Underclassmen Lead SJU at Dragon Open

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Four Saint John’s wrestlers won multiple matches in the White Division at Division II MSU-Moorhead’s Dragon Open on Sunday, Dec. 3.

The Johnnies and Concordia-Moorhead were the lone Division III representatives in the tournament, and were joined by the host Dragons, Division II Augustana (S.D.), NAIA Jamestown (N.D.), Division II Mary (N.D.), Minnesota North-Itasca, Division II Minot State (N.D.), Division I North Dakota State, Division II Northern State (S.D.), Northland C.T.C., Ridgewater, Division II St. Cloud State, Division I South Dakota State and Division II Southwest Minnesota State.

Sophomore Andy Johnson (St. Cloud, Minn./Tech) led SJU with a third-place finish – a 3-1 record – at 174 pounds. Following a first-round bye, Johnson posted a 15-3 major decision in his first match, but fell to Treytin Byers of Minnesota North-Itasca by a narrow 9-7 decision in the semifinal. He bounced back with another major decision (8-0) and edged Ridgewater’s Cody Brott 6-5 in the third-place match. Johnson is now 8-3 so far this season.

Freshman Kris Castro (Simi Valley, Calif./Chaminade) led the Johnnies with four wins (4-2 record) and placed fourth at 165 pounds. He recorded a technical fall, pin, decision and advanced to the third-place bout via medical forfeit, but suffered both losses to Concordia-Moorhead’s Zach Pribyl.

Freshman Cody Kwak (Ridgeland, Wis./Menomonie) won his first two matches of the day in dominating fashion, a first-period pin and an 18-1 technical fall, but dropped his next three to finish sixth at heavyweight.

Freshman Xavier Jones (Annandale, Minn.) went 2-2, including a technical fall and pin, but did not place at 133 pounds in his collegiate debut.

Freshman Connor Krueger (Superior, Wis.), who is ranked fifth in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Upper Midwest region rankings, finished fourth with a 1-2 record in the Red Division’s 141-pound bracket. Both of his losses, the first of the season, were major decisions to Division I wrestlers. The win was a 7-2 decision over MSU-Moorhead’s Hunter Hayes. Krueger is now 6-2 this season.

MSU Moorhead Dragon Open Results

The Johnnies travel south for a 1 p.m. dual at Buena Vista on Saturday, Dec. 9, in Storm Lake, Iowa.

-Marcus Hayes (1-2)

133 – White
-Xavier Jones (2-2)

-Connor Krueger (Fourth, 1-2)

165 – White
-Kris Castro (Fourth, 4-2)
-Jon Gettel (0-2)

-Noah Whitfield-Lopez (0-2)

174 – White
-Andy Johnson (Third, 3-1)

-Jacob Vaughan (Fourth, 1-2)

184 – White
-Cage Linton (Fourth, 1-2)

197 – White
-James Diaz (0-2)
-Eric Jurek (1-2)
-Aidan Wayne (1-2)

285 – White
-Cody Kwak (Sixth, 2-3)
-Kenneth Torres (0-2)

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