The South Dakota State wrestling team hits the home stretch of the 2021-22 dual season, opening a three-match homestand with a pair of weekend duals.
The 25th-ranked Jackrabbits, 10-4 overall and 3-2 against Big 12 Conference foes, kick off action Friday night by hosting league rival Northern Colorado. Start time is set for 7 p.m. at Frost Arena. UNC enters the matchup 5-4 overall and 1-3 in the Big 12.
SDSU closes out the weekend by hosting Little Rock in a nonconference matinee Sunday. Note that the start time has been moved up one hour to 1 p.m.
Little Rock, which wrestles Friday at North Dakota State, comes into the week with a 1-11 dual record. The Trojans are in their third season as a college wrestling program.
Both of the Jackrabbits’ duals this weekend will be available for viewing through FloWrestlling.org (subscription required).
THE LINEUP: Following are the probable starters for the Jackrabbits in this weekend’s duals against Northern Colorado and Little Rock.
125: Tanner Jordan • So., St. Paris, Ohio (17-14 overall, 7-7 duals)
133: #33 Gabriel Tagg • So., Lodi, Ohio (7-3, 5-3)
or Caleb Gross • So., Pound, Wis. (10-14, 2-2)
141: #8 Clay Carlson • Jr., Willmar, Minn. (24-3, 12-2)
149: Daniel Kimball • So., Buckingham, Iowa (18-16, 7-5)
157: Kenny O’Neil • Jr., Prior Lake, Minn. (13-18, 5-9)
165: #33 Tanner Cook • So., Ilion, N.Y. (15-9, 9-5)
174: #11 Cade DeVos • So., Altoona, Iowa (23-5, 10-3)
184: #30 Cade King • Jr., Waseca, Minn. (11-7, 8-4)
or Caleb Orris • So., Clark, S.D. (5-9, 0-0)
197: #10 Tanner Sloan • Jr., Alburnett, Iowa (14-4, 8-1)
or Nick Casperson • Jr., Beresford, S.D. (13-8, 4-1)
285: #21 A.J. Nevills • Jr., Clovis, Calif. (21-9, 11-3)
THE SERIES: South Dakota State holds a combined 26-12 all-time record against its two weekend opponents.
vs. Northern Colorado
South Dakota State and Northern Colorado have been members of the same wrestling conference for the better part of 40 years, but haven’t squared off in dual competition since the 2016-17 season. The history between the two programs dates back to when both programs competed at the NCAA Division II level as members of the North Central Conference, followed by membership in the Western Wrestling Conference and Big 12 Conference at the Division I level.
In 36 dual meetings since the time the two programs first met during the 1972-73 season, SDSU holds a 24-12 series advantage. The series has been filled with streaks; SDSU won the first 10 meetings and seven in a row from 1997-2003, before UNC ushered in the current Division I era with eight consecutive wins from 2005-12.
The Jackrabbits have regained the upper hand in the series by winning the last five meetings, including a 34-6 victory on Jan. 8, 2017, at Frost Arena.
#20 South Dakota State 34, Northern Colorado 6 (Jan. 8, 2017 • at Frost Arena)
125: Ben Gillette (SDSU) dec. Trey Andrews (UNC), 3-1 [SV-1]
133: #6 Seth Gross (SDSU) def. Rico Montoya (UNC) by fall 3:28
141: #18 Timmy Box (UNC) dec. Isaac Andrade (SDSU), 9-6
149: Alex Kocer (SDSU) def. Ben Polkowske (UNC) by fall 4:27
157: Logan Peterson (SDSU) dec. Tyler Kinn (UNC), 11-5
165: Luke Zilverberg (SDSU) dec. Keilan Torres (UNC), 5-3 [SV-1]
174: David Kocer (SDSU) tech. fall Tanner Davis (UNC), 16-1 [4:38]
184: Dylan Gabel (UNC) dec. Martin Mueller (SDSU), 7-4
197: #8 Nate Rotert (SDSU) tech. fall Jamarcus Grant (UNC), 19-4 [5:43]
285: Alex Macki (SDSU) dec. Jack Kuck (UNC), 3-1 [SV-1]
vs. Little Rock
South Dakota State has dominated the brief series against Little Rock, outscoring the Trojans, 70-10, in their two previous matchups — both of which were contested in Little Rock. The Jackrabbits claimed last season’s meeting, 28-10, behind technical falls from Clay Carlson (141 pounds), Colten Carlson (165) and Tanner Sloan (197).
South Dakota State 28, Little Rock 10 (Jan. 31, 2021, at Little Rock, Arkansas)
125: Khyler Brewer (LR) dec. Tanner Jordan (SDSU), 14-8
133: Paul Bianchi (LR) major dec. Trayton Anderson (SDSU), 15-5
141: #22 Clay Carlson (SDSU) tech. fall Conner Ward (LR), 21-6 [7:00]
149: Hunter Marko (SDSU) dec. Joseph Bianchi (LR), 6-2
157: #18 Cade DeVos (SDSU) dec. Kyle Prewitt (LR), 11-4
165: Colten Carlson (SDSU) tech. fall Alex Hernandez (LR), 17-1 [6:35]
174: Cade King (SDSU) major dec. Triston Wills (LR), 13-1
184: Nick Casperson (SDSU) dec. Tanner Mendoza (LR), 8-1
197: Tanner Sloan (SDSU) tech. fall Dylan Johnson (LR), 18-0 [2:22]
285: Gabe Beyer (LR) dec. Blake Wolters (SDSU), 6-4 [SV-1]
RABBITS RANKED: For the first time in three seasons, the South Dakota State University wrestling team is nationally ranked. The Jackrabbits cracked the NWCA Division I Coaches Poll by checking in at No. 24 in the Jan. 11 rankings, then moved up one spot to 23rd after winning twice at the Virginia Duals on Jan. 15. SDSU remains in the poll for the fourth week in a row, slipping to 25th in this week’s rankings after a pair of dual losses last weekend.
SDSU was last ranked in the poll in November 2018. The Jackrabbits are one of five Big 12 squads in this week’s poll, joining No. 5 Iowa State, No. 10 Missouri, No. 12 Oklahoma State, and No. 24 Oklahoma. The Jackrabbits also are ranked in a tie for fifth with Princeton in the latest NWCA Mid-Major Division I Poll.
In addition, seven Jackrabbit wrestlers are individually ranked by a variety of wrestling organizations. Returning All-American Clay Carlson is ranked as high as eighth by FloWrestling at 141 pounds, while two-time NCAA qualifier Tanner Sloan continues his surge up the 197-pound standings with a 10th-place nod from Intermat.
Sloan enters the weekend on a nine-match winning streak.
Cade DeVos slipped out of the top 10 of the 174-pound division this week to an 11th-place showing in the FloWrestling rankings, while A.J. Nevills checks in at No. 21 in the heavyweight division.
Tanner Cook remains in the rankings with a 33rd-place showing in the 165-pound division, while Cade King (184 pounds) holds an honorable mention ranking in this week’s FloWrestling survey.
Returning to the rankings this week is 133-pounder Gabriel Tagg at No. 33 (Intermat).
20 AND 10: Three Jackrabbit wrestlers have reached the 20-win mark so far this season and all three have also posted 10 or more wins in dual competition.
Leading the way is 141-pounder Clay Carlson with a 24-3 overall record and a 12-2 dual mark, while 174-pounder Cade DeVos is right behind at 23-5 overall. After sitting out the team’s opening dual Nov. 19 against Augustana, DeVos has turned in a 10-1 record in head-to-head competitions.
Heavyweight A.J. Nevills reached both progress points in his Jan. 28 victory against West Virginia. Nevills enters the week with a 21-9 overall mark and an 11-3 dual record.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits close out the dual season Feb. 20 by hosting North Dakota State in the annual battle for the Border Bell. Start time is set for 2 p.m. at Frost Arena and Jackrabbit seniors Gregory Coapstick, Dalton Lakmann, Hunter Marko, Rylee Molitor, Kenny O’Neil will be honored during the match.