Saint John’s wrestling hosts No. 25 (Division II) Northern State (S.D.) for a 7 p.m. dual on Friday, Jan. 18, in Sexton Arena.
A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Saint John’s (1-2 dual record) won Elmhurst’s 12-team Al Hanke Invitational last Saturday (Jan. 12) in Illinois. Nine Johnnies placed, including two champions, as the team collected 32 victories, 18 of which were pins, to finish with 124 points. The host Bluejays claimed second at 121, followed by Illinois’ Chicago (94) and North Central (82).
Junior Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) registered three bonus-point victories at 133 pounds to win his fourth tournament of the season. His closest match, following an opening-round technical fall (17-2) and a pin in the semifinal, was the 12-2 major decision in the championship bout. Becker is now 19-2 on the year, including wins in 17 of his last 18 matches and eight consecutive.
Senior Luke Dodd (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) returned to the mat for the first time since Dec. 8 and posted a 3-0 record of his own to claim SJU’s other title at 197 pounds. He started the tournament with back-to-back pins and took the championship with an 11-6 decision. Dodd is now 9-3 this season.
Junior Anthony Hennen (Cologne, Minn./Norwood-Young America) won his first two bouts at 141 pounds, a pin and an 11-5 decision, but fell to fifth-ranked Jimmy McAuliffe of Elmhurst via fall in the title match.
Freshman Josh Clark (Fridley, Minn./Totino-Grace) added three wins to his ledger for a third-place finish at 125 pounds. All three wins were via bonus points, including a pin and a major decision in the consolation bracket.
Junior Jerod Novak (Aitkin, Minn.) battled back from an opening-round loss to claim fourth at 157 pounds in what was his first competition of the season due to knee surgery in the fall. He posted four straight wins in the consolation bracket before falling in the third-place match by a 4-0 decision.
Three Johnnies finished fifth in their respective brackets. Junior Quincy Spiering (Mounds View, Minn./St. Thomas Academy) went 4-2 at heavyweight and freshman Jacob Scherber (Buffalo, Minn.) matched his 4-2 record at 174 pounds. Junior Dominic Skawiniak (Rogers, Minn.) took fifth with a 3-2 mark at 184 pounds, while junior Andrew Smith (Amery, Wis.) placed sixth at 141.
FIRST TO 20: Scherber reached the 20-win plateau (20-11 record) with his 4-2 record at 174 pounds last weekend. He also leads the Johnnies with 10 pins on the year. The winning record is not unusual for Scherber, who was the 2018 Minnesota Class AAA state runner-up. He posted a 144-39 career record with 73 pins at Buffalo High School. Scherber’s father, Jason ’95, was a three-time national qualifier and is tied for sixth in SJU history with 124 career wins (124-37 career record).
THE LINEUP: The Johnnies are scheduled to send this lineup to the mat Friday night.
125 – Freshman Josh Clark (8-8)
133 – Junior Noah Becker (19-2)
141 – Junior Anthony Hennen (6-14)/Junior Andrew Smith (3-7)
149 – Junior Anthony Hennen (6-14)/Junior Andrew Smith (3-7)
157 – Junior Jarod Novak (4-2)
165 – Freshman Joe Hennen (4-9)
174 – Freshman Jacob Scherber (20-11)
184 – Junior Dominic Skawiniak (11-9)
197 – Senior Luke Dodd (9-3)
285 – Junior Quincy Spiering (14-10)
A LOOK AT THE WOLVES: Northern State (5-1 dual record) improved to 3-1 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) with a 22-16 home win over Southwest Minnesota State last Thursday (Jan. 10) in Aberdeen, S.D. NSU jumped out to a 16-0 lead en route to the win, its first over the Mustangs since the 2009-10 season. The Wolves currently have two nationally ranked wrestlers, freshman Kolton Roth (No. 5 at 141 pounds, 10-1 record) and freshman Caden Moore (No. 10 at 149 pounds, 18-4 record).
125 – Open
133 – Kenny Jones (2-0)
141 – Nate Rodriguez (5-5)/No. 5 Kolton Roth (10-1)
149 – Bryan Burnett (9-5)/No. 10 Caden Moore (18-4)
157 – Walker Carr (10-8)
165 – Billy Holtan (12-10)/Tanner Wiese (10-7)
174 – Billy Holtan (12-10)/Tanner Wiese (10-7)
184 – Riley Lura (5-7)
197 – Diego Gallegos (13-7)
285 – Caleb Lefferdink (13-9)/Harrison Townsend (7-5)
IT’S BEEN A WHILE: Friday’s dual is the first between the two schools since Feb. 17, 2000, which was a 40-0 win for SJU at St. Cloud State (see below). The Wolves last visited Collegeville on Feb. 18, 1998, when they forfeited five weights and suffered a 41-8 loss to the Johnnies in Sexton Arena.
125: Adam Mergen (SJU) pinned Brian Englund, 0:51
133: Chuck Griffith (SJU) dec. Richard Goethais, 4-0
141: Mike Timm (SJU) pinned Todd Currey, 1:56
149: Mike Ritt (SJU) dec. Troy Fox, 9-6
157: Andy McMullen (SJU) dec. Eric Toft, 6-4
165: Jeremy Abfalter (SJU) won by forfeit
174: Chris Gross (SJU) dec. Cory Anderson, 3-1
184: Ryan Tietz (SJU) major dec. Joey Krause, 19-6
197: Mark Koch (SJU) dec. Dale Daugherty, 2-1 (OT)
285: Adam Clemen (SJU) dec. Jason Hulshof, 4-1
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