SJU Travels to Illinois for Saturday Tourney

The Johnnie wrestling team travels to compete at Elmhurst’s Al Hanke Invitational at 9 a.m. this Saturday, Jan. 14 in Elmhurst, Ill.

A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Fourteen Saint John’s wrestling student-athletes completed the two-day Citrus Invitational last week (Dec. 29-30) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Wrestlers who suffered two losses Thursday and were eliminated, as well as those that recorded their second loss Friday morning, were added to separate “warrior” (single-elimination, consolation) brackets in adjacent to the main tournament.

Junior Ben Gilbertson (Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice) led SJU with a 5-3 record to take second place in Friday’s Warrior bracket at 184 pounds. He won his first two matches Thursday before he suffered a 5-0 loss to seventh-ranked Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann of Augsburg in the quarterfinal and bounced to the Warrior bracket with an 11-5 defeat to William Smith of Williams (Mass.). Friday was a different story, however. Gilbertson started the day with three-straight wins – two first-period pins and a major decision – before he dropped a narrow 3-2 decision to Stefan Farian of John Carroll (Ohio) in the title bout.

Sophomore Logan Thorsten (Foley, Minn.) and freshman Teagyn Ludwig (Richmond, Minn./Eden Valley-Watkins) both finished fourth at 157 and 133 pounds, respectively. Both wrestlers went 0-2 Thursday but bounced back with 2-1 records Friday. Thorsten held his opponent to one point in a pair of decision victories before he fell to Christian Hite of Ferrum (Va.), 10-3, in the semifinal. Ludwig, meanwhile, opened the Warrior bracket with a pin and major decision, but ran out of gas in a technical-fall loss to Evan Husko of Cornell (Iowa) in the semis.

NO TRIP TO IOWA: SJU was scheduled to compete at Central’s Under Armour Invitational last Saturday (Jan. 7) in Pella, Iowa, but illness and skin conditions canceled the Johnnies’ appearance at the tournament.

WHO WILL BE THERE: The Johnnies and host Bluejays are scheduled to be joined by wrestlers from Carthage (Wis.), Chicago (Ill.), Concordia-Moorhead, Concordia (Wis.), Eureka (Ill.), Harper (Ill.), Henry Ford (Mich.), Millikin (Ill.), Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wis.), Morton (Ill.), North Central (Ill.), Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Al Hanke Invitational Brackets/Results on

LAST YEAR’S TOURNEY: SJU competed at Elmhurst’s Al Hanke Invitational last Jan. 15 (2022). Gilbertson led SJU with a 3-2 record and a sixth-place finish at 174 pounds. He started the tournament with an 18-3 technical fall, but suffered a major-decision loss in the quarterfinal. Gilbertson bounced back with a pair of decision wins before a 5-1 defeat in the fifth-place bout. Junior Andrew Hamilton (Eagle River, Alaska) and sophomore D.J. Myles (Dayton, Minn./Champlin Park) earned the Johnnies’ other wins with 2-2 records at 174 and 197 pounds, respectively.

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