Jackrabbits Eye Highest Finish Ever at Big 12 and NCAA Championships

South Dakota State to Face Tough Schedule, Including Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan

By Matt Krumrie

Expectations are at an all-time high for the South Dakota State University wrestling team, and rightfully so.

This season’s squad is shaping up to be the best team the Jackrabbits have put on the mat in the program’s Division I era (since the start of the 2004-05 season). SDSU sent a program-record eight wrestlers to the NCAA Division I wrestling championships last season and placed 14th in the team standings for the team’s second-highest finish at the Division I level. Six of those eight NCAA qualifiers from a season ago return to the lineup during the 2023-24 campaign.

The Jackrabbits are led by two-time All-American Clay Carlson (Willmar) at 141 pounds and 197-pound NCAA runner-up Tanner Sloan (Alburnett, IA). Both wrestlers have been mainstays in the SDSU lineup over the past four seasons. Carlson will attempt to become the Jackrabbits’ first three-time All-American at the Division I level (eighth at 141 pounds in 2021, fifth in 2023). Sloan enters the season with an 86-20 career record, including a 49-4 mark in duals. He is looking to become a five-time NCAA qualifier, although his 2020 appearance was canceled. Also bringing extensive experience back to the lineup are 165-pounder Tanner Cook (two-time NCAA qualifier) and 174-pounder Cade DeVos (three-time NCAA qualifier).

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