Jacks go on the road for two duals

The 11th-ranked South Dakota State wrestling team kicks off the final month of the regular season with a pair of road duals against Big 12 Conference opponents.

The Jackrabbits, 9-2 overall and 3-0 versus Big 12 foes, open their trip Thursday night with a matchup at Wyoming. Start time is slated for 6 p.m. Mountain Time (7 p.m. Central) at the Uniwyo Sports Complex in Laramie, Wyoming. The dual will be available for viewing through FloWrestling.org (subscription required).

SDSU ran its winning streak to six and stayed unbeaten in the Big 12 with a 32-9 home victory over Air Force on Jan. 26. Wyoming, 6-5 overall and 4-3 versus Big 12 squads, downed Northern Colorado, 23-16, in road action last weekend.

Saturday, the scene shifts to Lockhart Arena in Orem, Utah, for a meeting with Utah Valley that can be viewed through the GoUVU YouTube channel. The Wolverines enter the week with a 1-3 overall dual record and will be in search of their first Big 12 victory (0-3) when starting the week with another home dual Friday against North Dakota State.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Following is the projected lineup for the Jackrabbits in this week’s duals at Wyoming and Utah Valley:
125: #18 Tanner Jordan • Sr., St. Paris, Ohio (17-5 overall, 8-2 in duals)
133: #17 Derrick Cardinal • So., Forest Lake, Minn. (16-4 overall, 7-1 in duals)
or Logan Graf • R-Fr., Custer, S.D. (4-0 overall, 2-0 in duals)
141: #25 Clay Carlson • Sr., Willmar, Minn. (8-4 overall, 4-2 in duals)
149: #21 Alek Martin • So., St. Paris, Ohio (13-6 overall, 6-3 in duals)
157: #15 Cael Swensen • So., Plymouth, Minn. (13-5 overall, 8-2 in duals)
165: Tanner Cook • Sr., Ilion, N.Y. (4-8 overall, 1-7 in duals)
or Connor Gaynor • So., Mokena, Ill. (1-6 overall, 1-2 in duals)
174: #4 Cade DeVos • Sr., Altoona, Iowa (14-1 overall, 9-1 in duals)
184: #13 Bennett Berge • R-Fr., Mantorville, Minn. (10-2 overall, 6-1 in duals)
197: #5 Tanner Sloan • Sr., Alburnett, Iowa (13-1 overall, 8-0 in duals)
285: Luke Rasmussen • R-Fr., Brookings, S.D. (12-8 overall, 4-5 in duals)
or Bowen McConville • Sr., Renton, Wash. (8-5 overall, 1-0 in duals)
Notes: Rankings listed are highest of either Intermat or FloWrestling rankings as of Jan. 30, 2024

SERIES vs. WYOMING: Thursday’s dual will mark the 23rd meeting on the mat between South Dakota State and Wyoming, a series that dates back to the 1953-54 season. Wyoming holds a 16-6 advantage, but the Jackrabbits have held the upper hand recently with all six of their victories in the series coming in the last eight matchups.

SDSU cruised to a 42-3 victory in the last meeting between the Jackrabbits and Cowboys on Jan. 22, 2023, at Frost Arena. Jackrabbit wrestlers recorded four wins by fall in the dual, including pins by backups Connor Gaynor and Cody Donnelly at 165 and 197 pounds, respectively.

Jore Volk opened the dual with Wyoming’s only victory as SDSU closed out its largest-ever win over the Cowboys by claiming the final nine bouts.

South Dakota State 42, Wyoming 3 (Jan. 22, 2023 • Frost Arena)
125: #25 Jore Volk (WYO) dec. #26 Tanner Jordan, 7-1
133: Derrick Cardinal (SDSU) def. Garrett Ricks (WYO), by fall 5:00
141: #9 Clay Carlson (SDSU) dec. Job Greenwood (WYO), 6-5
149: Alek Martin (SDSU) major dec. Chase Zollmann (WYO), 15-5
157: #23 Cael Swensen (SDSU) dec. #13 Jacob Wright (WYO), 3-1
165: Connor Gaynor (SDSU) def. Cole Moody (WYO), by fall 2:20
174: #15 Cade DeVos (SDSU) tech. fall Hayden Lieb (WYO), 19-4 [5:28]
184: #17 Cade King (SDSU) dec. Quayin Short (WYO), 6-2
197: Cody Donnelly (SDSU) def. Tyce Raddon (WYO), by fall 5:33
285: #14 A.J. Nevills (SDSU) def. Mason Ding (WYO), by fall 1:41

SERIES vs. UTAH VALLEY: Saturday’s dual at Utah Valley will mark the 18th time the Jackrabbits and Wolverines on the wrestling mat since the series began during the 2005-06 season. After splitting the first two meetings, each program has put together at least a seven-match winning streak in the series, which SDSU leads by a 9-8 count.

SDSU’s winning streak against the Wolverines reached eight with a 29-12 victory at Frost Arena on Jan. 20, 2023. SDSU won seven of the 10 matches in the dual, including pins by Connor Gaynor (165 pounds) and Tanner Sloan (197 pounds).

South Dakota State 29, Utah Valley 12 (Jan. 20, 2023 • Frost Arena)
149: Alek Martin (SDSU) dec. Isaiah Delgado (UVU), 9-7 [SV-1]
157: #23 Cael Swensen (SDSU) tech. fall Kyler Lake (UVU), 15-0 [6:49]
165: Connor Gaynor (SDSU) def. Danny Snediker (UVU), by fall 0:48
174: #7 Demetrius Romero (UVU) dec. #15 Cade DeVos (SDSU), 4-2
184: #17 Cade King (SDSU) dec. Hunter Morse (UVU), 3-2
197: #12 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) def. Jack Forbes (UVU), by fall 4:55
285: #14 A.J. Nevills (SDSU) dec. Chase Trussell (UVU), 2-0
125: Kase Mauger (UVU) def. #26 Tanner Jordan (SDSU), by fall 3:50
133: Derrick Cardinal (SDSU) dec. Kobe Nelms (UVU), 5-0
141: Ty Smith (UVU) dec. #9 Clay Carlson (SDSU), 7-6

LAST WEEK: South Dakota State swept the first half of its wrestling dual against Air Force and pulled away with three bonus-point wins down the stretch for a 32-9 victory Jan. 26 at Frost Arena.

The 10th-ranked Jackrabbits recorded their sixth consecutive dual victory to improve to 9-2 overall and 3-0 against Big 12 Conference opponents. Air Force dropped to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in the Big 12.

SDSU won three narrow decisions to open an early 9-0 lead. Tanner Jordan recorded a hard-fought 5-3 decision over Tucker Owens at 125 pounds after allowing an early takedown, followed by backup 133-pounder Logan Graf posting a 4-3 victory over Brenden Barnes.

In the 141-pound matchup, Air Force’s Garrett Kuchan jumped out to a 6-1 first-period lead over 25th-ranked Clay Carlson with a pair of takedowns. Carlson trimmed the deficit to 6-2 by the end of the first period with an escape, then put together a seven-point second period with an escape and two takedowns of his own to grab the lead for good. He added a point for a minute-plus advantage in riding time to complete the 10-7 victory.

Alek Martin started a string of bonus-point victories with a 9-1 major decision over Joe Fernau in the 149-pound bout and Cael Swensen pushed his winning streak to six matches with a 17-2 technical fall against fellow 157-pounder Brooks Gable in a match that ended 23 seconds into the third period.

Air Force got on the board with a 5-0 decision by 14th-ranked Giano Petrucelli over Tanner Cook in the 165-pound matchup.

The Jackrabbits, however, reeled off three more bonus-point wins in a row, starting with a 14-4 major decision by fourth-ranked Cade DeVos at 174 pounds.

The marquee matchup of the dual pitted seventh-ranked Sam Wolf of Air Force against the Jackrabbits’ 13th-ranked Bennett Berge in the 184-pound bout. A redshirt freshman from Mantorville, Minnesota, Berge opened the scoring with a takedown with 30 seconds remaining in the first period and carried that 3-0 lead into the final stanza after Wolf rode out the entire second period. After Wolf chose a neutral start to begin the third, Berge came up with his second takedown of the match and quickly put Wolf to his back for a two-point near-fall that provided the final points in an 8-0 major decision.

Tanner Sloan, ranked fifth at 197 pounds, continued his dual domination with a first-period fall against the Falcons’ Calvin Sund. The victory was Sloan’s 99th of his career as he ran his dual winning streak to 33.

Second-ranked heavyweight Wyatt Hendrickson closed the dual with a quick fall of his own versus SDSU redshirt freshman Luke Rasmussen.

JANUARYS TO REMEMBER: The Jackrabbit wrestling team has found its stride in dual competition during the month of January each of the last three seasons, combining for a 23-1 record over that span.

SDSU’s 32-9 victory over Air Force on last week marked the 17th win in a row for the Jackrabbits in a dual contested during the month of January. Overall, compiled a 10-0 record in January 2023, followed by ringing in 2024 with six straight wins. The Jacks won their final dual of January in 2022 after their lone recent January loss — a 21-17 setback at the hands of Central Michigan.

10-WIN SEASONS: South Dakota State will be in search of its third consecutive 10-win season when it takes to the mat Thursday at Wyoming.

The Jackrabbits have reached double figures in dual victories eight times in the Division I era (since 2004-05), including seven of the last nine seasons. The most dual wins by a Jackrabbit squad in the D-I era is 14, which was accomplished in three consecutive seasons (2015-16 through 2017-18), while the overall record is 17 (17-5) during the 1972-73 campaign, which was Warren Williamson’s final season as head coach.

RABBITS RANKED: South Dakota State has been climbing the rankings during the new calendar year, reaching its first-ever top-10 ranking in a Division I team poll Jan. 16, checking in at No. 10 in the rankings conducted by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Despite winning six duals in a row, the Jackrabbits dropped one spot this week to No. 11.

The Jackrabbits began the 2023-24 season with their highest preseason ranking ever in the NWCA poll with a 12th-placed showing in the initial survey, which was announced Oct. 31. That matched SDSU’s previous high-water mark as the Jackrabbits were ranked 12th for five weeks during the 2017-18 season.

SDSU was one of six Big 12 Conference teams to be ranked in the preseason top 25. Missouri was ranked fourth, followed by Iowa State in 10th and Oklahoma State at No. 11. Also ranked were Northern Iowa at No. 17 and Oklahoma, which is tied for 20th. Defending national champion Penn State was a unanimous pick for the top spot.

In other team rankings, SDSU is 11th in this week’s dual rankings by InterMat and 15th in team tournament surveys conducted by InterMat and FloWrestling.

Individually, all 10 Jackrabbit starters appeared in the first NCAA coaches’ rankings of the season, which were released Jan. 22.

The coaches’ rankings are determined by 14 coaches in each weight class, with two head coaches from each of the seven Division I wrestling conferences making up the voting panel. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. Wrestlers must have eight Division I matches in the weight class to be considered with at least one within the last 30 days.

Cade DeVos leads the Jackrabbit contingent with a third-place showing in the 174-pound coaches’ rankings. A senior from Altoona, Iowa, and a three-time NCAA qualifier, DeVos has compiled a 14-1 record so far this season.

Also posting a top-five ranking is returning All-American Tanner Sloan in the 197-pound weight class. With a No. 5 ranking, the senior from Alburnett, Iowa, enters the week with a 13-1 record thus far during the 2023-24 campaign. Seven of Sloan’s victories this season have been by technical fall.

Five Jackrabbit wrestlers are ranked between 12th and 19th in their respective weight classes:
Derrick Cardinal, 12th at 133 pounds (16-4 record);
Bennett Berge, 12th at 184 pounds (10-2 record);
Tanner Jordan, 14th at 125 pounds (17-5 record);
Cael Swensen, 15th at 157 pounds (13-5 record);
Alek Martin, 19th at 149 pounds (13-6 record)
Jordan and Swensen also were among the Jackrabbits’ school-record eight NCAA qualifiers last season.

Completing the rankings for the Jackrabbits were two-time All-American Clay Carlson (27th at 141 pounds), Luke Rasmussen (27th at heavyweight) and Tanner Cook (33rd at 165 pounds). Carlson recently returned to the lineup and is 8-4 on the season, while Rasmussen has turned in a 12-8 mark in his first season as a starter. Cook has posted a 4-8 mark thus far during the 2023-24 campaign.

The next coaches’ rankings are slated to be released Feb. 19.

A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits continue Big 12 road action with two duals in the Sooner State. SDSU is scheduled to wrestle Oklahoma at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, followed by a 6 p.m. matchup the next night at Oklahoma State.

Check out Jackrabbit Wrestling at gojacks.com and on X (Twitter) | Facebook | Instagram. Buy Jackrabbit Tickets

View More College News