Five Bison Reach Semifinals to Highlight Day One of Southern Scuffle

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Five North Dakota State wrestlers reached the semifinals to highlight day one of the 2023 Southern Scuffle, with ten total Bison in contention for placing finishes after the first day.

Kellyn March (149), Jared Franek (157), Michael Caliendo (165), DJ Parker (184) and Owen Pentz (197) all went undefeated throughout the first day in Tennessee and will wrestle in semifinal matches on Monday, having secured top six finishes.

March picked up victories over Little Rock’s Jake Adams (6-0) and Oklahoma State’s Jordan Williams (10-9) to reach the semifinals, while Caliendo needed three wins, defeating Missouri’s Cam Steed (8-3), Purdue’s Stoney Buell (6-1) and Stanford’s Hunter Garvin (7-4).

Franek had a dominant day, scoring bonus points for the Bison in the team standings with three major decisions. Franek defeated Virginia’s Dominic Isola (13-1), Minnesota’s Sebas Swiggum (13-0) and Iowa State’s Ben Monroe (10-1) to earn bonus points. He then defeated Northern Colorado’s Vinny Zerban (4-1) to reach the semifinal.

Two of the top performances of the day came from Parker and Pentz, who both secured upset wins over ranked opposition to close the day and reach the semis.

Parker had a major decision over Little Rock’s Mason Diel (13-1) and a tech fall over Purdue’s Ben Vanadia (16-0) to reach the quarterfinals. Parker then picked up his first ranked win in his collegiate career, picking up a 2-1 decision over #22 Sean Harman of Missouri.

Pentz started off the day by reaching a milestone with his 20th career pin as he defeated Cal State Bakersfield’s Mateo Morales at 2:26. Pentz becomes just the 10th Bison in the Division I era to record 20 career pins. Pentz then picked up a tech fall victory over Virginia’s Colden Dorfman (17-1) before defeating #29 Michial Foy of Minnesota by a 5-3 decision in sudden victory to secure a spot in the semifinals.

McGwire Midkiff (133), Dylan Droegemueller (141), Gaven Sax (174), Riley Habisch (174) and Juan Mora (285) are also set to compete on Monday in the consolation bracket, needing one win to secure a placing finish.

After a loss to #27 Brayden Palmer of Chattanooga, Midkiff secured back-to-back consolation victories to reach day two. Habisch had a similar path after falling to #4 Dustin Plott of Oklahoma State. Habisch’s second win came over #33 Sam DePrez of Binghamton to reach day two. Droegemueller, Sax and Mora all reached the quarterfinals before suffering their first defeat.

Brackets/Results on

Day two of the Southern Scuffle is set to begin at 10 a.m. CT with the consolation matches before championship semifinal matches at noon CT.

North Dakota State Individual Results:

125 | Carlos Negrete | 0-2
L to #28 Caleb Smith (Appalachian State), MFF 1-0 3:17
L to Jeffery Jacome (Gardner Webb), MFF

133 | McGwire Midkiff | 3-1
W over Josh Sarpy (Little Rock), Fall 1:20
L to #27 Brayden Palmer (Chattanooga), Dec 3-1
W over Cael Keck (Little Rock), Dec 6-0
W over Ethan Oakley (Appalachian State), Dec 5-2
#23 Sean Carter (Appalachian State)

141 | Dylan Droegemueller | 2-1
W over Angelo Martinoni (CSU-Bakersfield), Dec 6-1
W over Vance Vombaur (Minnesota), Dec 4-3
L to #25 Darren Miller (Bucknell), Dec 4-2
Jack Gioffre (Virginia)

141 | Gavin Drexler | 1-2
L to #6 Jake Bergeland (Minnesota), Dec 4-2
W over Issac Byers (Appalachian State), TF 15-0 5:39
L to Mckenzie Bell (Rider), Dec 12-5

149 | Kellyn March | 3-0
W over Jake Adams (Little Rock), Dec 6-0
W over Drew Roberts (Minnesota), MFF
W over Jordan Williams (Oklahoma State), Dec 10-9
#23 Quinn Kinner (Rider)

149 | Gabe Schumm | 2-2
W over Chase Tebbets (Little Rock), Dec 4-2
L to Benji Alanis (Northern Colorado), Dec 4-1
W over Trey Kruse (Purdue), Dec 10-4
L to Blaine Brenner (Minnesota), Fall 5:45

149 | Max Petersen | 1-2
L to Chris Sandoval (Northern Colorado), Dec 9-5
W over Corbin Dion (Gardner Webb), MD 11-3
L to Patrick Rowland (Duke), Dec 3-1 (SV)

157 | Jared Franek | 4-0
W over Dominic Isola (Virginia), MD 13-1
W over Sebas Swiggum (Minnesota), MD 13-0
W over Ben Monroe (Iowa State), MD 10-1
W over Vinny Zerban (Northern Colorado), Dec 4-1
Charles Darracott (Stanford)

165 | Michael Caliendo | 3-0
W over Cam Steed (Missouri), Dec 8-3
W over Stoney Buell (Purdue), Dec 6-1
W over Hunter Garvin (Stanford), Dec 7-4
#20 Andrew Sparks (Minnesota)

174 | Gaven Sax | 2-1
W over Albert Urias (CSU-Bakersfield), Dec 3-2
W over Will Miller (Appalachian State), Dec 5-4
L to #11 Peyton Mocco (Missouri), Dec 7-4
#21 Julien Broderson (Iowa State)

174 | Riley Habisch | 3-1
W over Warren Hoyt (Little Rock), Dec 2-0
L to #4 Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State), Dec 5-3
W over Macartney Parkinson (Purdue), Dec 4-0
W over #33 Sam DePrez (Binghamton), Dec 3-1 (SV)
Triston Wills (Little Rock)

184 | DJ Parker | 3-0
W over Mason Diel (Little Rock), MD 13-1
W over Ben Vanadia (Purdue), TF 16-0 3:28
W over #22 Sean Harman (Missouri), Dec 2-1
Gavin Stika (Oklahoma State)

184 | Michael Nelson | 0-2
L to #23 Jacob Nolan (Binghamton), Dec 6-0
L to Jacob Hansen (CSU-Bakersfield), MD 9-1

197 | Owen Pentz | 3-0
W over Mateo Morales (CSU-Bakersfield), Fall 2:26
W over Colden Dorfman (Virginia), TF 17-1 5:59
W over #29 Michial Foy (Minnesota), Dec 5-3 (SV)
#4 Ethan Laird (Rider)

197 | Spencer Mooberry | 1-2
W over Sam Mora (Gardner Webb), Fall 1:23
L to Stephen Little (Little Rock), Dec 9-4
L to Xavier Vasquez (Northern Colorado), Dec 8-3

285 | Juan Mora | 2-1
W over #28 Zack Knighton-Ward (Hofstra), Dec 5-1
W over Logan Andrew (Chattanooga), Dec 3-1 (SV)
L to #29 Garrett Joles (Minnesota), Dec 5-4
Seth Nitzel (Missouri)

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