FARGO, N.D. – The No. 13/16 North Dakota State wrestling program will wrap up the road portion of the dual schedule this weekend in Colorado with trips to Air Force and Northern Colorado.
Friday, Feb. 3 – at Air Force – 8 p.m. CT
Saturday, Feb. 4 – at Northern Colorado – 7 p.m. CT
Both duals will be streamed live on FloWrestling. The duals will also have live results through TrackWrestling. Links for coverage will be available on GoBison.com.
The Bison face Air Force for the 22nd time, holding a 19-2 record against the Falcons, including wins in 11 straight. NDSU claimed a 21-16 win over Air Force last season. NDSU is 37-5-2 all-time against Northern Colorado, winning the last eight meetings, including a 22-13 win in Fargo last season. NDSU is undefeated against both in the Big 12 era.
Highest Ranking in Program History
Earlier this season, the Bison climbed to No. 15 in the NWCA Coaches Poll, the highest official ranking in the program’s Div. I history. Prior to this season, the Bison had never been ranked higher than 19. In the InterMat poll this week, NDSU climbed one spot to No. 13, which marks the highest the Bison have ever been in any poll in Div. I.
New Program Record for Individual Rankins
The Bison have eight wrestlers receiving ranking recognition in FloWrestling and InterMat. The previous Div. 1 era high was seven last season. Jared Franek also becoming the highest-ranked wrestler at in the Div. 1 era at No. 2.
Bison Second in First NWCA Mid-Major Poll
While the Bison are ranked No. 13 by InterMat and No. 16 in the NWCA Coaches Poll, NDSU also picked up a ranking of second in the first NWCA Mid-Major Top 20 poll, behind only Cornell.
Jared Franek Notches Ranked Win #27, Passes Monk for NDSU Record
With Franek’s victory over #13 Jacob Wright (Wyoming) in a dual on January 21, he secured his 27th ranked victory, passing Steven Monk’s NDSU Div. I record.
Caliendo Named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week
Michael Caliendo became the second Bison to be named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week this season on January 17 after his win over #2 Shane Griffith in a dual at Stanford. He joined Jared Franek, who picked up the honor on December 12. Caliendo is the seventh Bison overall to win Big 12 Wrestler of the Week.
Franek Defends Scuffle Title, Pentz and March Also Win, as Bison Take 2nd
Jared Franek (157) claimed his second-straight Southern Scuffle title to open up 2023. Kellyn March (149) recorded two ranked wins and Owen Pentz (197) added three ranked wins as both went 5-0 to lift their first Scuffle titles. The Bison took second overall, finishing behind Oklahoma State, but ahead of Missouri, Stanford and Minnesota.
Pentz Reaches Pin Milestone, Pins #4 at Scuffle
Owen Pentz became just the 10th Bison in the Division I era to record 20 pins with a fall in his opening match at the Southern Scuffle. The junior also pinned #4 Ethan Laird (Rider) in the semis and has added two more in duals to sit at 23. With the pin over Laird, Pentz has pinned the #2, #3 and #4 ranked wrestlers in his career.
Freshman Caliendo Makes Strong Statement with Battles Against NCAA Champions
Redshirt freshmen Michael Caliendo (16-2) took runner-up at the Southern Scuffle, losing 3-2 to #2 Shane Griffith (Stanford), 2021 NCAA Champion. Caliendo avenged the loss at Stanford, defeating #2 Griffith 6-3. Caliendo’s only other loss this season came to #1 Keegan O’Toole (Missouri), the 2022 NCAA Champion. In the loss, Caliendo secured two takedowns and held a lead before falling 15-8. O’Toole has only allowed three takedowns all season.
100 W’s for Kish
With NDSU’s 30-6 victory over Buffalo in mid-December, North Dakota State head coach Roger Kish scooped up his 100th career dual victory. Kish has since improved to 105-69 in his 12th season as the leader of the Herd.
March Nearly Matches Own NDSU Pin Record
In a dual against Buffalo, Kellyn March pinned Kaleb Burgess in 13 seconds, one-second shy of March’s fastest career pin and the NDSU Div. I record pin of 12 seconds, set last season in a dual against Edinboro’s Clayton Bashor.
Program Hits 600
In the dual victory at Stanford, NDSU wrestling secured program victory No. 600 in dual competition. NDSU currently has 603 wins as a program.
The Bison at Home
NDSU holds a 285-121-8 (.698) record at home over the course of the program’s 65-year history. Since January of 2019, the Bison are 19-6 (.760), with five of the six losses coming against ranked opposition.
Away From Home
The Bison hold a 318-165-10 (.655) record in dual’s away from home in the program’s history. Since moving to the Big 12, the Bison are 26-6 (.813) in true road duals against unranked foes.
NCAA D1 Qualifiers
The Bison have 58 NCAA Div. I qualifiers in 14 years of postseason eligibility, including 15 over the last three seasons. Rich in wrestling history, the Bison sent 26 to NCAA Div. I Championships from 1971 to 1991, bringing the total to 84. The Bison have 10 All-Americans at the Div. I Championships, including a best finish of 3rd by Steven Monk at 165 in 2014. In 2015, Kurtis Julson and Hayden Zillmer both placed in the top 8.
Head Coach Roger Kish
Roger Kish is in his 12th season at the helm of NDSU wrestling, taking over the program in 2011-12 after he spent two years as an assistant coach under the legendary Bucky Maughan. Under his tenure, the Bison have had seven All-Americans. and two Big 12 Champions; Cam Sykora (133 in 2020) and Luke Weber (165 in 2021). Kish was a two-time All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up for Minnesota at 184 pounds with a career record of 117-27 for the Gophers. He then spent two seasons on staff at Minnesota as a graduate assistant.
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