The South Dakota State wrestling team will be back in action this week with a group of Jackrabbits slated to compete in the inaugural Soldier Salute.
The two-day tournament, which features both men’s and women’s divisions, runs Thursday and Friday at Xtreme Arena in Coralville, Iowa. Thursday’s sessions are set for 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., with competition on Friday scheduled to start at noon, followed by the championship session at 6 p.m.
SDSU is one of more than a dozen NCAA Division I teams with wrestlers entered in the men’s division. Other Big 12 Conference rivals expected to compete include Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Wyoming, with Big Ten opponents Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin also fielding teams.
PROBABLE LINEUP: The following Jackrabbits are scheduled to compete this week at the Soldier Salute:
133: Derrick Cardinal • R-Fr., Forest Lake, Minn. (1-4 overall)
141: Caleb Gross, Jr., Pound, Wis. (5-4 overall)
149: Alek Martin • R-Fr., St. Paris, Ohio (5-5 overall)
157: #21 Cael Swensen • R-Fr., Plymouth, Minn. (6-4 overall)
174: Brock Fettig • Fr., Bismarck, N.D. (3-7 overall)
184: Jaxon Bowes • Fr., Brookings, S.D. (0-4 overall) | Roman Rogotzke, R-Fr., Stillwater, Minn. (4-6 overall)
197: Nick Casperson • Sr., Beresford, S.D. (5-1 overall) | Cody Donnelly • R-Fr., Philip, S.D. (0-0 overall)
285: Luke Rasmussen • Fr., Brookings, S.D. (6-5 overall)
Note: Jack Thomsen (165) and Bennett Berge (184) are expected to compete as unattached wrestlers.
COOK HONORED: South Dakota State 165-pounder Tanner Cook was honored Dec. 20 as Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Week after defeating another nationally ranked opponent in convincing fashion.
A junior from Ilion, New York, Cook made quick work of 13th-ranked Bubba Wilson of Nebraska in dual action Dec. 18, recording a pin in 29 seconds. With his victory, Cook improved to 8-1 on the season with six of his wins by fall. Five of Cook’s six wins by fall this season have been recorded in less than a minute.
Cook entered the week ranked 11th at 165 pounds by FloWrestling and 18th by InterMat.
RABBITS RANKED: The South Dakota State wrestling team began the season ranked in the top 25 after being included in a pair of national polls and have continued to climb up the rankings during the first two months of the 2022-23 campaign.
The Jackrabbits checked in at No. 22 in the preseason poll conducted by InterMat and were ranked 25th in the initial National Wrestling Coaches Association survey. SDSU was one of five Big 12 Conference programs ranked in the NWCA top 25, joining No. 4 Missouri, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Iowa State and No. 20 Northern Iowa.
Following their strong showing at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in early December, the Jackrabbits climbed seven spots to No. 18 in the NWCA?poll for their highest ranking under head coach Damion Hahn. SDSU slipped one spot to 19th after its Dec. 18 dual loss to Nebraska.
SDSU also has a season-high eight wrestlers ranked individually for the third week in a row, with 165-pounder Tanner Cook (FloWrestling) and 197-pounder Tanner Sloan (InterMat) each holding an 11th-place ranking.
Tanner Jordan at 125 pounds (27th by InterMat) and redshirt freshman Cael Swensen at 157 pounds (21st by InterMat) joined the rankings after their outings at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Returning NCAA qualifiers Clay Carlson (13th by InterMat at 141 pounds), Cade DeVos (16th at 174 pounds by FloWrestling) and A.J. Nevills (13th at heavyweight by FloWrestling) have maintained top-20 rankings throughout the season, while Cade King (15th at 184 pounds by InterMat) rounds out the list of SDSU’s ranked wrestlers .
A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits get back into dual competition by wrestling in a triangular at Big 12 Conference newcomer California Baptist on Jan. 7 in Riverside, California. SDSU is slated to take on Northern Illinois at 3 p.m. Pacific Time (5 p.m. Central), followed by a matchup with the host Lancers at 6 p.m. PT?(8 p.m. CT).