SMSU hosts Upper Iowa and Augustana in weekend duals

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team (0-3, 0-2 NSIC) hosts Upper Iowa (4-3, 1-0 NSIC) at 7 p.m. on Friday and Augustana (1-1, 0-1 NSIC) at 2 p.m. in Saturday in the PE Gym for two conference duals.

CATCHING UP WITH THE MUSTANGS — The Mustangs hosted the DIII national leader, Augsburg University, on Jan. 12, for a 32-6 non-conference loss. Kegen Fingalsen and Andrew Petersen won the only two bouts of the dual. Fingalsen defeated Josh Verbeten of Augsburg with a 9-5 decision victory and Petersen earned a 5-2 decision victory over Ethan Hofacker.

SMSU also dropped the second conference dual of the season, 22-16, to Northern State on Jan. 10. Four Mustangs earned bout victories as Cortez Arredondo earned the first victory of the night with a 9-1 major decision victory over NSU’s Walker Carr. Kegen Fingalsen kept it rolling with a 5-1 decision victory over Billy Holtan at 165 and Dru Kuchenbaker won over Jake Flakus with a medical forfeit at 5:32. The Mustangs dropped the next two bouts before Andrew Petersen finished the night with a victory over Harrison Townsend in sudden victory. Arredondo is ranked at No. 8 in the last NWCA DII Rankings released on Jan. 11.

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UPPER IOWA — Upper Iowa is 4-3 overall, 1-0 in the NSIC, and was picked to finish second in the conference in the preseason poll. Upper Iowa is tied at the No. 19 spot in the latest NWCA poll released on Jan. 11. UIU has four wrestlers ranked in the top-12 in the latest individual rankings of the NWCA poll. Justin Folley (133) ranks seventh, Brock Benitz (165) ranks eighth, Hahn (184), who was chosen as the NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 6., comes in at the No. 10 spot, and Nick Baulmer (197) ranks ninth. Upper Iowa competes at Minnesota State on Thursday before traveling to SMSU for Saturday’s dual.

UPPER IOWA HISTORY — Upper Iowa leads the all-time series 14-4 dating back to the 1991-92 season. The Peacocks have won the last 14 matches since the 2004-05 season. Upper Iowa defended its home mat in the last meeting with a 25-13 victory over the Mustangs. Arredondo, Fingalsen, and Hennen were three of the four victories on the night. Hennen’s victory was over No. 10-ranked Dalton Hahn. Head coach, Heath Grimm, is in his 19th season as head coach in 2018-19. He has compiled a 184-54-3 overall record and is 70-17 in the NSIC. Grimm has coached 84 national qualifiers, 45 All-Americans, and seven National champions. UIU placed fourth last season at the NCAA Division II Championships.

AUGUSTANA— Augustana is 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the NSIC. The Vikings were picked to finish fourth in the conference in the preseason poll. Colin Ayers (157) leads the Vikings in victories with a 20-8 record. He is 1-0 in the conference and has earned 13 decision victories. Clayton Wahlstrom trails close behind with a 19-11 record with nine decision victories with his fastest fall at 1:45. Head coach, Jason Reitmeier, is in his 16th season as head coach in 2018-19. He has compiled a 177-81 overall record and is 65-32 in the NSIC. The Vikings wrestle MSU Moorhead on Thursday night before the dual.

AUGUSTANA HISTORY — Augustana leads the all-time series 28-5 starting in the 1982-83 season. The Vikings have won the last four consecutive matches and the last 17 of 18 matches. The last Mustang victory was a 15-14 win in the 2013-14 season, the first victory against the Vikings since the 1998-99 season. The last meeting was a 27-9 Viking victory where Arredondo and Peterson were the only returning Mustangs to earn victories, both by decision.

MUSTANG 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 81-90-1, including 30-52 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.

Probable SMSU Line Up
125: Ben Emrich (10-7)
133: Brock Buysse (5-10)
141: Jordan Biehn (5-5)
149: Justin Haneke (5-7)
157: Cortez Arredondo (17-5)
165: Kegen Fingalsen (13-8)
174: Dru Kuchenbaker (8-5)
184: Griffin Osing (9-4)
197: Cole Hennen (10-7)
285: Andrew Petersen (17-6)

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

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