SJU Wrestling Competes Saturday in Iowa

The Johnnie wrestling team travels to Pella, Iowa, for Central’s Under Armour Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8.

NO MATCHES FRIDAY: The Johnnies were originally scheduled to wrestle Schreiner (Texas) and Central in a pair of duals Friday. Depleted rosters due to illness, however, forced the Dutch to reschedule the triangular with Albion (Mich.) and NAIA Waldorf (Iowa).

A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Saint John’s freshman Logan Thorsten (Foley, Minn.) finished third and two other Johnnies won the “warrior” brackets at the two-day Citrus Invitational last week (Dec. 29-30) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Wrestlers who suffered two losses the first day and were eliminated, as well as those that recorded their second loss during the morning of Day 2, were added to separate “warrior” (single-elimination, consolation) brackets in adjacent to the main tournament.

Freshman Logan Thorsten (Foley, Minn.) led SJU with a 6-1 record to finish third at 157 pounds. He won his first two matches Wednesday before suffering a close 3-2 defeat to Logan Dubuque of Castleton (Vt.) in the quarterfinal. Thorsten bounced back with an 8-2 win and rattled off three more on Thursday, including a 9-7, overtime victory over Dubuque in the third-place bout. He is now 13-6 on the year.

Sophomore Ben Gilbertson (Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice), like Thorsten, won his first two matches Wednesday at 174 pounds, but dropped a pair of decisions to drift to Thursday’s “warrior” bracket. He cruised through it, recording two pins and a major decision, before posting a 5-2 win in the first-place match. Gilbertson is now 14-7 this season.

The two-day tournament served as the first competitive matches of the season for five of the eight Johnnies, including freshman D.J. Myles (Dayton, Minn./Champlin Park). Myles won his first collegiate match via fall at 197 pounds, but lost his next two by the same result. He responded with three wins, including two more pins, Thursday to win the “warrior” bracket with a 4-2 record.

WHO WILL BE THERE: The Johnnies and Dutch are scheduled to be joined by Albion (Mich.), NAIA Briar Cliff (Iowa), Buena Vista (Iowa), Ellsworth C.C. (Iowa), NAIA Iowa Wesleyan, NAIA Morningside (Iowa), Simpson (Iowa), NAIA St. Ambrose (Iowa), NAIA Waldorf (Iowa), NAIA William Penn (Iowa) and Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Under Armour Invitational Brackets/Results on

TWO YEARS AGO: SJU crowned three champions at Central’s Under Armour Invitational two years ago (Jan. 11, 2020).

Noah Becker ’20, now an assistant coach with the Johnnies, extended his win streak to eight matches with a 4-0 record to win the 133-pound bracket and improve to 12-1 on the year.

Jerod Novak ’20 won the title at 157 pounds with a trio of decisions, improving to 8-3 this season, while Jacob Scherber ’21 totaled three bonus-point wins to take the 174-pound title. He won the championship by injury default.

A pair of Johnnie seniors won consolation titles by answering an opening-round loss with three straight wins at their respective weights. Anthony Hennen ’20 posted a pair of pins and a decision at 141 pounds, while Dominic Skawiniak ’20 recorded three pins at 197.

Dan Gehrz ’20 won the silver bracket’s 184-pound title with two decisions (and an injury default in the championship bout).

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