Jacks cross country to Virginia Duals

The South Dakota State wrestling team continues its cross-country travels this weekend by competing in the Virginia Duals.

The 19th-ranked Jackrabbits, 3-2 in duals this season, are scheduled to wrestle four times over two days at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. SDSU is slated to open the event by wrestling Navy at 11:30 a.m. Eastern (10:30 a.m. Central) on Friday, followed by a match at 2:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. CT) versus Kent State.

Saturday, the Jackrabbits are slated to close out action with duals against Campbell (2:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. CT) and Ohio (4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT). Video coverage will be available through FloWrestling.org (subscription required).

SDSU began the new calendar year by sweeping a triangular Jan. 7 in Riverside, California. The Jackrabbits recorded a 31-6 nonconference victory over Northern Illinois to open the day, followed by a 44-0 blanking of Big 12 Conference newcomer and host California Baptist.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Following is the Jackrabbits’ probable lineup for the Virginia Duals:
125: #30 Tanner Jordan • Jr., St. Paris, Ohio (10-7 overall, 3-2 duals)
133: Derrick Cardinal • R-Fr., Forest Lake, Minn. (6-6 overall, 2-2 duals)
141: #11 Clay Carlson • Sr., Willmar, Minn. (9-4 overall, 3-2 duals) or Caleb Gross • Jr., Pound, Wis. (8-5 overall, 1-0 duals)
149: Alek Martin • R-Fr., St. Paris, Ohio (11-7 overall, 3-1 duals)
157: #19 Cael Swensen • R-Fr., Plymouth, Minn. (10-5 overall, 3-1 duals)
165: #13 Tanner Cook • Jr., Ilion, N.Y. (9-2 overall, 4-1 duals)
174: #16 Cade DeVos • Jr., Altoona, Iowa (11-4 overall, 3-2 duals)
184: #16 Cade King • Sr., Waseca, Minn. (7-5 overall, 1-2 duals) or Roman Rogotzke • R-Fr., Stillwater, Minn. (8-7 overall, 1-0 duals)
197: #11 Tanner Sloan • Sr., Alburnett, Iowa (10-1 overall, 4-0 duals)
285: #14 A.J. Nevills • Grad., Clovis, Calif. (9-3 overall, 5-0 duals) or Bowen McConville • Sr., Renton, Wash. (5-2 overall, 0-0 duals)
Note: Rankings listed are highest of either Intermat or FloWrestling rankings as of Jan. 10, 2023

THE SERIES: South Dakota State enters the Virginia Duals with a combined 3-5-1 record against its four scheduled opponents. The Jacks have faced each opponent at least once in dual competition, with the most recent matchup taking place against Kent State during the 2021-22 season. SDSU came out on top with a 33-6 victory over the Golden Flashes in the neutral-site dual in DeKalb, Illinois.

South Dakota State 33, Kent State 6 (Dec. 18, 2021 • DeKalb, Illinois)
125: Jake Ferri (KENT) dec. Tanner Jordan (SDSU), 6-4
133: Brendon Fenton (KENT) dec. Caleb Gross (SDSU), 5-2
141: Clay Carlson (SDSU) fall Louis Newell (KENT), 3:19
149: Daniel Kimball (SDSU) dec. Kody Komara (KENT), 5-2
157: Kenny O’Neil (SDSU) dec. Enrique Mungia (KENT), 8-3
165: Tanner Cook (SDSU) fall Najee Lockett (KENT), 0:19
174: Cade DeVos (SDSU) tech fall Michael Ferree (KENT), 17-1; 2:16
184: Cade King, Jr. (SDSU) dec. Colin McCraken (KENT), 5-3
197: Nick Casperson, Jr. (SDSU) maj. dec. Tyler Bates (KENT), 12-0
285: A.J. Nevills (SDSU) def. Jacob Cover (KENT), 7-2

VIRGINIA DUALS HISTORY: South Dakota State will be making its fifth appearance at the Virginia Duals since moving to the NCAA Division I ranks at the start of the 2004-05 season.

The Jackrabbits have fared well in their previous Virginia Duals appearances, posting a combined record of 10-2, including a 2-0 mark last season as SDSU was a late addition to the event after having a previously scheduled dual canceled due to COVID-related protocols.

Following are the results of SDSU’s previous matches at the Virginia Duals:
2004-05 Season (3-0)
• vs. Duquesne (W, 29-12); vs. Millersville (W, 21-19); vs. Davidson (W, 31-15)

2005-06 Season (2-2)
• vs. Delaware State (W, 44-0); vs. Duquesne (L, 15-28); vs. Franklin & Marshall (L, 18-23); vs. Anderson (S.C.) (W, 22-18)

2006-07 Season (3-0)
• vs. Roger Williams (W, 30-9); vs. Newport News Apprentice (W, 31-7); vs. Anderson (S.C.) (W, 49-6)

2021-22 Season (2-0)
• vs. Chattanooga (W, 35-10); vs. Maryland (W, 26-10)

#24 South Dakota State 35, Chattanooga 10 (Jan. 15, 2022 • Hampton, Virginia)
125: Tanner Jordan (SDSU) won by forfeit
133: #21 Brayden Palmer (CHATT) major dec. Gabriel Tagg (SDSU), 12-0
141: #5 Clay Carlson (SDSU) dec. Franco Valdes (CHATT), 6-2
149: Noah Castillo (CHATT) dec. Daniel Kimball (SDSU), 8-3
157: Kenny O’Neil (SDSU) dec. Lincoln Heck (CHATT), 3-2
165: #29 Tanner Cook (SDSU) def. Drew Nicholson (CHATT), by fall 1:24
174: #10 Cade DeVos (SDSU) tech. fall Carial Tarter (CHATT), 15-0 (5:26)
184: Matthew Waddell (CHATT) dec. Cade King (SDSU), 6-0
197: #21 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) def. Nick Benton (CHATT), by fall 3:33
285: #23 A.J. Nevills (SDSU) def. Grayson Walthall (CHATT), by fall 1:54

#24 South Dakota State 28 Maryland 6 (Jan. 15, 2022 • Hampton, Virginia)
125: Tanner Jordan (SDSU) won by forfeit
133: Gabriel Tagg (SDSU) dec. King Sandoval (MARY), 6-4
141: #5 Clay Carlson (SDSU) dec. Danny Bertoni (MARY), 11-5
149: Daniel Kimball (SDSU) major dec. Michael North (MARY), 8-0
157: Kenny O’Neil (SDSU) dec. Lucas Cordio (MARY), 7-0
165: Gaven Bell (MARY) dec. #29 Tanner Cook (SDSU), 12-8
174: #10 Cade DeVos (SDSU) dec. Dominic Solis (MARY), 9-5
184: #12 Kyle Cochran (MARY) dec. Cade King (SDSU), 4-0
197: #21 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) dec. #31 Jaron Smith (MARY), 6-2
285: #23 A.J. Nevills (SDSU) dec. #26 Zach Schrader (MARY), 2-1

LAST TIME OUT: The South Dakota State wrestling team turned in a pair of dominant performances in sweeping a triangular Jan. 7 at Van Dyne Gym in Riverside, California. The 19th-ranked Jackrabbits recorded 11 bonus-point victories in their two duals, defeating Northern Illinois, 31-6, and shutting out Big 12 newcomer California Baptist, 44-0.

With the two victories, SDSU improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Big 12 action.

South Dakota State 31, Northern Illinois 6
The Jackrabbits won each of the first five matches and eight bouts overall en route to the victory.

Tanner Jordan started the SDSU winning streak with a 2-0 decision over the Huskies’ Blake West in the 125-pound matchup, while redshirt freshman Derrick Cardinal followed with a 12-1 major decision against Bryce West. Clay Carlson, Alek Martin and Cael Swensen all followed with narrow decisions to close out the first half of the dual with the Jackrabbits holding a 16-0 lead.

All three Jackrabbits victories in the second half of the dual were of the bonus-point variety by ranked wrestlers as Cade DeVos won by major decision at 174 pounds, Tanner Sloan earned a win by technical fall in the 197-pound matchup and heavyweight A.J. Nevills won by fall.

In a battle between ranked 165-pound wrestlers, NIU’s ninth-ranked Izzak Olejnik put the Huskies on the board with a 3-1 decision over 13th-ranked Tanner Cook. Matt Zuber picked up the other win for NIU by outlasting SDSU’s 16th-ranked Cade King, 12-8 in the 184-pound bout.

South Dakota State 44, California Baptist 0
SDSU reeled off five consecutive bonus-point wins and seven in the match in blanking California Baptist in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

Carlson started a string of three consecutive technical falls for the Jackrabbits with an 18-3 victory over Christian Nunez at 141 pounds. Martin (20-3) and Swensen (17-1) followed with tech falls at 149 and 157 pounds.

Cook returned to his winning ways with his seventh pin of the season, putting Frank Almaguer’s shoulders to the mat in 2 minutes and 27 seconds. DeVos added his second major decision of the night, topping Louis Rojas, 18-5, in the 174-pound matchup.

Also putting extra points on the board were Sloan with a major decision at 197 pounds and Nevills with his second pin of the evening and sixth of the season.
Jordan, Cardinal and King won by decision as the Jackrabbits shut out a Division I dual opponent for the first time since a 42-0 whitewashing of Little Rock on Feb. 2, 2020.

RABBITS RANKED: The South Dakota State wrestling team began the season ranked in the top 25 after being included in a pair of national polls and have continued their climb up the rankings during the first two months of the 2022-23 campaign.

The Jackrabbits checked in at No. 22 in the preseason poll conducted by Intermat and were ranked 25th in the initial National Wrestling Coaches Association survey. SDSU was one of five Big 12 Conference programs ranked in the NWCA top 25, joining No. 4 Missouri, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Iowa State and No. 20 UNI.

Following their strong showing at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in early December, the Jackrabbits climbed seven spots to No. 18 in the NWCA poll for their highest ranking under head coach Damion Hahn. SDSU slipped one spot to 19th after its Dec. 18 dual loss to Nebraska and remained in that spot again this week.

SDSU also has a season-high eight wrestlers ranked individually for the fifth week in a row, with 141-pounder Clay Carlson holding the highest ranking at No. 9 in both the InterMat and FloWrestling rankings, followed by fellow NCAA qualifier Tanner Sloan in 13th (InterMat) at 197 pounds.

Cael Swensen, who is ranked 22nd in the 157-pound rankings by InterMat and Tanner Jordan at 125 pounds (28th by InterMat) each joined the rankings after their outings at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.

Other returning NCAA qualifiers Cade DeVos (15th at 174 pounds by FloWrestling) and A.J. Nevills (14th at heavyweight by FloWrestling) have maintained top-20 rankings throughout the season, while Cade King (17th at 184 pounds by FloWrestling) rounds out the list of SDSU’s ranked wrestlers.

COOK AMONG PIN LEADERS: Entering action this week, South Dakota State 165-pounder Tanner Cook ranked in a tie for third place among Division I wrestlers with seven wins by fall.

A junior from Ilion, New York, Cook has needed only 12 minutes and 12 seconds of mat time to post his seven falls, with five of those pins occurring in less than a minute.

Cook was honored Dec. 20 as Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Week after pinning 13th-ranked Bubba Wilson of Nebraska in only 29 seconds in dual action Dec. 18. He brings a 9-2 season record and 50-17 career mark into competition at the Virginia Duals.

DUAL-MEET DOMINANCE: South Dakota State has dominated the upper two weights in dual meets over the last two seasons thanks to the contributions of 197-pounder Tanner Sloan and heavyweight A.J. Nevills.

Sloan, a senior from Alburnett, Iowa, is 15-1 in duals over the last two seasons. Since dropping his first dual match of the 2021-22 season to Michial Foy of Minnesota, Sloan has won 15 consecutive dual matchups.

For his career, Sloan has compiled a 39-4 dual record and has yet to drop a home match. He went a perfect 11-0 in duals during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season after posting a 13-3 mark as a redshirt freshman.

Nevills, a graduate student from Clovis, California, has turned in a 19-3 dual record since joining the lineup at the start of the 2021-22 season as a transfer from Fresno State. Nevills went 14-3 in duals last season en route to a trip to nationals and is unbeaten so far this season at 5-0.

A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits return home for a pair of Big 12 Conference duals next weekend at Frost Arena. South Dakota State is slated to host Utah Valley at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20, followed by a noon matchup versus Wyoming on Jan. 22.

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