SMSU welcomes national champions, St. Cloud State, in home opener on Thursday

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team will host its first home dual match of the season welcoming 2018 NCAA DII Champion, St. Cloud State (1-0), in both teams’ conference opener on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the PE Gym.

The Mustangs opened their season at the Dakota Wesleyan Open on Nov. 10. SMSU earned five place winners with Cortez Arrendondo (157), Jackson Ryan (197), and Andrew Petersen (HWT) all taking home third in their respective classes. Kegan Fingalsen (165) and Dru Kuchenbaker (174) finished fifth to conclude SMSU’s placing.

smsulogoSMSU also competed at the Augsburg Invitational on Nov. 17, where SMSU placed 12 wrestlers and five unattached wrestlers. Andrew Petersen wrestled at 285 and led the way placing second in the gold bracket and going 2-1 on the day. Neil Hanson, 197, earned second place in the silver bracket after falling by major decision to Cooper Stigsell (Central) (Maj 11-3). Cortez Arredondo and teammate Zach Beaumaster met in the consolation match at 157 to both earn third place as Arredondo went 1-1 and Beaumaster went 2-1. Cole Hennen, 184, won by tech fall over Dominic Skawiniak (St. Johns) (Fall 1:36) then won by decision in the quarterfinal over Solomon (Augsburg) (Dec 13-6). Jackson Ryan, 197, took home third place in the gold bracket with a victory by decision over Hunter Weaver (Luther) (Dec 7-4).

St. Cloud State at Southwest Minnesota State Live Video

SMSU INDIVIDUAL LEADERS:
197 Jackson Ryan 8-2
174 Dru Kuchenbaker 7-3
165 Kegan Fingalsen 7-3
157 Cortez Arrendondo 6-2
HWT Andrew Petersen 6-2

SMSU PROBABLE LINEUP:
125 – Willie Meine (4-3)
133 – Brock Buysse (4-3)
141 –
149 – Jordan Biehn (0-0
157 – Cortez Arredondo (6-2)
165 – Kegen Fingalsen (7-3)
174 – Dru Kuchenbaker (7-3)
184 – Cole Hennen (3-1)
197 – Ben Thompson (3-5)
285 – Andrew Petersen (6-2)

ST. CLOUD STATE — SCSU is the seven-time defending NSIC champions, going undefeated last season at 8-0. The Huskies have won 60 consecutive NSIC dual matches since Jan. 27, 2011. SCSU earned the top spot in the latest NCAA DII rankings. Vince Dietz leads the Huskies with a perfect 8-0 record at 197 pounds, he is ranked number one in the nation and owns a 90-16 career record. Head coach, Steve Costanzo, has a 189-28 career record including seven NSIC championships and three NCAA DII championships. SCSU won NCAA Division II Championships in 2015, 2016, and 2018.

ST. CLOUD STATE HISTORY — St. Cloud State leads the all-time series 33-13-1 over SMSU. SCSU has won the past 12 matches against the Mustangs. SMSU’s last win occurred in the 2005-06 season with a 24-18 victory. SMSU holds a 11-10 home record over SCSU.

ST. CLOUD STATE PROBABLE LINEUP:
125 – Brandon Briggs (5-2)
133 – Garrett Vos (4-0)
141 – Travis Swanson (5-2)
149 – James Pleski (4-1)
157 – Taner Trembley (0-0)
165 – Devin FitzPatrick (6-0)
174 – Kolton Eischens (4-0)
184 – Riley Vanik (9-3)
197 – Vince Dietz (8-0)
285 – Zach Muller (5-1)

HEAD COACH: Jesse Nelson is in his 12th season as head coach at SMSU in 2018-19. Nelson was named the fourth coach in the program history on Aug. 22, 2007. Nelson, the 2013-14 NSIC Coach of the Year, Nelson has a career dual record of 81-87-1, including 30-50 in conference matches. During his tenure, Nelson has groomed 20 national qualifiers–including three two-time qualifiers and three three-time qualifiers–along with 11 All-NSIC honorees.

UP NEXT — Southwest Minnesota State will be back in action Saturday at the Buena Vista Open.

Check out Mustangs Wrestling at smsumustangs.com and on Twitter.

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