SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The #1 St. Cloud State University wrestling team is back and ready for action. After postponing team activities due to COVID-19 protocols, results in a cancelled Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) duel, the Huskies return to action on Thursday, as they are set to take on Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Thursday’s dual will be the first for St. Cloud State since January 7, 2021, as the team was forced to cancel last week’s meet against Minot State in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. Due to the NSIC policy, the duel against the Beavers will not be rescheduled, meaning the Huskies schedule is down to five NSIC duels rather than the regularly scheduled six.
Thursday’s duel is set to begin at 7 p.m. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Fans can watch live on the NSIC Network and can follow along via live stats at trackwrestling.com.
Here are the five things to know before Thursday’s duel at Augustana:
7 – The Huskies saw seven individual wrestlers ranked in The Open Mat’s top-16 rankings in each weight class. Three of the seven wrestlers were ranked #1 in their respective weight class. Garrett Vos (Bonifacius, Minn. / Waconia) received the top ranking at 133, while Jake Barzowksi (Niles, Ill. / Notre Dame) and Kameron Teacher (Columbus, Ohio / Central Crossing) were ranked #1 at 157 and 285 respectively. Also ranked: #3 at 133 Joseph Bianchini (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep), #2 at 165 Devin FitzPatrick (Mahtomedi, Minn. / Mahtomedi), #4 at 174 Noah Ryan (Mantorville, Minn. / Kasson-Mantorville) and #5 at 149 Garrett Aldrich (Albert Lea, Minn. / Albert Lea) who is not scheduled to wrestle on Thursday.
31-3 – The last time St. Cloud State competed, it earned a definitive 31-3 win over the University of Mary in its season opener. The Huskies earned seven individual matches by decision, including FitzPatrick’s 6-3 win over the Marauders Braydon Huber, who was ranked #5 in the nation at 165 pounds. Paxton Creese (Shakopee, Minn. / Shakopee) earned St. Cloud State’s lone tech fall of the night, defeating Jeremy Leintz 19-2 in 5:18.
1st – FitzPatrick became the first Huskies wrestler to earn the NSIC Wrestler of the Week honor after his impressive performance against the Marauders last week. A two-time All-American and current team captain, the Wrestler of the Week honor is the second award bestowed on FitzPatrick by the NSIC, as he was also named the conference Preseason Wrestler of the Year back in December.
27-3 – The last time St. Cloud State faced off against Augustana was on February 27, 2020. Aka: the last NSIC dual meet of the 2019-20 season. The Huskies collected wins at nine weight classes that Thursday evening, helping them clinch their ninth consecutive NSIC title, having won in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
4 – The Vikings will be a tough opponent for the Huskies this weekend, as four of their wrestlers were ranked in the top-16 poll on The Open Mat. Combined with St. Cloud State’s seven, it means 11 nationally ranked wrestlers could compete Thursday afternoon. However, despite being the top-ranked wrestler at 157 pounds, Barzowski may compete at 149 pounds while Aldrich is scheduled to have the week off.
- 125 – Paxton Creese (Shakopee, Minn. / Shakopee)
- 133 – #1 Garrett Vos (Bonifacius, Minn. / Waconia) OR Sam Spender (Huntley, Ill. / Huntley)
- 141 – #3 Joseph Bianchini (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / IC Catholic)
- 149 – Jake Barzowski (Park Ridge, Ill. / Notre Dame)
- 157 – Jared Head (Washington, Ill. / Washington)
- 165 – #2 Devin FitzPatrick (Mahtomedi, Minn. / Mahtomedi) OR Jackson Held (Royalton, Minn. / Royalton)
- 174 – Dominic Murphy (Evergreen Park, Ill. / Brother Rice) OR Devin Donovan (Wheaton, Ill. / Wheaton North)
- 184 – Billy Pitzner (Jefferson, Wis. / Milton)
- 197 – #4 Noah Ryan (Mantorville, Minn. / Kasson-Mantorville)
- 285 – #1 Kameron Teacher (Columbus, Ohio / Central Crossing) OR Riley Vanik (Sugar Grove, Ill. / Kaneland)