FARGO, N.D. – Four South Dakota State University wrestlers won titles and five others reached the championship bouts of their respective weight classes during competition Saturday at the Bison Open.
Leading the way for the Jackrabbits was top-ranked Seth Gross, who pinned all three of his opponents en route to winning the 133-pound title. The NCAA runner-up at 133 pounds last season, Gross defeated each of his first two opponents in less than a minute before pinning host North Dakota State’s McGwire Midkiff in 4 minutes, 32 seconds in the championship bout.
Also at 133 pounds, freshman Rylee Molitor placed third with a 3-1 record on the day.
Winning at 149 pounds was redshirt freshman Colten Carlson, who defeated three NDSU wrestlers on his way to the title. Carlson opened with a 6-4 win over the Bison’s Gavin Sutton, then scored a 12-0 major decision over Minot State’s Tanner Crissler. In the semifinals, Carlson knocked off Kyle Gliva with a third-period pin. The championship bout against Mitchell Bengston ended 105 seconds into the match, with Carlson declared the winner by injury default.
Nationally ranked David Kocer cruised to the 174-pound title, outscoring his opponents 41-7 in his three matched. Kocer posted a 19-4 technical fall over North Dakota State’s Michael Otomo in the finals.
The 184-pound championship was an all-Jackrabbit affair with Martin Mueller and Brady Ayers squaring off. A sophomore, Mueller held the upper hand over the senior Ayers throughout the match, notching a 13-3 victory by major decision. Mueller posted a 4-0 record in his first competition of the season.
At 157 pounds, the title bout was contested between a pair of nationally ranked wrestlers in North Dakota State’s Clayton Ream and the Jackrabbits’ Luke Zilverberg. Ream successfully defended his home mat with an 8-3 decision. Zilverberg ended the day with a 3-1 record.
The Jackrabbits dropped two other championship matches to their rivals from the north. Henry Pohlmeyer won easily in his first three matches at 141 pounds before falling to NDSU’s Sam Hampton by major decision, 14-0. The 165-pound title went to the Bison’s Andrew Fogarty, who posted a 9-0 victory over SDSU’s Andrew Fogarty.
SDSU had four wrestlers place in the top six of the 165-pound division as Brett Bye placed third and Kelby Hawkins scored a 6-4 decision over teammate Devon Sievers in the fifth-place match.
Also reaching the finals was freshman Connor Brown at 125 pounds. Brown knocked off NDSU’s Paul Bianchi in the semifinals, 8-4, then dropped an 8-6 decision to Minnesota’s Skyler Petry in the championship match.
Justin Portillo took fourth at 125 pounds.
Also earning places for the Jackrabbits were three heavyweights. Alex Macki defeated teammate Kevin Vough by fall in the third-place match, while Blake Wolters notched a fifth-place finish.
The Jackrabbits begin dual action Friday by hosting Minnesota in a matchup between ranked squads. Start time is 7 p.m. at Frost Arena.