The Johnnie wrestling team returns to the mat this Saturday, Dec. 8, at the St. Cloud State Open. The tournament is scheduled for 9 a.m. start at the Halenbeck Hall Fieldhouse.
Saint John’s recorded a trio of top-three finishes last Saturday (Dec. 1) at the MSU-Moorhead Open. Junior Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) won the 133-pound title with a 3-0 record. He started his morning with a pin and a 5-3 decision of Concordia-Moorhead’s Jacob Prunty (5-3). Becker earned first-place honors with an 8-2 win over Division II MSU-Moorhead’s Seth Hutchison to improve to 7-1 on the young season.
Senior Luke Dodd (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) claimed third place at 197 pounds with a 3-1 record. He book-ended his day with a pair of decisions over Concordia-Moorhead wrestlers, 7-2 vs. Bryce Kallenbach in the first match and 11-4 vs. Jacob Arends in the third-place match. Dodd bounced back from a narrow 3-2 loss to Logan Rhode of Division I North Dakota State with an 18-1 technical fall in the consolation semifinal. Dodd is currently ranked No. 10 at 197 pounds by D3wrestle.com and is 6-2 on the year.
Freshman Jacob Scherber (Buffalo, Minn.) went 2-1 to take second in the 174-pound white bracket. He cruised to the championship bout with a 3-1 decision of Division II Northern State’s Jake Flakus and a 19-2 technical fall of NAIA Jamestown’s Thomas Ingraham, but fell to Rochester C.T.C.’s Jeremiah Colon via major decision (12-1).
LAST YEAR’S TOURNEY: SJU placed four wrestlers, including top-two finishes from its two nationally ranked student-athletes, at last year’s (Dec. 9, 2017) Husky Open. Dodd, the then-No. 8 wrestler at 184 pounds, led the Johnnies with a 3-0 record and a first-place finish. He started his day with a 5-0 win over Augsburg’s Lorenzo Hernandez and won the semifinal bout, 4-2 over St. Cloud State’s Riley Vanik. Dodd won the title with a narrow 6-5 victory over the Auggies’ Jackson Graham, a transfer from SJU. He posted a 3-1 overtime win over Graham earlier in the season (Nov. 18) at the Augsburg Open.
The 125- and 133-pound weight classes only had six participants each, so those participants wrestled five matches in a round-robin format. Then-No. 9 Becker finished second at 125 with a 4-1 record. His lone loss was a 9-6 decision to St. Cloud State’s Brett Velasquez, who was ranked No. 1 in Division II.
Junior Jerod Novak (Aitkin, Minn.) went 2-2 to claim fifth at 157 pounds and junior Andrew Smith (Amery, Wis.) totaled a 2-3 record to take sixth in the round-robin 133-pound bracket.
Check out Johnnies Wrestling at gojohnnies.com.