Reigning NCAA DII Champion at 157 pounds tabbed as conference’s top wrestler in preseason coaches poll
BURNSVILLE, Minn. – St. Cloud State Wrestling has been picked to finish first in the 2023-24 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Preseason Coaches Poll as announced by the league office on Thursday morning. Junior 157-pounder Nick Novak was named NSIC Preseason Wrestler of the Year as selected by the league’s head coaches.
“We have a lot of great leadership returning and possess a team with high character,” said head coach Steve Costanzo, “I am looking forward to working with all of them and seeing what we can accomplish.”
Novak went a perfect 27-0 while earning both Super Region V and NCAA Championships at 157 pounds. The New Prague, Minnesota native added a 10-0 dual record to earn First Team All-NSIC honors while recording eight major decisions, three tech falls and two pins over the course of his sophomore season. A force at his new weight class after moving up in December following an injury at the Huskies’ middle weights, Novak went 5-0 against ranked opponents including three straight ranked wins over No. 2 Gabe Johnson, No. 12 Ben Durocher and No. 10 Miles Fitzgerald in early January. Novak’s key decision over Johnson was one of the most influential bouts in the 2023 NWCA National Duals Championship match as the Huskies earned the title with a thrilling 19-16 victory over No. 1 Central Oklahoma.
“Nick is a high-energy, hard-working individual and an outstanding leader,” said Costanzo, “He is a goal-oriented type of person who sets high standards for himself. He is reliable, always well-organized and precise in details. He is bright, articulate and knowledgeable in his craft – he exemplifies excellent productivity under pressure and always competes at the highest level with perfection.”
St. Cloud State (79) earned seven of 10 possible first place votes to land first in the preseason poll while Augustana (65) earned one first place vote and UW-Parkside (62) added the other two to round out the top three teams. Mary (58), Northern State (52) and Minnesota State-Mankato (41) occupy the fourth through sixth spots as Minot State (35), Southwest Minnesota State (25), MSU-Moorhead (18) and Sioux Falls (15) close out the rankings.
Information regarding single dual and season tickets can be found at scsutickets.com. For all the latest on St. Cloud State Wrestling, stay tuned to SCSUHuskies.com and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.