MOORHEAD, Minn. — MSU Moorhead wrestling will host a pair of ranked opponents in dual action on Friday and Saturday inside Nemzek Fieldhouse. The Dragons welcome 11th-ranked UMary at 7 p.m. on Friday, while 9th-ranked Upper Iowa comes to town for a 2 p.m. dual on Saturday.
MSUM is currently 1-3 in dual action and 0-2 in NSIC duals, with their last competition coming on December 10. That result was a 22-12 loss to Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minnesota. The Dragons’ other NSIC dual loss came at the hands of Augustana, 31-15.
Both Clayson Mele and Thomas Carrillo lead the Dragons in total wins with 11 apiece. Carrillo is coming off a great weekend in his last two dual matches, where he went 2-0 behind two decision victories. The freshman 133-pounder collected three takedowns, three escapes, two reversals, and four near-fall points across his two matches against Augustana and Southwest Minnesota State. The Rio Rancho, N.M., native also has a technical fall on his record this season, which is second on the team to only Gunnar Mogen, who has two technical falls.
A host of Dragons sit atop the team leaderboard in falls so far this season. Parker Benz, Caleb Vacura, Gunnar Mogen, and Clayson Mele all have four pinfall victories this season. 165-pounder Jonas Anez has a team-leading three major decisions, followed closely by senior Anthony Castro, who has two major decisions on the year.
Kris Nelson is in his 14th year as head coach of MSUM wrestling.
Know Your Enemy
UMary currently sits at 11th in the NWCA poll and the Marauders have three ranked dual wins under their belt. Mary is 7-1 in duals this season, with their lone loss coming to St. Cloud State. However, the Marauders have gotten victories over 24th-ranked Ashland, second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney and fourth-ranked West Liberty, all taking place last weekend at the NWCA National Duals. Mary bolsters four top-15 wrestlers per the NWCA, highlighted by Max Bruss, who is currently ranked third in the country at 174 pounds. Bruss has compiled an 18-3 record so far this season. Fourth-ranked Reece Barnhardt has an 18-4 ledger so far in 2022-23 at 133 pounds as well. Ninth-ranked Braydon Huber (157 pounds) and 12th-ranked Matthew Kaylor (197 pounds) round out Mary’s ranked competitors. Eight of Mary’s projected starters have tallied over 10 wins already this season. Adam Aho is in his ninth season as head coach of the University of Mary.
Upper Iowa is 4-2 in duals this season with their two losses coming at the hands of third-ranked St. Cloud State and fifth-ranked Lander. On the flip side, three of Upper Iowa’s four wins have come against ranked opponents. Last week at the NWCA National Duals, the Peacocks defeated second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney, 12th-ranked McKendree, and 14th-ranked Fort Hays State. Upper Iowa showcases four nationally-ranked wrestlers, with second-ranked Chase Luensman (165 pounds) racking up an impressive 17-1 record so far this season. At 141 pounds, Tate Murty is ranked fifth in the country behind a 17-4 ledger. Lastly, both Dalton Hahn (197 pounds) and Zach Ryg (Heavyweight) are both ranked ninth in the nation at their respective weight classes. Heath Grimm is in his 23rd season as head coach of the Peacocks.
MSUM Probable Lineup
125 – Clayson Mele (11-6, 1-1 NSIC)
133 – Thomas Carrillo (11-7, 2-0 NSIC)
141 – Hunter Hayes (2-6, 1-1 NSIC)
149 – Jacob Davis (2-3, 1-1 NSIC)
157 – Cody Wienen (7-6)
165 – Jonas Anez (9-13, 0-2 NSIC)
174 – Anthony Castro (8-4, 1-1 NSIC)
184 – Caleb Vacura (4-8, 0-2 NSIC)
197 – Samuel Grove (4-7, 0-2 NSIC)
HWT – Andre Baguma (2-3) OR Airin Spell (3-2, 1-1 NSIC)
UMary Probable Lineup
125 – Chase Milligan (4-2) OR Jaden Verhagen (9-4)
133 – #4 Reece Barnhardt (18-4)
141 – Laken Boese (11-7)
149 – Lincoln Turman (5-5) OR Leo Mushinsky (11-8)
157 – #9 Braydon Huber (14-2)
165 – Riley Noble (3-2)
174 – #3 Max Bruss (18-3)
184 – Wyatt Lindberg (15-6)
197 – #12 Matthew Kaylor (15-7)
HWT – Luke Tweeton (15-7) OR Levi Malcolm (3-5)
Upper Iowa Probable Lineup
125 – Colby Lopez (2-13)
133 – Kaden Anderlik (14-6)
141 – #5 Tate Murty (17-4) OR Donny Schmit (4-2)
149 – Ehten Doty (10-7) OR Connor Manderfield (4-1)
157 – Eric Faught (14-3) OR Chance Throndson (7-2)
165 – #2 Chase Luensman (17-1) OR Ryan Steffen (7-4)
174 – Scott Kellenberger (11-7) OR Cael Meyer (7-3)
184 – Colter Bye (7-6) OR Cameron Lopez (3-4)
197 – #9 Dalton Hahn (6-2)
HWT – #9 Zach Ryg (12-5) OR Jordan Baumler (4-5)