NDSU Sends Four to NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship This Week

North Dakota State takes four wrestlers to St. Louis this week for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships beginning Thursday, March 18, at the Enterprise Center. All sessions will be televised live on ESPN networks along with individual feeds of every mat available on ESPN3 via the ESPN app. Here is the tournament schedule:

Thursday, March 18
Session I – First Round, 10 a.m. ESPNU
Session II – Second Round, 5 p.m. ESPN2
Friday, March 19
Session III – Quarterfinals, 10 a.m. ESPNU
Session IV – Quarterfinals, 2 p.m. ESPNU
Session V – Semifinals, 7 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, March 20
Session VI – Medal Round, 10 a.m. ESPN2
Session VII – Finals, 6 p.m. ESPN

The Bison Lineup
North Dakota State has three automatic qualifiers and one at-large selection competing in this week’s NCAA Division I Championship. NDSU sophomore 157 Jared Franek (11-3) and junior heavyweight Brandon Metz (9-6) are both making their second straight appearances, while senior 165 Luke Weber (13-2) carries a 12-match winning streak into his first NCAA appearance after winning the Big 12 championship. Franek’s No. 8 seed is the highest for a Bison qualifier since 2017. NDSU 197 Owen Pentz earned an at-large bid to become the first Bison true freshman to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championship. Here are the first round matchups:

157 – #8 Jared Franek, NDSU (11-3) vs. #25 Parker Kropman, Drexel (6-2)
165 – #9 Luke Weber, NDSU (13-2) vs. #24 Andrew Sparks, Minnesota (9-4)
197 – #31 Owen Pentz, NDSU (7-4) vs. #2 Eric Schultz, Nebraska (10-1)
285 – #22 Brandon Metz, NDSU (9-6) vs. #11 Zach Elam, Missouri (10-4)
#NCAA Championship Seed

NCAA Division I National Championships
Thu-Sat, Mar 18-20 – St. Louis, MO
Brackets | Qualifiers | Watch | Trackwrestling | WrestleStat

Ten Division I All-Americans
North Dakota State has had nine wrestlers earn 10 NCAA Division I placefinishes since 1971. Steven Monk’s third-place finish at 165 pounds in 2014 is the highest finish by an NDSU wrestler at the Division I national championships.

  1. Bill Demaray (1971, 6th at 177 pounds),
  2. Lee Petersen (1973, 4th at 142; 1974, 7th at 142)
  3. Brad Rheingans (1975, 4th at 190)
  4. Mike Langlais (1984, 6th at 150)
  5. Pat Johannes (1988, 7th at 177)
  6. Trent Sprenkle (2013, 5th at 125)
  7. Steven Monk (2014, 3rd at 165)
  8. Kurtis Julson (2015, 8th at 174)
  9. Hayden Zillmer (2015, 8th at 184)

Weber Wins at 165, Bison Sixth at Big 12 Wrestling Championship
Senior 165-pounder Luke Weber became North Dakota State’s second Big 12 Conference champion in two years, and sophomore 157 Jared Franek was runner-up to highlight a sixth-place NDSU finish at the Big 12 Wrestling Championships. Weber, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, won an 11-7 decision over third-seeded Cole Moody of Wyoming to extend his winning streak to 12 straight matches. Weber joins 133 Cam Sykora (2020) as NDSU’s second Big 12 champion. Franek, the No. 3 seed at 157 pounds, could not overcome top-seeded and No. 3 nationally ranked David Carr of Iowa State. Carr recorded two takedowns in the first period for an early 4-1 lead and was in control for most of the match. Heavyweight Brandon Metz placed fifth and 197 Owen Pentz was seventh.

Check out Bison Wrestling at gobison.com and on Twitter.

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