Jackrabbits sign four for wrestling

Three Minnesota state champions commit to SDSU

BROOKINGS, S.D. – The South Dakota State University wrestling team loaded up on talent in the lower and middle weights, signing four high school standouts Wednesday to National Letters of Intent.

“This is one of the best classes we’ve ever brought in, not only for the wrestling but for the people they are, the programs they come from and the goals they have set for themselves,” Jackrabbit head coach Chris Bono said. “We’re excited to get going with these guys and to continue to build on the things we’ve done here so far.”

The signees are:

  • Alex Lloyd, Shakopee, Minnesota
  • Kenny O’Neil, Prior Lake, Minnesota
  • Zach Price, Johnston, Iowa
  • Peyton Robb, Owatonna, Minnesota

sdsulogoLloyd has won back-to-back Minnesota Class AAA state titles at 145 pounds for Shakopee High School. He posted a 42-1 record as a sophomore, then turned in a 43-1 record en route to his second consecutive state title during his junior season. He also has excelled in other wrestling pursuits, highlighted by winning two USAW Folkstyle national championships and a Greco-Roman title at the Fargo Nationals.

O’Neil claimed the 160-pound Minnesota Class AAA state championship this past winter for Prior Lake High School, ending the season with a 41-2 record. He has compiled a 114-17 record over the past three seasons while claiming third place at 152 pounds in 2016 and fifth at 145 pounds in 2015. O’Neil also is a two-time All-American in junior and cadet competition and was a first-team academic all-state selection by the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association.

Price has posted top-four finishes each of the past three seasons at the Class 3A Iowa State Wrestling Tournament for Johnston High School. He notched third-place finishes at 106 pounds in 2015 and 126 pounds in 2017, while placing fourth in the 120-pound weight class in 2016. Price already holds the Johnston record for most career wins after combining to go 128-21 over the past three seasons. He also earned All-America honors at the Fargo Nationals on the club circuit.

Robb enters his senior season at Owatonna High School with a combined 107-6 record over the past three years. After winning Minnesota Class AAA state titles at 106 pounds as a freshman and 120 pounds as a sophomore, Robb was denied his third consecutive state title with a 5-4 loss to Lloyd in the 2017 145-pound championship match to end the year with a 36-1 record. Robb has competed extensively on the club circuit, earning All-America honors five times in cadet and junior competition, while winning Greco-Roman and freestyle Pan-Am and national championships.

Alex Lloyd: “Wrestling in Division I has been a goal of mine for many years. I am so excited to make the leap to the next level. SDSU has a bright future and I want to be a part of it – everyone there is like family. Having SDSU want me to be a part of their program is a tremendous honor.”

Kenny O’Neil: “I have always dreamed of wrestling for a Division I program that can help me reach my full potential, both academically and athletically. I believe South Dakota State University is that place.”

Zach Price: “Signing with SDSU means everything to me. It’s the next chapter in my life and it’s a perfect fit for me. Brookings isn’t like any other place – the support, the campus, everything there is perfect. I love the coaches and the teammates are the best – it’s one big family.”

Peyton Robb: “SDSU seemed to be a perfect fit for me. The campus is beautiful, they are expanding every year and the wrestling program is making huge improvements. I’m excited to build on my friendships there.”

South Dakota State competes as an affiliate member of the Big 12 Conference and is ranked 16th in the 2017-18 National Wrestling Coaches Association/USA Today preseason poll. The Jackrabbits also were ranked nationally each of the past two seasons and qualified five wrestlers for the NCAA Wrestling Championships in 2016 and 2017, including 2017 All-Americans Seth Gross (runner-up at 133 pounds) and Alex Kocer (eighth at 149 pounds).

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