MARSHALL, Minn.- The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team will compete at the NCAA Super Regional V Tournament this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. inside Nemzek Fieldhouse in Moorhead, Minn.
The NCAA Super Regional Tournament V features all 10 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference teams. The top three finishers at each weight class will qualify for the NCAA Championships, with the fourth-place finisher serving as an alternate in the class. The NCAA Championships will be held at the Chaifetz Center in St. Louis, Mo., starting on Friday, March 11, and running through Saturday, March 12.
The Super Regional V tournament will have seven teams that, as of Feb. 18, rank in the Top 25 according to the NWCA Rankings. Three-time defending national champion St. Cloud State enters the tournament ranked No. 2 in the country behind Central Oklahoma. UW-Parkside comes in ranked seventh, with Augustana two spots behind at No. 9. Upper Iowa (No. 12) Minnesota State (No. 14) UMary (No. 22) and SMSU (No. 24) all find themselves ranked in the top 25, with Northern State receiving votes for the national poll.
Live updates will be provided on a tournament update page at smsumustangs.com on Saturday.
Head coach Chayse Jackson expects the return of five wrestlers from the 2021 regional tournament, including No. 4-ranked 184 Caden Steffen, who went 5-1 in last season’s Super Regional before going 3-2 at the NCAA Championships to earn NCAA All-American status.
125 Jackson Stauffacher, 141 Justin Sampson, 174 Carter Marx, and 285 Jacob Dykes each return to the lineup, with Stauffacher and Marx switching weight classes after wrestling at 133 and 165 last season, respectfully. Stauffacher comes in ranked No. 15 in the latest Intermat rankings.
“Post-season is the best time of year.” Says Jackson. “This weekend our guys get the opportunity to step on the line against the best in the country. We have continued to progress all year, and coming off the win against Minnesota State, we look to be peaking at the right time. I am truly excited for this weekend, the opportunity they have, and for many guys on our team to reach that next level.”
SMSU Probable Lineup
125 – Jackson Stauffacher (10-2)
133 – Hunter Pfantz (10-11)
141 – Justin Sampson (1-4)
149 – Robert Shields (8-10)
157 – Lucas Hodges (8-12)
165 – Nate Moore (2-7)
174 – Carter Marx (11-8)
184 – Caden Steffen (16-1)
197 – Dillon McEachran (10-10)
285 – Jacob Dykes (10-7)
MUSTANGS IN THE RANKINGS
SMSU has two wrestlers ranked in the InterMat rankings (Feb. 16) and one in the NWCA rankings (Feb. 18). The team is also ranked inside of both rankings … Jackson Stauffacher moved up to No. 15 in the InterMat rankings after wins against No. 2/No. 4 Joe Arroyo of UW-Parkside in sudden victory and Tanner Cook of Minnesota State by fall at 6:35 last week, moving to 10-2 on the season … Caden Steffen leads the charge for the individuals, ranking fourth in both the InterMat and NWCA rankings at 184 pounds. Steffen is 16-1 on the season and 8-0 in duals after a pair of sudden victories against No. 12/UR Reece Worachek of UW-Parkside and Gavin Christofferson of Minnesota State. His only loss this season has been by injury default, and has won three matches by fall, two by tech fall, and three by major decision … SMSU has also been recognized for its team success, as InterMat ranks the Mustangs at No. 22 in the team rankings, and NWCA ranks them at No. 24.
Last Season at NCAA Regional
Southwest Minnesota State finished with a total of 31 points taking seventh in the tournament. The Mustangs earned a pair of national qualifiers, as 184 Caden Steffen defeat Reece Woracheck in a true second place match by fall for his fourth consecutive win of the day, while Jackson Ryan would finish third at 197 pounds before earning one of five wild cards handed out by the conference. Jacob Dykes would finish fourth at 285 pounds, losing by fall in the 3rd place match.
SMSU National Qualifiers
The Mustangs saw each of their two national qualifiers earn All-American status last season, with Caden Steffen finishing fifth at 184 and Jackson Ryan finishing sixth at 197.
Since moving to NCAA Division II in 1996, SMSU has qualified 48 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships with 14 All-Americans and one National Champion — Link Steffen in 1998.
Check out Mustangs Wrestling at smsumustangs.com and on Twitter.