16 St. Cloud State wrestlers place with 12 top-three finishes in South Dakota
MITCHELL, S.D. – No. 2 St. Cloud State Wrestling earned titles at six of 10 weight classes and placed 16 Huskies total at the Dakota Wesleyan Open on Saturday in Mitchell.
No. 8 Anthony Herrera enjoyed a dominant Open on his way to the title at 165, going 5-0 with a pin, a tech fall, and one major decision while outscoring his opponents 49-9. No. 5 Paxton Creese added a title at 125 while going 5-0 with three bonus-point wins (1 PF, 1 TF, 1 MD).
141-pounder Alyeus Craig continued a strong start to his season with his second-straight open title, winning all five matches with a pin and a major. The redshirt freshman shut out each of his final two opponents in the Semis and Finals.
No. 8 Nick Novak was 6-0 with a pin and a major decision of his own to earn the title at 149, outscoring his final four foes 21-1 with three shutouts. 157-pounder Jimmy Pierandozzi impressed at 157 with a tech and a fall, going 5-0 to earn a title with a decision over Augustana’s Miles Fitzgerald – an NSIC foe who entered the year ranked at 165 pounds.
Bryce Dagel rounded out the Huskies’ champs with a 4-0 effort in his first bouts at 174, earning three decisions over NSIC rivals and one over a Nebraska-Kearney wrestler.
Caleb Meekins also earned a Finals berth at 133, taking second after going 3-1 with a pin and a major. A whopping five Huskies won their third-place matches: Sam Spencer (5-1, 2 MD, PF) at 133, Cameron Riggs (6-1, TF) at 149, Shaeden Scheidt (5-1, 2 MD, 2 PF) at 184, Dominic Murphy (5-1, MD, TF, PF) at 197 and Jadon Mims (6-1) at heavyweight.
Nolan Throne (5-2, MD, 2 TF, PF) took fourth at 149 while 125-pounder Ashton Clark (4-2), 157-pounder Blake Legred (4-2, MD), and heavyweight Elijah Novak (5-2, 2 PF) placed fifth at their weights.
St. Cloud State tied for the most tech falls at the Open with nine and posted the best winning percentage of any team at 73.2% – standing as the lone team to win more than 70% of their matches. SCSU also scored the second-most pins with 22 total falls. Creese, Herrera, Pierandozzi, and Scheidt were part of a five-way tie for the highest-scoring wrestler at the Open with 20.5 team points each.
Quotables – St. Cloud State associate head coach Brady Wilson
“We’re proud of the guys. A long, tough day out in Mitchell. We got up, got there at 6:00 a.m. and were wrestling until 7:45 p.m. A lot of guys had five or six matches – it’s a long, tough day. I’m proud of these guys for battling through it today.”
“I was really proud of Anthony Herrera’s performance. He had a tough Rochester tournament, and today he showed a lot of grit and wrestled hard. I’m proud of all these guys – Paxton Creese shook off a loss last week and wrestled really hard today, Alyeus Craig has been very consistent in these two opens. He’s shown a lot of composure. He wrestles through every position and never stops wrestling. When he gets into tough situations, he’s always composed and finds a way to come out on top.”
On the Huskies’ response to back-to-back weekend Opens… “I think they responded really good. Guys wrestled hard, they wrestled with a lot of passion and scored some points. I think some of the things we addressed throughout the week saw some improvements, and we’re headed in the right direction with them.”
On the biggest areas of improvements made from last weekend… “Chain wrestling. Putting multiple attacks together, wrestling through multiple positions, not just taking one shot and stopping. We were a lot better in chain wrestling and putting some things together.”
On the Huskies’ six champs… “They were just consistent all day. Everybody scored points, everybody wrestled well – they’re just tough individuals and really tough people.”
“I feel like we’re definitely making progress. We have a long ways to go – we’ll continue to make improvements, keep grinding, keep getting better and working hard.”
St. Cloud State is idle the next two weekends before a busy start to December, as one contingent of the roster will appear at the Dragon Open on December 3 and the other begins dual season at the Chadron State Duals on December 4.
Information regarding single dual and season tickets can be found at scsutickets.com. For all the latest on St. Cloud State Wrestling, stay tuned to SCSUHuskies.com and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.