The Johnnie wrestling team hits the road for Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s 8-Man Battle at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Nov. 18.
Saint John’s opened its 2023-24 season with two individual wins at its inaugural Haws/Elton 4-Team Rumble on Sunday (Nov. 12) in Sexton Arena.
A pair of freshmen, Owen Herbst (Buffalo, Minn.) and Connor Krueger (Superior, Wis.), both went 3-0 to win their respective weight classes in a tournament that consisted of SJU, Concordia-Moorhead, Minnesota North-Itasca and Division II Sioux Falls (S.D.).
A transfer from Division II St. Cloud State, Herbst posted a pair of falls at 174 pounds. He posted a 5-1 win over Concordia’s Zach Pribyl in his first match as a Johnnie and notched pins over Sioux Falls’ Timothy Lacina (2:15) and the Cobbers’ Alexander Rapelje at the horn (7:00) for the title. Krueger, meanwhile, collected a pair of close decisions against Sioux Falls wrestlers en route to the crown at 141 pounds. He edged Riley Fitzsimmons 8-5 in overtime to start the day, tallied a 16-5 major decision in the semifinal and earned an 11-8 decision over USF’s Beau Beavers in the championship bout.
Junior Logan Thorsten (Foley, Minn.) went 2-1 and finished second at 165 pounds. He recorded two convincing wins – a pin in 1:01 and a 6-0 decision – but fell to Sioux Falls’ Jayden Coulter via fall in the title match.
Junior Noah Whitfield-Lopez (Wheatland, Wyo.) won all three of his flight matches at 174 pounds, including a 5-3 decision in double overtime over freshman Landon Seward (Alexandria, Minn.) to end the tournament.
WHO WILL BE THERE: The Johnnies and Blugolds are scheduled to be joined by Augustana (Ill.), Buena Vista (Iowa) and Lakeland (Wis.).
LAST YEAR’S TOURNEY: SJU started the 2022-23 season with a pair of third- and three fourth-place finishes at last year’s UWEC 8-Man Battle held on Nov. 19 (2022).
Senior Ben Gilbertson (Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice) led the way with a 2-1 record to take third place at 184 pounds and Teagyn Ludwig went 2-2 for third in a round-robin bracket at 133.
Hayden LeMonds, and the junior tandem of Thorsten (157) and Jacob Vaughan (165; New Prague, Minn.) all went 1-2 for fourth-place marks at the respective weights.