn./St. Thomas Academy), all went 2-2.
A LOOK AT THE MARAUDERS: Mary (6-7, 2-4 NSIC) ended a five-dual losing skid with a 21-12 upset of No. 24 MSU-Moorhead Sunday (Feb. 5) at home. The Marauders recorded the only bonus-points wins of the dual, a major decision at 125 pounds and a technical fall at 165. The tech fall at 165 pounds was the first of four consecutive wins to clinch the dual win. Mary returns to conference competition against top-ranked (Division II) St. Cloud State on Saturday, Feb. 11, in St. Cloud.
THE LAST MEETING: SJU ended its dual season with a 22-15 loss to Mary last Feb. 14 (2016) in Bismarck, N.D. The Johnnies jumped out to a 9-0 lead but lost five straight matches. John Wells ’16 started the dual with a pin with one second remaining in the match at 125 pounds and Mike Pleski ’16 followed with a close 3-2 decision at 133. Senior Glenn Castro (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake) stopped the bleeding for SJU with a 4-2 win at 184 pounds and junior Nick Pegelow (Eagan, Minn./Eastview) tallied his second win of the weekend with a 9-3 decision at 197 pounds.
FRIDAY’S PROBABLES: The Johnnies and Marauders are scheduled to field the following lineups Friday night:
125 – Anthony Hennen (10-20) vs. Josh Jensen (12-6)
133 – Noah Becker (21-8) vs. Tate Barnhardt (21-7)
141 – Andrew Smith (6-20) vs. Reed Cronin (6-10)
149 – Branden Schorr (10-13) vs. Hunter Eckert (7-5)
157 – Jerod Novak (16-12) vs. Donnie Leuer (10-12)
165 – Jack Barsody (10-13) vs. Paul Michaelson (11-14)
174 – Teddy Erickson (13-10)/Mike Wagner (3-6) vs. Dane Fischer (13-11)
184 – Luke Dodd (14-8) vs. Austin Eichmann (9-4)/Jonathan Pelach (8-17)
197 – Robert Tait (10-3) vs. Jake Green (6-10)
285 – Colin Fisher (8-7)/Quincy Spiering (5-8) vs. Dominic Tudor (13-12)
WHAT’S NEXT: The Johnnies will take two weeks off from competition in preparation for the 2017 NCAA West Regional, hosted by Concordia, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, in Moorhead. The top three wrestlers in each weight class advance to the NCAA Division III Championships March 10-11 in La Crosse, Wis.