Johnnie Wrestling Hosts Buena Vista Saturday

Saint John’s wrestling hosts Buena Vista for its home opener – a 1 p.m. dual – this Saturday, Nov. 13, in Sexton Arena. – Live Video

MASKS REQUIRED: Per MIAC guidelines, all spectators and event staff must be masked at indoor athletic events, regardless of vaccination status.

A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Nine Saint John’s wrestling student-athletes started the 2021-22 season last Saturday (Nov. 6) at Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Pointer Open.

Sophomore Hayden LeMonds (St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville), who missed the 2020-21 season due to injury, made his collegiate debut and led SJU with a fourth-place finish (3-2 record) at 165 pounds. He won his first two matches before falling to Division II Wisconsin-Parkside’s Shane Gantz in the semifinal. LeMonds bounced back with a 13-9 decision and dropped the third-place match via major decision.

Sophomore Ben Gilbertson (Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice) was the other Johnnie with multiple wins on the day (2-3 record) to take sixth at 184 pounds, while freshman Levi Henry (Foley, Minn.) finished eighth (1-2 record) at 197.

A LOOK AT THE BEAVERS: Buena Vista opened its season last Friday (Nov. 5) at the Simpson (Iowa) Invitational and suffered a 28-11 loss to NAIA Northwestern (Iowa) Wednesday night (Nov. 10). The Beavers had nine top-six finishes, including four in the top three. Freshman Caleb Massari (133 lbs.) was the team’s highest finisher (second) in his collegiate debut. Another freshman, Isaiah Schannep (149 lbs.) was one of three third-place finishers and picked up a pair of falls. Freshman Jonathan Dominguez (125 lbs.) claimed fourth with a team-high four pins on the day.

BVU jumped out to an 8-3 lead in Wednesday’s dual. Senior Byron Fleming (125 lbs.) posted a 15-0 technical fall and junior Angel Hernandez recorded a 7-3 decision at 141. The Red Raiders gained a 10-8 lead thanks to consecutive wins at 149 and 157 pounds before junior Garret Bruce notched a 17-10, comeback victory at 165. Northwestern, however, won the final four bouts to claim the dual victory. Freshman Caleb Rojas (174 lbs.) received a penalty point in the closing seconds to tie his score at 2-2, but lost the match 3-2 due to riding time. The visitors posted pins at 184 and 197 before freshman Errol Alden ended the dual with a loss in overtime, 5-3.

THE LAST TIME: SJU suffered a close, two-match loss to Buena Vista – 28-20 – the last time these two programs met on Jan. 10, 2020, in Storm Lake, Iowa.

The Johnnies answered a forfeit at 125 pounds with back-to-back 9-0 wins from then-No. 4 Noah Becker ’20 and Anthony Hennen ’20 to gain a short-lived 8-6 lead.

The Beavers, however, won four of the next five matches to accumulate a 28-11 lead. Jerod Novak ’20 picked up SJU’s lone win during that span with an 8-2 victory at 157 pounds.

Dominic Skawiniak ’20 edged his opponent at 197 pounds, 8-7, and Mason Nibbe closed the dual with a pin at heavyweight.

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