ELMHURST, Ill. – Nine Saint John’s wrestlers placed, including two champions, as the Johnnies won Elmhurst’s (Ill.) 12-team Al Hanke Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 12.
The Johnnies collected 32 victories, 17 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.
The Johnnies return home to host Division II Northern State (S.D.) for a 7 p.m. dual on Friday, Jan. 18, in Sexton Arena.
-Josh Clark (3-1 – Third Place)
-Noah Becker (3-0 – Champion)
-Anthony Hennen (2-1 – Second Place)
-Andrew Smith (2-3 – Sixth Place)
-Caleb Jungling (0-2)
-Jerod Novak (4-2 – Fourth Place)
-Joe Hennen (2-2)
-Dan Gainer (2-2)
-Jacob Scherber (4-2 – Fifth Place)
-Dan Gehrz (0-2)
-Dominic Skawiniak (3-2 – Fifth Place)
-Luke Dodd (3-0 – Champion)
-Quincy Spiering (4-2 – Fifth Place)
Check out Johnnies Wrestling at gojohnnies.com.