No. 1 Huskies go 3-0 at Chadron State Duals

SCSU outscores opponents 95-29 while taking down No. 16 Western Colorado in opener

CHADRON, Neb. – No. 1 St. Cloud State Wrestling enjoyed a dominant 3-0 start to their 2022-23 dual season at the Chadron State Duals on Sunday, dropping No. 16 Western Colorado 29-6 before steamrolling (RV) Chadron State 40-7 and earning a 26-16 win over San Francisco State.

The Huskies began the duals with No. 16 Western Colorado, opening the scoring with a 6-5 decision from Ashton Clark over Devin Gomez at 125. Caleb Meekins made it 6-0 with a 12-5 decision over Alex Alvarez, just missing a major decision after a quick surge for a takedown and a nearfall in the third.

Alyeus Craig continued his phenomenal start to the season with a 16-0 tech fall in the second period over Dean Noble. The Huskies’ redshirt freshman nabbed a quick takedown and put Noble on his back three times to build a 12-0 lead through one. He reversed quick out of starting down in the second and added two more swipes for the tech fall. Western Colorado earned their first of two wins in the dual at 149 as No. 5 Jason Hanenberg fought off Cameron Riggs late for a 6-0 decision.

SCSU went right back to work at 157 as Nick Novak made his debut at the weight class, dominating in typical fashion on top to roll Ryan Wilson for back points en route to a 11-2 major decision. No. 10 Anthony Herrera gave up a late takedown to spoil an upset bid over No. 4 Hunter Mullin at 165, dropping a 4-3 decision.

No. 1 Abner Romero won his second ranked match of the season to provide SCSU with a 18-6 lead, earning a 8-3 decision over No. 9 Cole Hernandez by riding out the third period. Shaeden Scheidt hunted for points at 184 and earned the Huskies five with a tech fall at 5:53, rolling Cole Gray 17-2.

The final two matches of the Huskies’ opening dual were won by decisions – No. 5 Dominic Murphy put on a takedown-and-cut clinic at 197 with a 11-6 decision over Porter Fox, then Elijah Novak won his collegiate dual debut with a 8-1 decision over Zach Schraeder. SCSU earned wins in a pair of extra matches following the dual as Sam Spencer earned a 14-1 major decision at 133 and Tyson Meyer scored a pin 22 seconds in at 184.

No. 1 St. Cloud State 29, No. 16 Western Colorado 6
Dec. 4, 2022 | Chicoine Center | Chadron, Neb.
125: Ashton Clark (SCSU) dec. Devin Gomez (WCU), 6-5
133: Caleb Meekins (SCSU) dec. Alex Alvarez (WCU), 12-5
141: Alyeus Craig (SCSU) TF Dean Noble (WCU), 16-0 at 3:41
149: No. 5 Jason Hanenberg (WCU) dec. Cameron Riggs (SCSU), 6-0
157: Nick Novak (SCSU) MD Ryan Wilson (WCU), 11-2
165: No. 4 Hunter Mullin (WCU) dec. No. 10 Anthony Herrera (SCSU), 4-3
174: No. 1 Abner Romero (SCSU) dec. No. 9 Cole Hernandez (WCU), 8-3
184: Shaeden Scheidt (SCSU) TF Cole Gray (WCU), 17-2 at 5:53
197: No. 5 Dominic Murphy (SCSU) dec. Porter Fox (WCU), 11-6
HWT: Elijah Novak (SCSU) dec. Zach Schraeder (WCU), 8-1

Matching up with host (RV) Chadron State in the second dual of the day, St. Cloud State rolled to a 40-7 romp with six bonus-point wins.

After Ashton Clark dropped a tight 3-0 decision to No. 8 Quade Smith, Sam Spencer showed off a strong arsenal of leg attacks as he racked up eight takedowns in a 22-7 tech fall of Kobe Lepe at 133 – earning the tech with the ride time after seven minutes. Alyeus Craig opened his bout with Ethan Leake at 141 strong with a takedown and a quick four-point nearfall before trading reversals in the third. He found himself in a difficult position late in the final two minutes but kept competing to stay off his back and earn the 8-6 decision.

Three-time All-American Joey Bianchini made his season debut wrestling up a class at 149 and wasted no time showcasing his highly aggressive point-hunting style. Bianchini built up a big 7-1 lead in the first, stretched it to 14-3 in the second and closed out a 19-8 major decision over Brandon Paredes.

Jimmy Pierandozzi met Harrison Gocke at 157 and recorded the Huskies’ first pin of the day in the second. After choosing down, Pierandozzi quickly scored a reversal before cutting Gocke free – Jimmy spun right back around and dropped him on his back for the fall at 3:39.

Jared Head followed suit at 165 with a match against Dean Neff, battling him to the edge of the circle before flattening a quick pin at 1:34. No. 1 Abner Romero earned six points at 174 with a forfeit, putting the Huskies up 30-3.

Tyson Meyer kept the scoring coming at 184, majoring Keegan Gehlhausen 12-1 as he dominated the controlling position. No. 5 Dominic Murphy came out of the gates flying in a bout with Bryan Zutavern at 197, scoring a pair of takedowns before nearly ending the match as he tried to set the cradle near the end of the first. Starting the second on top, Murphy dropped Zutavern with a heavy mat return, breaking him down enough to lock in the cradle at 3:24 for the fall.

SCSU dropped their final match of the dual by a 12-1 decision at heavyweight.

No. 1 St. Cloud State 40, (RV) Chadron State 7
Dec. 4, 2022 | Chicoine Center | Chadron, Neb.
125: No. 8 Quade Smith (CSC) dec. Ashton Clark (SCSU), 3-0
133: Sam Spencer (SCSU) TF Kobe Lepe (CSC), 22-7 at 7:00
141: Alyeus Craig (SCSU) dec. Ethan Leake (CSC), 8-6
149: Joey Bianchini (SCSU) MD Brandon Paredes (CSC), 19-8
157: Jimmy Pierandozzi (SCSU) fall Harrison Gocke (CSC), 3:39
165: Jared Head (SCSU) fall Dean Neff (CSC), 1:34
174: No. 1 Abner Romero (SCSU) by forfeit
184: Tyson Meyer (SCSU) MD Keegan Gehlhausen (CSC), 12-1
197: No. 5 Dominic Murphy (SCSU) fall Bryan Zutavern (CSC), 3:24
HWT: Mason Watt (CSC) MD Jadon Mims (SCSU), 12-1

A quick turnaround into their final dual in Chadron provided the Huskies with a test of their resiliency, falling behind 10-5 after four matches against San Francisco State.

After taking a pair of decision losses at 125 and 133, Alyeus Craig put St. Cloud State on the board with a 15-0 tech fall. The redshirt freshman gained great position early on Andre Dargani, racking up the nearfalls to earn the whistle at 3:39.

A major decision at 149 put SCSU in a 10-5 hole before returning NCAA qualifiers Nick Novak and Anthony Herrera got them back on track.

Novak earned a 12-2 major decision over Josh Tolentino at 157 to draw the Huskies within one. Herrera followed with a gusty effort at 165, building a 6-2 lead through two then putting Boltyn Taam on his back with 45 seconds left in the third for the fall.

Trailing again – this time 16-15 – after a fall at 174, Shaeden Scheidt blitzed Gavin Funk with a first-period tech fall at 184. Scheidt took him down early and displayed his aggressive mindset on top, breaking down his opponent with nearfall after nearfall to earn the 16-0 tech at 2:34.

No. 5 Dominic Murphy added a 9-3 decision over Laith Gilmore at 197, building up a lead before riding out in the third for ride time. Elijah Novak wrapped things up by grinding out a 2-0 decision at heavyweight over Emilio Franco Sandoval. The Huskies’ true freshman earned his escape point in the second then maintained control to ride out the third.

No. 1 St. Cloud State 26, San Francisco State 16
Dec. 4, 2022 | Chicoine Center | Chadron, Neb.
125: Zach Wright (SFSU) dec. Ashton Clark (SCSU), 6-2
133: Stefano McKinney (SFSU) dec. Caleb Meekins (SCSU), 12-5
141: Alyeus Craig (SCSU) TF Andre Dargani (SFSU), 15-0 at 3:39
149: Joshua Fuentes Norikiyo (SFSU) MD Cameron Riggs (SCSU), 11-2
157: Nick Novak (SCSU) MD Josh Tolentino (SFSU), 12-2
165: No. 10 Anthony Herrera (SCSU) fall Boltyn Taam (SFSU), 6:15
174: Conrad Trevino-Oceguera (SFSU) fall Bryce Dagel (SCSU), 3:30
184: Shaeden Scheidt (SCSU) TF Gavin Funk (SFSU), 16-0 at 2:34
197: No. 5 Dominic Murphy (SCSU) dec. Laith Gilmore (SFSU), 9-3
HWT: Elijah Novak (SCSU) dec. Emilio Franco Sandoval (SFSU), 2-0

Quotables – St. Cloud State head coach Steve Costanzo

“We came away with three wins today – obviously we’re happy about that. We came out a little bit flat in that first dual and in other matches we weren’t consistently attacking and wrestling in our best position. It was fortunate to come out of Chadron with three victories, but we still have a lot to work on. There’s a lot of time left.”

On the Western Colorado dual… “In the first dual we got off to a pretty nice start – winning at 125 and 133, and then Alyeus Craig at 141. He’s just a redshirt freshman but he’s been super consistent for us there. We got a great performance out of Nick Novak at 157 and continued to roll through the upper weights and finished it off with some good performances at 184, 197 and heavyweight.”

On Alyeus Craig’s excellent start to 2022-23… “Alyeus just looks so comfortable out there wrestling. He gets in some awkward positions but he doesn’t panic, continues to wrestle through those situations and gets to positions that he’s good at. He’s tough on top and he’s relentless. The more matches he’s getting, the more success he’s having, he’s going to have some confidence down the road.”

On the Chadron State dual… “That’s what we’re looking for. We want to go out and get bonus points. We talked about that the last couple of days with our guys, we want to go out and not just win matches but get those bonus points. We did that. We did a good job in that Chadron match – I was pretty pleased with our performance there.”

On the San Francisco State dual… “Some guys really had to stand up for us against, go out and compete hard. We got some bonus points where we needed them. We had ourselves in a jam there to start off, we weren’t expecting the results at 133 and 149. At 174 Bryce Dagel had a really nice lead and got caught in a lat drop – that really put San Francisco back in the match and in good position going down the stretch. Our backs were up against the wall there a bit. Fortunately Shaeden Scheidt came in at 184 and got the tech fall, he really got us going again. Dom had a great performance at 197 and Elijah did a great job finishing off the dual for us.”

“We just have to keep working hard. We’ve got a break coming pretty quick and all that, but there’s still some time to keep working on things. The break is nice, but it’s also a big test for the guys – we won’t be there for all those days. There’s going to be a stretch of 10 days or so where they have to stay disciplined and keep getting after it.”

Up Next
The Huskies are idle until their trip to the NWCA National Duals on January 6 and 7 in Louisville, Kentucky. SCSU will learn their opponents and seed at the National Duals around the New Year.

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.

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