SDSU’s dual season concludes Sunday at NDSU

The 2022-23 wrestling dual season comes to an end Sunday afternoon with South Dakota State and North Dakota State renewing their Border Bell rivalry in Fargo, North Dakota.

Match time is set for 2 p.m. at Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse on the NDSU campus. The dual can be viewed through WDAY Xtra and

The Jackrabbits enter the matchup 11-4 overall and 5-2 against Big 12 Conference opponents after dropping a pair of home duals to Oklahoma State (L, 12-19) and Oklahoma (L, 13-18) last weekend.

NDSU, meanwhile, posted a 21-12 victory over Oklahoma on Feb. 10 to improve to 11-2 overall and 6-1 in the Big 12. The Bison have won seven duals in a row since a 28-11 setback at Missouri on Dec. 20.

THE SERIES: South Dakota State and North Dakota State will meet for the 71st time in dual competition when the two programs square off Sunday. NDSU leads the all-time series between the two longtime rivals, 45-24-1, including a 15-6-1 advantage in the Division I era for both programs. The series began with a 22-9 Jackrabbit victory during the 1958-59 season.

SDSU ended a four-match losing streak in the Border Bell series with a convincing 32-3 victory at Frost Arena on Feb. 20, 2022, in the most recent meeting. The Jacks won each of the first matches for a 13-0 lead, then received bonus-point victories from Cade DeVos (major decision) and Tanner Sloan (fall) in sweeping the second half of the dual.

#25 South Dakota State 32, North Dakota State 3 (Feb. 20, 2022 • Frost Arena)
125: Tanner Jordan (SDSU) major dec. Lucas Rodriguez (NDSU), 9-0
133: #31 Gabriel Tagg (SDSU) dec. #22 Kellyn March (NDSU), 10-3
141: #5 Clay Carlson (SDSU) dec. #28 Dylan Droegemueller (NDSU), 8-3
149: Daniel Kimball (SDSU) dec. Gaven Sax (NDSU), 8-7
157: #6 Jared Franek (NDSU) dec. Kenny O’Neil (SDSU), 10-3
165: #33 Tanner Cook (SDSU) dec. #13 Luke Weber (NDSU), 8-2 [SV-1]
174: #10 Cade DeVos (SDSU) major dec. #22 Austin Brenner (NDSU), 9-0
184: #30 Cade King (SDSU) dec. D.J. Parker (NDSU), 5-4
197: #7 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) def. #21 Owen Pentz (NDSU), by fall 5:25
285: #21 A.J. Nevills (SDSU) dec. #23 Brandon Metz (NDSU), 3-2 [TB-1]
Extra Matches
133: #31 Gabriel Tagg (SDSU) dec. Ryan Henningson (NDSU), 9-5
174: Riley Habisch (NDSU) dec. Jack Thomsen (SDSU), 8-1

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 maintained a national ranking for most 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. The Jackrabbits moved up two more spots in recent weeks to No. 16 — marking their highest ranking during head coach Damion Hahn’s five-year tenure — before slipping back to No. 17 in the most recent poll.

SDSU also has a season-high eight wrestlers ranked individually for the 10th week in a row, with 197-pounder Tanner Sloan holding the highest ranking at No. 9 in both the InterMat and FloWrestling polls.

Just outside the top 10 are returning national qualifiers in 141-pounder Clay Carlson (11th by InterMat and 12th by FloWrestling this week) and A.J. Nevills (12th by FloWrestling and 14th by InterMat).

Cael Swensen, who is No. 18 in the 157-pound rankings by FloWrestling and Tanner Jordan at 125 pounds (29th by InterMat) each joined the rankings after their outings at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.

Other returning NCAA qualifiers Cade DeVos (14th at 174 pounds by FloWrestling), Tanner Cook (16th by FloWrestling at 165 pounds) and Cade King (19th at 184 pounds by FloWrestling) round out the list of SDSU’s ranked wrestlers.

COOK, NEVILLS AMONG PIN LEADERS: Two South Dakota State wrestlers enter the weekend ranked in the top 10 among Division I wrestlers for wins by fall this season.

Jackrabbit 165-pounder Tanner Cook enters the week ranked in a tie for sixth with nine wins by fall against D-I competition. A junior from Ilion, New York, Cook has needed only 15 minutes and 19 seconds of mat time to post his nine falls, with six of those pins occurring in less than a minute. He last added to his total with two pins in action Jan. 13-14 at the Virginia Duals.

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 14-4 season record and a 55-19 career mark into competition this weekend.

At heavyweight, SDSU’s A.J. Nevills ranks in a tie for ninth place with eight wins by fall. Nevills has recorded his eight pins against D-I opponents in 25 minutes and 38 seconds, adding to his total with a Jan. 22 pin against Wyoming’s Mason Ding.

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 24-1 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 24 consecutive dual matchups.

For his career, Sloan has compiled a 48-4 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.

Sloan holds a 13-0 season record in duals heading into Sunday’s season finale.

Nevills, a graduate student from Clovis, California, has turned in a 27-4 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 13-1 so far this season, with his lone loss to Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force.

A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits will turn their attention to postseason tournament competition for the remainder of the season, starting with the Big 12 Wrestling Championship March 4-5 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tulsa and the BOK Center also will be the site of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships March 16-18.

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