Huskies will send 10 wrestlers to the NCAA finals in Cedar Rapids
The #1 St. Cloud State University wrestling team (19-0, 8-0 NSIC) will be sending a school-record 10 wrestlers to the upcoming 2018 NCAA Division II wrestling championships, which will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 9-10.
The championships will be hosted by Upper Iowa University at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Listed below is a rundown of the SCSU wrestlers, who will be competing at the 2018 NCAA championships on March 9-10.
125 Pounds: Brett Velasquez, Junior – Bennington, Neb. A three-time national qualifier and two-time All-American, Velasquez won the NCAA DII title at 125-pounds in 2016 and placed third in 2017. He enters the tournament with a #3 national ranking and a 26-2 overall record. Velasquez won the top spot in tournament action at the Dakota Wesleyan Open and Husky Open in 2017-18. A CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2017, Velasquez won the 125-pound title at the NCAA Division II Super 3 Regional in 2018. Velasquez opens this year’s tournament with a match against Majid Corbit of Limestone (13-8). He is 8-1 in action at the NCAA championships during his collegiate career.
133 Pounds: Adam Hedin, Freshman – Rosemount, Minn. Hedin is making his first trip to the NCAA DII championships. The nation’s #12 ranked wrestler at 133-pounds, Hedin owns a 19-7 record this year with five pins to his credit. Hedin placed first at the Cobber Open this season along with a third place finish at the North Country Open. He punched his ticket to Cedar Rapids with a third place finish in the 133-pound bracket at the 2018 NCAA DII Super 3 Regional. Hedin will match up against Nathan Cervantez of San Francisco (24-5) in the first round at the upcoming NCAA championships.
141 Pounds: Jarred Oftedahl, Senior – Chaska, Minn. A two-time national qualifer, Oftedahl will looking to gain All-America honors after making his first trip to the NCAA championships in 2017. Oftedahl charted a first place finish at the Cobber Open, Dakota Wesleyan Open and Husky Open in 2017-18. He chalked up a 27-3 record with 11 pins for the Huskies in 2017-18. He is ranked #3 in the latest DII rankings at 141-pounds this winter. At the NCAA Division II Super Region 3, Oftedahl placed second. He owns a 0-2 record in NCAA championship competition. In the first round of the 2018 NCAA tournament, Oftedahl will match up against Tyler Warner of Wheeling Jesuit (26-7).
149 Pounds: James Pleski, Soph. – Stacy, Minn. A graduate of Forest Lake H.S., Pleski earned All-America with a fourth place finish at the 2017 NCAA DII championships. Pleski is currently ranked #1 in the nation at 149-pounds. He owns a 26-1 record this winter and placed first at the Husky Open. Pleski also gained the top spot in the 149-pound bracket at the 2018 NCAA DII Super 3 Regional, which punched his second consecutive ticket to the NCAA finals. He is 4-2 in NCAA championship round competition. His first match at the NCAA finals will be against Tyler Makosy of UNC Pembroke (31-14).
157 Pounds: Larry Bomstad, Senior – Lake Lillian, Minn. A two-time All-American for the Huskies at 157-pounds, Bomstad brings a 26-4 record into the NCAA tourney. He has six falls to his credit this winter and most recently earned his third NCAA bid with a fourth place finish at the 2018 NCAA DII Super 3 Regional. Bomstad placed third in 2017 and seventh in 2015 at the NCAA championships. He is currently ranked 10th in the latest NCAA DII poll. In NCAA. Bomstad was 5-1 at last year’s NCAA championships for SCSU. He opens NCAA action this year vs. Tyler Mies of Newman (19-3).
165 Pounds: Devin FitzPatrick, R-Fr. – Mahtomedi, Minn. FitzPatrick will be making his first trip to the NCAA DII championships in 2018. He owns a 23-4 record this season and that includes a second place finish at the Cobber Open. FitzPatrick punched his ticket to Cedar Rapids with a third place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division II Super 3 Regional. He is ranked sixth in the latest NCAA DII polls at 165. FitzPatrick opens the NCAA tournament vs. Devin Austin of Pitt.-Johnstown (16-6).
174 Pounds: Kolton Eischens, Soph. – Pierz, Minn. Eischens will also be making his first trip to the NCAA finals in 2018. He is currently ranked sixth in the latest NCAA DII poll at 174-pounds. Eischens is 29-4 with 10 falls in 2017-18. He gained his tourney ticket with a third place finish at the 2018 NCAA DII Super 3 Regional. He opens the NCAA tourney vs. Christian Price of Ashland (27-9).
184 Pounds: Tyree Overton, Junior – Rock Island, Ill. An NJCAA All-American before his transfer to SCSU, Overton will be making his first NCAA DII tournament trip. He is ranked sixth in the latest NCAA DII rankings and is 13-7 for the Huskies in 2017-18. He gained his tournament ticket with a second place finish in the 184-pound bracket at the recent 2018 NCAA DII Super 3 Regional. His first match at the NCAA tournament will be against Noel Torres of Newman (36-4).
197 Pounds: Vince Dietz, Senior – Homer Glen, Ill. Another Illinois grappler, Dietz is a grad of Lockport Township H.S. He owns a 31-2 record this winter with 11 pins to his credit. This will mark his first trip to the NCAA tournament. Dietz gained first place finishes at the Cobber and Husky Opens this season. He also charted a first place finish at the 2018 NCAA DII Super 3 Regional in the 197-pound bracket. Dietz will kickoff the NCAA tournament in Cedar Rapids with a match against Logan Kemp of West Liberty (19-11). He is currently ranked #3 in the the latest DII polls at 197.
285 Pounds: Lawrence Phillips, Junior – Byron, Ill. A grad of Rockford’s Auburn H.S., Phillips led the Huskies in 2017-18 with 16 pins and a 29-5 overall record. He is currently ranked #9 in the nation at 285-pounds and will be making his first trip to the NCAA tourney this year. He placed third at this year’s NCAA DII Super 3 Regional, which qualified him this week’s NCAA tournament. Phillips will open tournament action with a match against Mimmo Lytle of Findlay (27-9).
SCSU NCAA WRESTLING NOTES AND FACTS:
SCSU claimed its second consecutive NCAA DII Super 3 Regional title in 2018.
The Huskies also earned their seventh consecutive NSIC championship in 2017-18 with an 8-0 league record (19-0 overall).
SCSU was won NSIC titles in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.
SCSU was ranked #1 in the latest NCAA DII Wrestling Coaches’ team poll.
At the NCAA championships, the Huskies placed second behind Notre Dame (Ohio) in 2017.
The Huskies won the NCAA Division II championship in 2015 and 2016 under the leadership of head coach Steve Costanzo
This marks the first time in team history that the Huskies have qualified 10 wrestlers for the NCAA championships
Since 2009, the Huskies have been a top 10 team at the NCAA tournament. SCSU’s finishes at the NCAA tournament are as follows: 2009 (8th), 2010 (7th), 2011 (2nd), 2012 (2nd), 2013 (2nd), 2014 (6th), 2015 (1st), 2016 (1st) and 2017 (2nd).
Returning All-Americans for the Huskies this year include Brett Velasquez (125), James Pleski (149) and Larry Bomstad (157).
Velasquez won the NCAA DII title at 125 in 2016.
Coach Steve Costanzo is in his 12th season at SCSU. His career record with the Huskies is 188-28 and his overall college coaching record is 249-58-2. He has coached 160 national qualifiers, 81 All-Americans and seven national champs during his career.
Costanzo has coached five NCAA DII champions during his time at SCSU. This list includes John Sundgren (2011 – 157 lbs.), Derek Skala (2012 – 184 lbs.), Shamus O’Grady (2013 – 184 lbs), Tim Prescott (2015 – 125 lbs.) and Brett Velasquez (2016 – 125 lbs.).
Costanzo has won seven NSIC titles with the Huskies, two NCAA DII titles, four NCAA DII regional titles and four NWCA DII National Duals titles during his tenure in St. Cloud. The Huskie have gained a 149-7 record since 2010-11.
SCSU has won 28 consecutive dual matches dating back to a 22-17 loss to Indianapolis on Jan. 14, 2017. SCSU has won 60 consecutive NSIC dual matches and has not lost a dual match in league competition since an 18-13 setback on Jan. 27, 2011 at Augustana.
At last year’s NCAA tournament, SCSU had 67.0 points to place second while Notre Dame (OH) won the tournament with 103.5 points.