St. Cloud, Minn. — The No. 11 Minnesota State wrestling team began their post-season schedule today competing at the NCAA Division II Super Region 3 tournament in St. Cloud.
Nine wrestlers advanced to the second day of the tournament, bringing themselves closer to qualifying for the Division II National Championship in March.
George Farmah was the first Maverick wrestler to punch his ticket to the second day of the tournament after finishing the afternoon with a 2-0 record at 133-pounds. Farmah won his first match by a 15-5 major decision and took his quarterfinal match into sudden victory where he claimed a takedown in the final seconds to claim an 8-6 decision and improve to day two.
At 157-pounds Daniel Close won his only match of the day defeating Tanner Olson (Northern) by a 9-2 decision to reach the semifinal match Saturday. At 165-pounds Seth Elwood won by fall in his first match in 4:50 over Carlos Toledano (Minot) and upset #5 Devin Fitzpatrick of St. Cloud to earn a trip to the semifinal match on Saturday. Elwood gained a flurry of first-period points and defended a late surge by Fitzpatrick to earn his second victory of the day by an 11-8 decision.
Zach Johnston reached semifinal match at 174-pounds with a pin in 2:29 and a narrow 7-6 decision. In his second match, Johnston trailed Adam Blees (MSU Moorhead) 5-2 entering the third period and gained an early escape and takedown to tighten the lead. Johnston had a late takedown attempt reviewed and overturned to ultimately gain the decision victory over Blees. Johnston has now reached twenty wins on the season with a mark of 20-5.
Minnesota State’s All-American duo of Corey Abernathy and Matthew Blome both advanced with identical 2-0 records on Friday. Abernathy won a 10-2 major decision in his first match over Riley Lura of Northern State and advanced with a 5-0 decision against Dalton Hahn of Upper Iowa. Blome gained a fall in 2:38 and a second in 4:44 to top Luke Diener (McKendree) and Dustin Politte (Maryville) respectively to reach the semifinal match at 197-pounds on Saturday. Blome leads the Mavericks with 8 falls this season.
Andrew McFall and Kyle Rathman will have to wrestle back out of the consolation bracket on Saturday morning after the pair dropped decisions in the quarterfinals. McFall finished 1-1 on the day at 125-pounds with a 4-2 decision victory over Taylor Curtis (SMSU). Rathman wrestled to a 2-1 record on day one gaining a 5-2 decision in his opening match and a 12-2 major decision over Tanner Crissler (Minot) to advance to day two. Rathman eclipsed the twenty-win plateau on Friday and now holds a 21-8 record for the Mavericks.
Chris Zimmer will wrestle Saturday morning after finishing 1-1 on Friday at heavyweight. Zimmer dropped his first match of the day by a score of 4-1 to Mitchell Eull (Minot). The senior rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Luke Nohns of Augustana to advance to the second day of the regional tournament.
Minnesota State is currently fourth out of fifteen teams with a team score of 50.5.
Louie Sanders saw his season come to an end after finishing with a record of 1-2 Friday.
Wrestling will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday with semifinal matches and consolation bracket matches while 1st, 3rd, and 5th place matches will begin at 4:00 p.m.