COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Three Saint John’s wrestlers placed at the annual North Country Open, hosted by SJU, on Saturday, Jan. 27, in Collegeville.
The 116-man tournament largely consisted of wrestlers from NCAA Division I (21) and Division II (39), as well as No. 1 (DIII) Augsburg (25).
Junior Luke Dodd (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview), who is ranked as high as eighth nationally by D3wrestle.com at 184 pounds, finished second with a 2-1 record. He started his day with a 16-0 tech fall and advanced to the championship match with a 3-1, overtime win over Samuel Grove of Division I South Dakota State. Dodd lost the title match with a 10-3 decision to Division I North Dakota State’s Michael Otomo.
Sophomore Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.), like Dodd, went 2-1 to finish second at 125 pounds. He registered two straight major decisions before falling to North Dakota State’s Brent Fleetwood, a Division I national qualifier last season at Central Michigan, by major decision (14-3). Becker is now 19-8 on the year, including a 19-6 record against non-Division III opponents.
Sophomore Jerod Novak (Aitkin, Minn.) won his first two matches of the tournament at 157 pounds, 11-4 over Augsburg’s Josh Verbeten and 4-0 over Justin Dravis of Division II MSU-Moorhead, before falling to Augsburg’s Ryan Epps in the semifinal (9-0). Epps is ranked as high as third nationally. Novak dropped out of the tournament via medical forfeit after the semifinal loss and took sixth.
The Johnnies hit the road next weekend for the Wisconsin-Eau Claire Open at 9 a.m. next Saturday, Feb. 3.
125 -Noah Becker (Second, 2-1)
133 -Andrew Smith (0-2)
141 -Anthony Hennen (1-2)
157 -Jerod Novak (Sixth, 2-1)
165 -Brady Mehr (1-2)
174 -Dan Gainer (0-2)
184 -Luke Dodd (Second, 2-1)
197 -Dominic Skawiniak (1-3)