MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Saint John’s University senior wrestler Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) earned a trip to the NCAA Division III Championships with a second-place finish at the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional on Saturday, Feb. 29, in Minneapolis.
Becker punched his ticket to nationals, which will be held March 13-14 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with a 7-5 win over No. 2 Victor Gliva of Augsburg in the 133-pound semifinals. He finished second overall with a 6-5 loss to undefeated No. 6/7 Matt Berlin (32-0 record) of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the championship bout.
The national-tournament appearance is the second for Becker, who is now 22-2 this season, and first since his freshman season in 2017 (third place at the regional). He is ranked as high as No. 3 nationally by D3wrestle.com.
Becker scored a late reversal to trail 4-3 against Gliva at the end of a fast-paced first period. Gliva chose down to start the second period and escaped, but Becker scored a takedown to tie the match at 5-5. Becker chose down and escaped 20 seconds into the third period and gained the extra point due to riding time. Becker defeated Gliva 6-3 the last time the two wrestlers met on Jan. 4 in Minneapolis.
The Johnnies’ other senior in action on Saturday, Jerod Novak (Aitkin, Minn.), ended his collegiate career with a sixth-place finish at 157 pounds. He started his day two wins shy of the third-place match and fell one victory short. Novak won his first match, 3-2, but suffered a 5-2, double-overtime loss to eighth-ranked Steve Bonsall of the University of Chicago in the consolation semifinal. Wisconsin-Platteville’s Alexander Strueder recorded a takedown in the closing seconds to take the fifth-place match, 4-3, as Novak ended the season with a 14-8 record.
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