Mustangs prepare for Super Regions on Saturday

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team will compete at the NCAA Super Regional V Tournament this Saturday starting at 9 a.m. inside Wachs Arena in Aberdeen, S.D.

The NCAA Super Regional Tournament V features all 10 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference teams. The top three finishers at each weight class will qualify for the NCAA Championships, with the fourth-place finisher serving as an alternate in the class. The NCAA Championships will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, starting on Friday, March 10, and running through Saturday, March 11.

The Super Regional V Tournament will have seven teams that, as of Feb. 18, rank in the Top 25 according to the NWCA Rankings. The five-time national champion St. Cloud State University Huskies enter the tournament ranked No. 3 in the country behind last year’s national runner-up, No. 1 Central Oklahoma, and No. 2 Lander. UW-Parkside comes in ranked sixth, with Upper Iowa three spots behind at No. 9. UMary (No. 12), Augustana (No. 19), Northern State (No. 22), and SMSU (No. 23) all find themselves ranked in the top 25, with Minnesota State receiving votes for the national poll.

Live updates will be provided on a tournament update page at smsumustangs.com on Saturday.

Head coach Chayse Jackson expects the return of five wrestlers from the 2022 regional tournament, including No. 3-ranked 184 Caden Steffen, who went 3-0 in last season’s Super Regional, becoming just the third wrestler in program history to win a regional championship, before going 3-3 at the NCAA Championships and earning the 15th NCAA All-American season in program history.

Jacob Dykes returns to the lineup at heavyweight, while 141 Hunter Pfantz (up from 133), 165 Lucas Hodges (up from 157), and 197 Carter Marx (up from 174) all return to the lineup after switching weight classes. Dykes comes in ranked No. 10 in the latest NWCA rankings.

SMSU Probable Lineup
125 – Ben Emrich (2-13)
133 – Open
141 – Hunter Pfantz (8-14)
149 – Tyler Soltau (2-18)
157 – Sean Howk (13-10)
165 – Lucas Hodges (10-12)
174 – Elijah Sterner (2-15)
184 – No. 3 Caden Steffen (16-2)
197 – Carter Marx (9-11)
285 – No. 10 Jacob Dykes (13-8)

MUSTANGS IN THE RANKINGS: SMSU has two wrestlers ranked in the NWCA rankings (Feb. 17). Caden Steffen leads the way for the Mustangs, ranking third at 184 pounds. Steffen is 16-2 on the season and 3-1 in duals. Steffen has been named NSIC Wrestler of the Week twice this season, on Nov. 11 Steffen won the award after placing first at the Dakota Wesleyan tournament and won the award again on Dec. 19 after placing first at the Midwest Classic. … Jacob Dykes moved into the top 10, ranking No. 10 at 285. Dykes was named the NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 16 after he defeated the reigning Division II National Champion and the NWCA’s Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Year in Darrell Mason. Dykes defeated Mason by a 3-1 decision, as he picked up a takedown in the first period and an escape in the third period on the way to the win. Dykes was the first to defeat Mason since Mason joined division II … SMSU has also been recognized, as the NWCA ranks the Mustangs at No. 23.

Since moving to NCAA Division II in 1996, SMSU has qualified 49 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships with 15 All-Americans and one National Champion—Link Steffen in 1998.

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