Bison Head to Brookings Looking to Retain Border Bell

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State (10-3, 4-3 Big 12) wrestling will wrap up the regular-season schedule on Sunday, as the Bison travel south of the border to Brookings, South Dakota to take on the No. 25 South Dakota State Jackrabbits (12-4, 4-2 Big 12) in the latest installment of the annual Battle for the Border Bell. The dual is slated to begin at 2 p.m. inside Frost Arena.

TICKETS: General Admission tickets for the Battle for the Border Bell are $20 for adults and $15 for youth. Reserved seating is $25 per person. Tickets are available for purchase at the door and online at gojacks.com.

COVERAGE: Sunday’s dual will be streamed live on FloWrestling. A paid subscription to FloWrestling is required to access the stream. The dual will also have live stats available through TrackWrestling.

THE BORDER BELL: Sunday is the ninth annual Battle for the Border Bell between North Dakota State and South Dakota State. The winner claims the traveling trophy, a 100-pound kettlebell, which was introduced during the 2013-14 season. NDSU won last year’s match 18-16 in Fargo to retain the bell for a third straight year. The Bison lead the Border Bell series 5-3.

Border Bell Series Year-by-Year
Nov. 30, 2013—in Brookings, NDSU 30-13
Dec. 14, 2014—in Fargo, NDSU 23-14
Dec. 13, 2015—in Brookings, SDSU 24-15
Feb. 19, 2017—in Brookings, SDSU 20-18
Feb. 16, 2018—in Brookings, SDSU 22-12
Feb. 15, 2019—in Fargo, NDSU 31-10
Feb. 21, 2020—in Brookings, NDSU 19-18
Feb. 7, 2021—in Fargo, NDSU 18-16

THE SERIES (SDSU): Sunday’s meeting between the Bison and Jackrabbits is the 69th meeting all-time on the mat. North Dakota State has won four straight over South Dakota State to take a 45-22-1 lead in the all-time series, including a pair of wins last season; 21-13 in Brookings and 18-16 in Fargo.

BISON IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: North Dakota State has seven wrestlers in the latest Division I rankings. Junior 157 Jared Franek is 6th in InterMat and 7th in FloWrestling. Senior 165 Luke Weber is 13th in InterMat and 16th in FloWrestling. Senior heavyweight Brandon Metz is 23rd in FloWrestling and InterMat. Junior 174 Austin Brenner is 22nd in FloWrestling and 26th in InterMat. Sophomore 197 Owen Pentz is 21st in InterMat, sophomore 133 Kellyn March is 22nd in InterMat, and junior 141 Dylan Drogemueller is 28th in InterMat.

PENTZ APPEARS IN NCAA WRESTLING AWARDS STANDINGS: Sophomore Owen Pentz continues to rank in the standings for the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Awards that will be awarded in March. Pentz, has 12 pins on the year, including 11 against Division I competition, which has him tied for second overall in Division I, and two behind King Sandoval (Maryland) for the national lead. The top finisher over the course of the entire season (regular and postseason) will receive the award. Pentz is the only wrestler in the 197-pound class in Division I to have double-digit pins or appear in the rankings.

APPROACHING 100: NDSU Head Coach Roger Kish is quickly approaching 100 career victories in dual matches at the helm of the Bison. In his 11th season, Kish currently holds a 98-65 record.

HOME SUCCESS: North Dakota State holds a confirmed 263-91-5 (.740) record at home over the course of the program’s 64-year history. The Bison have not had back-to-back losses in duals at home since January 2019, when the Bison fell to No. 21 Iowa State and No. 18 Pitt. During the stretch since the consecutive losses, the Bison are 16-5 (.762) with four of the five losses coming against ranked opposition.

NCAA D1 QUALIFIERS: The Bison have had 53 NCAA Div. I qualifiers in 14 years of postseason eligibility since moving to Division I in the 2004-05 season, including 10 qualifiers over the last two seasons. Rich in wrestling history, the Bison have also sent 26 wrestlers to the NCAA Div. I Championships from 1971 to 1991, bringing the total to 79 NCAA Div. I qualifiers in program history. The Bison have had 10 placing finishers at the NCAA Div. I Championships including an NDSU best finish of 3rd place by Steven Monk at 165 pounds in 2014. In 2015, Kurtis Julson and Hayden Zillmer both placed in the top 8.

BIG 12 CHAMPIONS: The Bison, who are in year seven in the Big 12, have had a pair of conference champions since joining the conference, with both championships coming in the last two seasons. Current assistant coach Cam Sykora took home the 133-pound title for the Bison in 2019-20 and current senior Luke Weber won the 165-pound title during the 2020-21 season.

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

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