Becker & Dodd Advance to Semifinals at NCAA Regional

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Three Saint John’s wrestlers are still alive following the first day of the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional held on Friday, Feb. 22, in Eau Claire, Wis.

Senior Luke Dodd (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) and junior Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) are undefeated and start the final day of competition Saturday, Feb. 23, in the semifinals. Junior Jerod Novak (Aitkin, Minn.), meanwhile resumes the tournament with a consolation third-round match.

Saturday’s competition begins at 10 a.m. The top three finishers in each of the 10 weight classes advance to the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships March 8-9 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Va.

Becker cruised to a 2-0 record at 133 pounds with a technical fall and a pin. He will face Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Ben Vosters, who is ranked as high as No. 7 by the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA), in his semifinal match. Becker is now 26-2 on the year, including a 16-1 record against Division III competition.

Dodd was issued a first-round bye at 197 pounds and earned a 7-5 decision over Stevens Point’s Jerry Lipke in the quarterfinals to improve to 14-5 this season. He will face top-seeded Lance Benick of Augsburg, who is ranked as high as No. 3 by the NWCA, in the semifinals. Dodd suffered close 5-3 and 4-3 losses to Benick earlier this season.

Novak started his day with a 9-1 major decision at 157 pounds but was held scoreless in a 6-0 loss to Keone Derain of Elmhurst (Ill.), who is ranked as high as No. 8 by the NWCA, in the quarterfinals. He bounced back with a 5-3 win over Concordia-Moorhead’s Adam Jaeger and will wrestle Wisconsin-Whitwater’s Scott Schieldt Saturday morning. Novak is now 14-6 on the year and is two bouts from competing for third place and a trip to nationals.

Freshman Jacob Scherber (Buffalo, Minn.) started his first regional with a pair of decisions at 174 pounds but ran into ninth-ranked Ben Parasin from Chicago (a 15-5 loss) and exited the tournament with an 8-3 defeat to Elmhurst’s Nevin Brittain. Scherber completed his first season as a Johnnie with a 27-20 record.

125-Josh Clark (1-2)
133-Noah Becker (2-0)
141-Andrew Smith (0-2)
149-Anthony Hennen (0-2)
157-Jerod Novak (2-1)
165-Dan Gainer (0-2)
174-Jacob Scherber (2-2)
197-Luke Dodd (1-0)
285-Quincy Spiering (0-2)

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