Mavericks Sweep Cactus Duals in Phoenix

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The No. 20 Minnesota State wrestling team traveled to Phoenix, Ariz., to participate in the Cactus Duals, finishing 3-0 on the day.

The Mavericks started with a 36-9 win over Simon Fraser (B.C.). Next, Minnesota State took down CSU-Pueblo 29-12 and finished with a dominant 37-6 win over San Francisco State.

In the first dual of the day, the Mavericks were tied 6-6 after the first two matches. Isaiah Mlsna helped boost Minnesota State with a fall at 4:10 to get on the board. A few decisions from Brock Luthens at 141 lbs. and Drake Hayward at 157 lbs. paired with a couple falls by Caleb Meunier at 149 lbs. and Kole Marko at 165 lbs. boosted the Mavericks to a 24-6 lead halfway through the dual. To put the dual away, the Mavericks had three consecutive wins to follow from Mike Smith at 174 lbs., Shane Gibson at 184 lbs., and Thomas Johnson at 197 lbs. Smith and Gibson secured decision wins, with Johnson getting an early fall at 2:12. Max Villnow at 285 lbs. fell by decision to finish out the dual. As an extra wrestling, Payton Kostka at 149 lbs. won by decision as well.

A pair of major decisions helped secure the Mavericks’ lead over CSU-Pueblo during the second dual of the day. Mlsna again started the action with a major decision win, along with Meunier claiming a win with a major decision. Between the two major decisions, Luthens won by decision, to give the Mavericks a lead of 11-6. Two more decisions by Hayward and Brody Nielsen at 165 lbs., followed by a fall from Smith continued to build the Mavericks’ lead to 23-6. Nicholas Leo at 184 lbs., fell by a 6-1 decision before Johnson came back with a fall at 0:54 in his match to bring the score to 29-9. The final match for the dual ended in sudden victory with Villnow falling 1-3, bringing the final score to 29-12. Kostka wrestled again as an extra for the Mavericks, going down at 1:49.

To finish the day, the Mavericks had an impressive last dual with nine consecutive wins to secure a 37-6 victory over San Francisco State. Mlsna, Meunier, and Hayward all won by decision to get a good start to the dual. Luthens won by an injury default and Marko by a fall at 1:38. Next up was Smith with a major decision win of 9-1, followed by Gibson and Johnson with decision wins. Villnow had a forfeit to conclude the day. Gavin Christofferson at 174 lbs. wrestled as an extra, getting a major decision win of 9-1.

Minnesota State is back in action on Jan. 7, 2023, in Pella, Iowa, at the Central Invitational before starting its NSIC dual schedule on Jan. 12, 2023, against the University of Mary at the Taylor Center in Mankato, Minn.

Minnesota State 36, Simon Fraser 9
125: Maka Yakapin (SFU) over Unknown (For.) | 6-0 SFU
133: Isaiah Mlsna (Minnesota State) over Marques Calapiz (SFU) Fall 4:10 | MSU 6-6
141: Brock Luthens (Minnesota State) over Randy McDonald (SFU) Dec 4-0 | MSU 9-6
149: Caleb Meunier (Minnesota State) over Jacob Alexander-Torres (SFU) Fall 2:30 | MSU 15-6
157: Drake Hayward (Minnesota State) over Elijah Lazar (SFU) Dec 10-3 | MSU 18-6
165: Kole Marko (Minnesota State) over Patrik Leder (SFU) Fall 1:17 | MSU 24-6
174: Mike Smith (Minnesota State) over Peter Mccrackin (SFU) Dec 16-10 | MSU 27-6
184: Shane Gibson (Minnesota State) over Rick Feroce (SFU) Dec 10-3 | MSU 30-6
197: Thomas Johnson (Minnesota State) over Owen Gundmunson (SFU) Fall 2:12 | MSU 36-6
285: Taniela Feliciano-Takafua (SFU) over Max Villnow (Minnesota State) Dec 8-1 | MSU 26-9
Extra: Payton Kostka (Minnesota State) over Samuel Patton (SFU) Dec 7-1

Minnesota State 29, CSU-Pueblo 12
125: Dominick Castro (CSU-Pueblo) over Unknown (For.) | CSU 6-0
133: Isaiah Mlsna (Minnesota State) over Marquis Kemp (CSU-Pueblo) MD 12-3 | CSU 6-4
141: Brock Luthens (Minnesota State) over Michael Atencio (CSU-Pueblo) Dec 4-3 | MSU 7-6
149: Caleb Meunier (Minnesota State) over Conor Goucher (CSU-Pueblo) MD 13-0 | MSU 11-6
157: Drake Hayward (Minnesota State) over Cyruss Meeks (CSU-Pueblo) Dec 10-5 | MSU 14-6
165: Brody Nielsen (Minnesota State) over Elijah Valdez (CSU-Pueblo) Dec 8-2 | MSU 17-6
174: Mike Smith (Minnesota State) over Tytus Coombs (CSU-Pueblo) (Fall 2:43) | MSU 23-6
184: Jacob Anderson (CSU-Pueblo) over Nicolas Leo (Minnesota State) Dec 6-1 | MSU 23-9
197: Thomas Johnson (Minnesota State) over Dominic Robles (CSU-Pueblo) Fall 0:54 | MSU 29-9
285: Ben Gould (CSU-Pueblo) over Max Villnow (Minnesota State) SV-1 3-1 | MSU 29-12
Extra: Calvin Bahl (CSU-Pueblo) over Payton Kostka (Minnesota State) Fall 1:49

Minnesota State 37, San Francisco State 6
125: Zach Wright (San Francisco State) over Unknown (For.) | SFS 6-0
133: Isaiah Mlsna (Minnesota State) over Stefano McKinney (San Francisco State) Dec 8-3 | SFS 6-3
141: Brock Luthens (Minnesota State) over Andre Dargani (San Francisco State) Inj. 5:52 | MSU 9-6
149: Caleb Meunier (Minnesota State) over Joshua Fuentes Norikiyo (San Francisco State) Dec 8-7 | MSU 12-6
157: Drake Hayward (Minnesota State) over Josh Tolentino (San Francisco State) Dec 2-0 | MSU 15-6
165: Kole Marko (Minnesota State) over Kyle Botelho (San Francisco State) Fall 1:38 | MSU 21-6
174: Mike Smith (Minnesota State) over Conrado Trevino-Oceguera (San Francisco State) MD 9-1 | MSU 25-6
184: Shane Gibson (Minnesota State) over Gavin Funk (San Francisco State) Dec 9-4 | MSU 28-6
197: Thomas Johnson (Minnesota State) over Laith Gilmore (San Francisco State) Dec 4-1 | MSU 31-6
285: Max Villnow (Minnesota State) over Unknown (For.) | MSU 37-6
Extra: Unknown vs. Sean Yamasaki (San Francisco State)
Extra: Gavin Christoffersen (Minnesota State) over Gage Mettler (San Francisco State) MD 9-1

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