Mankato, Minn. — Including eight starters from a team that finished tenth in the nation in 2017-18, Minnesota State enters the year with 14 letterwinners returning.
The Mavericks went 7-4 (5-3 NSIC) in duals last season and after posting a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Super Region 3 tournament, placed tenth at the national championship tournament.
Veteran head coach Jim Makovsky, who enters his 30th season of college coaching with a career record of 293-134-4, will look to a trio of returning All-Americans to lead the way.
Senior George Farmah (St. Paul, Minn.) went 13-7 at 133 for the Mavericks a year ago and placed second in his first national tournament appearance. Senior Seth Elwood (165) posted a 16-11 mark en route to a regional title and a seventh-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Championship tournament, while junior Zach Johnston (174), who led Minnesota State in wins last year with a 24-7 record, became an All-American at the NCAA championship with a seventh-place finish at nationals after registering a second-place regional result.
Junior Zach Johnston (184), who has made a pair of NCAA tournament appearances in his two seasons of college wrestling and was an All-American with an eighth-place finish as a freshman, enters the season owning a 46-19 career mark.
Senior Daniel Close (157) is a three-year veteran with a 58-35 career mark. Junior Andrew McFall (125) posted a 17-8 mark and was sixth at regions last year and sophomore Kyle Rathman (149) was 22-10 and placed sixth at regions in his first year of college wrestling last year and junior Louie Sanders (141) owned a 17-9 mark as a sophomore.
Joining the Mavericks and looking to make an impact in their first year with Minnesota State are newcomers Brandon Moen (184, Owatonna, Minn., transfer from Eastern Michigan), Cooper Siebrecht (141/149, Lisbon, Iowa/ Lisbon H.S.), David Griffet (285, Mahomet, Ill./Mahomet-Seymour H.S.), Dylan Butts (184, Bensenville, Ill./Fenton H.S.), Max Villnow (285, Amherst, Wis./Amherst H.S.), Brody Nielsen (157/165, Albert Lea, Minn./Albert Lea H.S.), Bridger Kraye (174/184, Rapid City, S.D./Rapid City Central H.S.), Lucas Hagel (125, Waseca, Minn./Ridgewater Community College) and Sam Horn (285, Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie H.S.).
“We have a strong returning nucleus and we have high expectations for this team,” said Makovsky. “We have a very strong conference and region and we will have to continue to improve and close the gap on the strong individuals we face in the NSIC if we want to be at the top as a team.”
Minnesota State begins its season at the Yellowjacket Open in Rochester, Minn., on November 3rd.