SJU Hosts Ridgewater Friday, Travels Sunday to Moorhead

Saint John’s wrestling competes twice this weekend, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. home dual against Ridgewater on Friday, Dec. 3, in Sexton Arena. The Johnnies travel northwest for MSU-Moorhead’s Dragon Open at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 5.

A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Four Saint John’s wrestlers claimed top-four finishes at Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s 8-Man Battle back on Nov. 20.

Sophomore Ben Gilbertson (Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice) finished third with a 2-1 record at 184 pounds. He started his day with a pin, but suffered a 5-2 decision in the semifinal. He bounced back with a major decision (14-3) over freshman Nate Langer (St. Paul, Minn./Eastview) in the third-place match.

Freshman Logan Thorsten (Foley, Minn.) matched Gilbertson’s record and finish at 157 pounds. He, like Gilbertson, started the tournament with a fall and lost a nail-biter, 6-5, in the semifinal. He returned the favor with a 5-4 decision over Buena Vista’s Jacob Hanssen in the third-place bout.

Sophomore Hayden LeMonds (St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville) claimed fourth with a 1-2 record at 165 pounds. He pinned his first opponent before falling to Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Chad Schmidt, who is ranked No. 7 nationally, by a 10-4 decision in the semifinal and suffered a 13-6 defeat in the third-place match.

SJU has only competed in one dual-meet style competition this year, losing a close battle to Buena Vista on Nov. 13. The Johnnies gave up forfeits at the first three weights to give the Beavers a free, 18-point advantage to start the meet. In the remaining seven matches, SJU won four.

Live Video (Friday) | Live Results (Sunday)

MASK POLICY: All students, employees & visitors to campus are required to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. SJU expects masking for unvaccinated individuals in high-density outdoor events where social distancing cannot be maintained.

A LOOK AT THE WARRIORS: Ridgewater is a perfect 2-0 to start the season after defeating Northland C.T.C. (27-24) and Minnesota West C.T.C. (18-16) on Nov. 11. All three teams forfeited the match at 125 pounds.

Freshman Tristian Lang open the Northland dual with an early second-period pin at 133 pounds and sophomore Sawyer Varpness gained the victory via forfeit at 141. Freshman Wilhelm Yasseri earned a 6-1 decision at 157 pounds, while freshmen Fischer Drury and Maxwell Whitney (184) posted pins at 174 and 184, respectively.

Lang recorded another pin to start the dual against Minnesota West. After two Blue Jay wins and another double-forfeit, Yasseri tallied a pin before a forfeit at heavyweight gave the Warriors the dual win.

The two wins were the first for head coach Joey Brown, who was hired prior to the 2020-21 season.

THE LAST TIME: SJU took advantage of four forfeits and posted two bonus-point victories in a 34-12 win at Ridgewater the last time these two teams met on Jan. 19, 2017, in Willmar. The Johnnies jumped out to an 18-0 lead thanks to two forfeits and a pin from Graham Evavold ’20 at 141 pounds.

The Warriors cut it to 18-8 with two straight wins at 149 and 157 pounds, and made it 24-12 with a major decision at 174. Quincy Spiering ’20 ended the dual with a 17-4 major decision, his first collegiate win.

SUNDAY IN MOORHEAD: The Johnnies and Dragons are scheduled to be joined by wrestlers from Division II Augustana (S.D.), Concordia-Moorhead, Minnesota West C.T.C., Division II Minot State (N.D.), Division I North Dakota State, Division II Northern State (S.D.), Division II St. Cloud State and Division II Southwest Minnesota State, among others.

IN 2019-20: Saint John’s placed four wrestlers at the last MSU-Moorhead Dragon Open held on Dec. 8, 2019. All but one of the Johnnies’ matches were against NCAA Division II competition.

Junior Dylan Hanson (Rogers, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville) led SJU with a fourth-place finish at 149 pounds, after suffering a narrow 7-6 loss in the third-place match, while classmate Julian Mares (La Puente, Calif./Bishop Amat) claimed fifth place at 157.

Jacob Scherber ’21 won his first two matches at 174 pounds before dropping a pair of major decisions and a 13-8 decision in the fifth-place bout.

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