Johnnie Wrestling Competes Saturday at MSU-Moorhead Open

Saint John’s wrestling travels to compete at the MSU-Moorhead Open at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.

Saint John’s opened its 2017-18 dual schedule Thursday night (Nov. 30) with a 36-9 loss at No. 19 (Division II) MSU-Mankato. The Mavericks recorded five bonus-point wins, including three to start the dual. MSU’s lineup included three returning NCAA Division II national qualifiers from last March, including two All-Americans: fourth-ranked Corey Abernathy at 184 pounds and fifth-ranked Matthew Blome at 197.

Sophomore Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.), the ninth-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, cut down to 125 pounds and evened his season record at 2-2 with an 11-6 win over MSU’s Andrew McFall. Down 4-2 to start the second period, Becker out-scored his opponent 7-1 in the frame thanks to a late takedown and two-point near fall just before the whistle. He allowed an escape with a minute left in the match and sealed the win with a takedown in the closing seconds.

sjulogo Sophomore Andrew Smith (Amery, Wis.) picked up six more points for SJU thanks to a forfeit at 133 pounds. Sophomore Jerod Novak (Aitkin, Minn.) gained a 4-2 lead at 157 pounds with a late reversal near the end of the second period, but was out-scored 4-2 (including riding time) in the third in a 6-4 loss.

LAST YEAR’S TOURNAMENT: Eight Johnnies placed at last year’s MSU-Moorhead Dragon Open back on Dec. 4 (2016). SJU combined for a 6-9 record against Division I or Division II competition on the day. Teddy Erickson ’17 went 3-0 to win the 174-pound bracket. He started his day with a 19-0 technical fall and just missed another with a 14-2 major decision over Division II MSU-Moorhead’s Logan Rhode to advance to the championship match. Erickson claimed the title with a 5-4 win over Northland C.T.C.’s Mitchell Zachman.

Branden Schorr ’17 battled back from a loss via fall in his first match of the day with three consecutive pins of his own to finish third at 149 pounds. He staged off elimination with a pin of Ridgewater’s Bailey Eickhoff and pinned a pair of wrestlers from Division I North Dakota State, Samuel Gilseth and Nathaniel Rykerd, to take third.

Glenn Castro ’17 and junior Luke Dodd (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) claimed fourth (2-2) and fifth (2-2), respectively, at 184 pounds. Novak (157) and sophomore Anthony Hennen (125; Cologne, Minn./Norwood-Young American) placed fifth in their respective weights, while senior Nick Pegelow (Eagan, Minn./Eastview) took sixth at 197 pounds.

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