Jackrabbits Wrap Season at Last Chance Meet

The South Dakota State University wrestling team will wrap up the regular season by hosting the Last Chance Challenge Saturday afternoon at Frost Arena.

The unscored meet will feature wrestlers from SDSU and North Dakota State competing in a round-robin series of matches in each of the 10 weight classes. Action on two mats is set to begin at 2 p.m. at Frost Arena. About 25 SDSU wrestlers are expected to compete.

YouTube Link for Mat 1: https://youtu.be/LgSlfv5Iz98 | Zoom Link for Mat 2: https://sdstate.zoom.us/j/96604954853

FloWrestling will not be airing this meet.

Tickets are $5 per person and must be purchased in advance. For more information, contact the Jackrabbit Ticket Office at (605) 688-5422.

The Last Chance Challenge will serve as the final tuneup prior to the Big 12 Wrestling Championship March 6-7 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

LAST WEEK: South Dakota State closed out the dual portion of its wrestling schedule Feb. 13 by defeating Utah Valley, 22-11, at Frost Arena.

The Jackrabbits improved to 5-6 overall in duals and 2-5 against Big 12 opponents. UVU fell to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12.

SDSU wrestlers rallied to win several close matches in the closing seconds in the early going, building a 15-0 lead in the front half of the dual. Danny Vega started the string of comeback victories, taking down Kase Mauger with about five seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory in the 125-pound matchup.

In a battle between ranked wrestlers, 15th-ranked Zach Price pulled out a hard-fought 7-5 decision over 18th-ranked Ty Smith. Price improved to 8-2 on the season.

At 141 pounds, 16th-ranked Clay Carlson trailed the Wolverines’ Stockton O’Brien, 6-2 after the first period, but came back with a big third period to score a 13-12 decision.

Hunter Marko extended the Jackrabbit winning streak to four with a 5-4 victory over Cameron Hunsaker at 149 pounds and 18th-ranked Cade DeVos followed with a 12-8 decision over Danny Snediker in the 157-pound matchup.

Utah Valley pulled to within 15-11 with three consecutive victories to open the second half of the dual as Kekana Fouret (165) and fifth-ranked Demetrius Romero (174) each scored major decisions and Hunter Morse won at 184 pounds.

Tanner Sloan sealed the dual victory for the Jackrabbits by recording a 14-1 major decision over Jacob Armstrong. Sloan, ranked fifth at 197 pounds in the NCAA coaches panel poll, remained undefeated at 13-0.

Blake Wolters closed the dual with a 2-1 overtime victory for the Jackrabbits.

Several other Jackrabbits competed in extra matches throughout the day against competitors from Utah Valley, as well as Air Force and North Dakota State. Counting the dual, SDSU wrestlers combined for a 27-21 record Saturday.

South Dakota State 22, Utah Valley 11 (Feb. 13, 2021 • at Frost Arena)
125: Danny Vega (SDSU) dec. Kase Mauger (UVU), 4-3
133: #15 Zach Price (SDSU) dec. #18 Ty Smith (UVU), 7-5
141: #16 Clay Carlson (SDSU) dec. Stockton O’Brien (UVU), 13-12
149: Hunter Marko (SDSU) dec. #27 Cameron Hunsaker (UVU), 5-4
157: #18 Cade DeVos (SDSU) dec. Danny Snediker (UVU), 12-8
165: Kekana Fouret (UVU) major dec. Colten Carlson (SDSU), 18-10
174: #5 Demetrius Romero (UVU) major dec. #31 Cade King (SDSU), 10-2
184: Hunter Morse (UVU) dec. Jacob Schoon (SDSU), 4-1
197: #5 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) major dec. Jacob Armstrong (UVU), 14-1
285: Blake Wolters (SDSU) dec. Chase Trussell (UVU), 2-1 [TB-1]
Note: NCAA?Panel Rankings used for individual rankings

PANEL RANKINGS: South Dakota State was represented by six wrestlers in the first installment of the NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, which were announced Feb. 11.

The coaches’ rankings are determined by a vote of 14 coaches in each weight class with two head coaches from each conference. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. For the first ranking, wrestlers must have two Division I matches in the weight class to be considered, with at least one match within the last 30 days.

Leading the Jackrabbit contingent with a fifth-place showing in the 197-pound weight class is sophomore Tanner Sloan. A sophomore from Alburnett, Iowa, Sloan is undefeated so far with season with a 13-0 record, winning six matches by technical fall and three by pin.

Sloan is coming off a 2019-20 season in which he posted a 21-6 overall record and was an NCAA qualifier. He capped his first season in the lineup with a second-team All-America selection by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

Ranked 15th at 133 pounds for the Jackrabbits is sophomore Zach Price. A native of Johnston, Iowa, Price has posted a 9-2 record so far this season, including a 6-2 mark in duals.

Also in the lower weights, sophomore and Willmar, Minnesota, native Clay Carlson is ranked 16th at 141 pounds and Danny Vega is 26th in the panel rankings at 125 pounds. Carlson holds a 10-4 record, while Vega has rebounded from a slow start to post a 10-4 record, carrying a 10-match winning streak into the weekend. Vega is a senior from Tucson, Arizona.

In the middle weights, redshirt freshman 157-pounder Cade DeVos holds the 18th spot in the coaches panel rankings and sophomore Cade King stands 31st in the 174-pound rankings. DeVos has wrestled six of his 16 matches so far this season against a ranked foe.

King, a native of Waseca, Minnesota, also cracked the individual national rankings for the first time in his collegiate career last week, checking in at No. 28 in the Trackwrestling survey. He knocked off a ranked opponent in two consecutive weekends, downing then-No. 22 Anthony Mantanona of Oklahoma, 7-5, on Jan. 31 and then-No. 17 Julien Broderson of Iowa State, 6-3 on Feb. 7.

ALLOCATIONS ANNOUNCED: Also on Feb. 11 NCAA officials announced the pre-allocations for the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships set for next month in St. Louis.

The weight class conference champion in each qualifying tournament will earn an automatic qualifier to the national championships. Each conference was awarded additional preallocations based on the five-year average (2016-20) of pre-allocations earned by the conference in each weight class, with the Big 12 Conference receiving a total of 35 additional allocations for a total of 45 automatic qualifiers. Of the 35 pre-allocations, four spots were awarded to six different weight classes (125, 133, 149, 165, 197 and 285), three spots were awarded to a trio of weight classes (141, 174, 184), with the 157-pound weight class receiving two additional allocations.

In recent years, pre-allocations have been determined by a formula measuring Division I winning percentage, ratings percentage index and coaches’ ranking. A decrease in overall matches, and in particular non-conference matches, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, led the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee to transition to using the five-year historical average to determine pre-allocations for 2021.

After the conference tournaments have concluded, the Division I Wrestling Committee will meet to select the remaining 64 at-large qualifiers to fill out the 33-man bracket in each weight class, which will be announced March 9, while brackets and seeding will be revealed on NCAA.com March 10.

A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits will be away from competition for a week before returning to the mats at the Big 12 Wrestling Championship March 6-7 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The two-day tournament will serve as the qualifying tournament for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships slated for March 18-20 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Check out Jackrabbit Wrestling at gojacks.com and on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram.

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