Saint John’s wrestling travels south to compete at the Central Invitational at 9 a.m. this Saturday, Jan. 5, in Pella, Iowa.
A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Saint John’s completed the two-day Citrus Invitational on Sunday (Dec. 30) at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The tournament consisted of 222 wrestlers from 13 schools, 11 of which were from the NCAA Division III level. Wrestlers who suffered two losses Saturday and were eliminated, as well as those that recorded their second loss Sunday morning, were added to separate single-elimination consolation brackets in adjacent to the main tournament.
Junior Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) led the way for SJU with a 4-1 record and third-place finish at 133 pounds. He recorded a pair of major decisions Saturday but dropped his first match Sunday, a narrow 6-4 loss to RIT’s Chris Horton – the eventual champion – in the semifinal. He bounced back with a technical fall and claimed third with a 4-2 victory over Ferrum’s Levi Englman. Becker is now 13-2 on the year with wins in 11 of his last 12 matches.
Three Johnnies finished in the top two of Sunday’s consolation brackets, including wins from juniors Dominic Skawiniak (Rogers, Minn.) and Quincy Spiering (Mounds View, Minn./St. Thomas Academy). Spiering posted a 4-2 record at heavyweight, including a 2-2 mark on Saturday. He posted a 3-0 shutout in his first match on Sunday and took first with a pin in 48 seconds. He is now 6-4 this season. Skawiniak responded from a 0-2 exit on Saturday, in which he did not record a point, with a masterful four pins to claim first at 184 pounds.
Freshman Jacob Scherber (Buffalo, Minn.) was the busiest of the 11 Johnnies in the tournament, tallying a 6-3 record to finish second in the 174-pound consolation bracket. He collected a 3-1 record on Saturday, with the lone loss coming to a wrestler from Division I (club) Liberty, and followed that with three straight wins before falling to RIT’s Morgan Seller in the title bout. Scherber is 11-8 on the year.
WHO WILL BE THERE: In addition to SJU and the host (No. 14) Dutch, other schools scheduled to compete Saturday include NAIA Briar Cliff (Iowa), Buena Vista (Iowa), NAIA Morningside (Iowa), Neosho Count C.C. (Kan.), Simpson (Iowa), St. Olaf, Ozarks (Ark.), NAIA Waldorf (Iowa) and No. 2 Wartburg (Iowa).
FOR THE JOHNNIES: The Johnnies are scheduled to have 13 wrestlers participating Saturday: Becker, Scherber, Skawiniak, Spiering, freshman Josh Clark (Fridley, Minn./Totino-Grace), senior Luke Dodd (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview), junior Dan Gainer (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall), junior Dan Gehrz (Mendota Heights, Minn./St. Thomas Academy), junior Anthony Hennen (Cologne, Minn./Norwood-Young American), freshman Joe Hennen (Cologne, Minn./Norwood-Young America), freshman Caleb Jungling (Anoka, Minn.) and freshman Zack Zavadil (Clearwater, Minn./Monticello). Junior Andrew Smith (Amery, Wis.) will make his 2018-19 debut Saturday after studying abroad this past fall in Spain.
Check out Johnnies Wrestling at gojohnnies.com.