Young Jacks start strong at Soldier Salute

CORALVILLE, Iowa – Four South Dakota State wrestlers advanced to the semifinals on the opening day of competition Thursday at the inaugural Soldier Salute tournament held at the Xtream Arena.

Junior Caleb Gross became the first Jackrabbit to advance to Friday’s semifinals after posting a pair of victories in the 141-pound division. After receiving an opening-round bye, Gross went to overtime in his first match of the day before coming out victorious 3-1 against Kenny Duschek of Columbia.

Gross added a 4-0 decision over Army’s Tyler Morris in their quarterfinal matchup to set up a meeting with nationally ranked Real Woods of Iowa in the semifinal round.

At 157 pounds, redshirt freshman Cael Swensen turned in an impressive victory in his lone match of the day, recording an 11-2 major decision over Wyoming’s Cooper Voorhees to earn a trip to the semifinals. Swensen is slated to square off against Northern Iowa’s R.J. Weston on Friday.

Fellow redshirt freshman Roman Rogotzke punched his ticket to the semifinals with two victories in the 184-pound division. The Stillwater, Minnesota, native notched a first-period fall against Aidan McCain of Iowa in the opening round, followed by a 9-7 sudden victory against Sahm Addulrazzaq of Army in quarterfinal action. Rogotzke is scheduled to meet Iowa’s Abe Assad in the semis on Friday.

Freshman heavyweight and Brookings native Luke Rasmussen tallied a pair of 4-2 decisions, rallying to defeat Mason Ding of Wyoming in the closing seconds in his opener before winning his quarterfinal matchup against Kade Carlson of Army. Rasmussen is slated to face Tony Cassioppi, who is ranked third at heavyweight, in the semifinal round.

Also remaining in contention for a spot on the podium was 149-pounder Alek Martin, who notched a 3-1 record on Thursday. Martin moved into the quarterfinals with a pair of victories over Big Ten Conference wrestlers before being sent to the consolation bracket after a loss by technical fall to nationally ranked Max Murin of Iowa. Martin came back in the evening session to turn in an 8-3 decision over Trae McDaniel of Army.

SDSU ended the day in fifth place in the team standings. Iowa holds a commanding lead with 114.5 points, followed by Wyoming with 68.5. Army stands third with 67.5 points, with Columbia (52.5) and the Jackrabbits (51) rounding out the top five squads.

Two other Jackrabbits competing in the tournament as unattached wrestlers also advanced to the semifinal round Thursday as 165-pounder Jack Thomsen and 184-pounder Bennett Berge each went 2-0 on the day.

UP NEXT: Competition at the Soldier Salute is scheduled to resume at noon Friday.

Soldier Salute Brackets/Results on

Complete SDSU Results

133: Derrick Cardinal, R-Fr., Forest Lake, Minn. (1-2 record)
lost to Cullan Schriever, Iowa, by dec., 9-2
def. Dyson Dunham, Virginia Military Institute, by tech. fall, 19-2 [5:27]
lost to Jace Rhodes, Iowa, by dec., 2-1 [SV-1]

141: Caleb Gross, Jr., Pound, Wis. (2-0 record)
def. Kenny Duschek, Columbia, by dec. 3-1 [SV-1]
def. Tyler Morris, Army, by dec., 4-0

149: Alek Martin, R-Fr., St. Paris, Ohio (3-1 record)
def. Cody Goebel, Wisconsin, by major dec., 10-1
def. Leif Schroeder, Iowa, by dec., 3-1
lost to Max Murin, Iowa, by tech. fall, 20-4 [5:19]
def. Trae McDaniel, Army, by dec., 8-3

157: Cael Swensen, R-Fr., Plymouth, Minn. (1-0 record)
def. Cooper Voorhees, Wyoming, by major dec., 1-2

174: Brock Fettig, Fr., Bismarck, N.D. (0-3 record)
lost to Benjam Pasiuk, Army, by tech. fall, 18-2 [4:16]
lost to Kyle Mosher, Columbia, by dec., 7-3
lost to Dillon Sheehy, Army, by dec., 3-2

184: Roman Rogotzke, R-Fr., Stillwater, Minn. (2-0 record)
def. Aidan McCain, Iowa, by fall 1:09
def. Sahm Addulrazzaq, Army, by dec., 9-7 [SV-1]

184: Jaxon Bowes, Fr., Brookings, S.D. (0-2 record)
lost to Micah DiCarlo, The Citadel, by dec., 2-1
lost to Guillermo Escobedo, Wyoming, by major dec., 10-1

197: Nick Casperson, Sr., Beresford, S.D. (1-1 record)
def. Daniel Lawrence, Army, by dec., 7-3
lost to Kolby Franklin, Iowa, by dec., 6-4 [SV-1]
Withdrew from tournament due to injury

197: Cody Donnelly, R-Fr., Philip, S.D. (2-2 record)
lost to Adam Ahrendsen, Northern Iowa, by dec., 14-9
dec. Jose Valdez, Northern Iowa, by dec., 11-9
lost to Patrick Brophy, The Citadel, by dec., 7-2
def. Daniel Lawrence, Army, by fall 1:01

285: Luke Rasmussen, Fr., Brookings,S.D. (2-0 record)
def. Mason Ding, Wyoming, by dec., 4-2
def. Kade Carlson, Army, by dec., 4-2

Unattached Wrestlers:

165: Jack Thomsen, Jr., La Porte City, Iowa (2-0 record)
def. Alex Rivera, Bellarmine, by major dec., 15-5
def. Drake Rhodes, Iowa, by dec., 12-9

184: Bennett Berge, Fr., Mantorville, Minn. (2-0 record)
def. Eric Vermillion, Indiana Tech, by dec., 7-5
def. Isaac Dolph, Virginia Military Institute, by major dec., 21-8

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