Jacks welcome Big 12 foes to Frost Arena

The South Dakota State wrestling team takes to the mat for the first time as a top-10 program and kicks off the Big 12 Conference portion of its dual season by hosting a pair of league foes this weekend at Frost Arena.

The 10th-ranked Jackrabbits, 6-2 overall, open the weekend with a Friday night dual against Northern Colorado. Start time is set for 7 p.m. against a Bears squad that moved to 8-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 after splitting two duals last weekend in California. UNC dropped a 23-14 nonconference decision at Cal Poly on Jan. 12, followed by a 20-12 league victory at California Baptist the next day.

The first 300 fans attending Friday’s dual will receive a free foam finger.

Sunday, SDSU will welcome California Baptist to Frost Arena for the first time for a 2 p.m. matinee on Military Appreciation Day. The Lancers, who joined the Big 12 last season, enter the week with a 3-6 overall record and an 0-3 mark in conference matchups heading into a dual Saturday at North Dakota State.

Active duty and former military personnel can claim up to four tickets for Sunday’s dual when Frost Arena gates open at 1 p.m. Proper identification is required for complimentary tickets to be issued.

Both of the Jackrabbits’ duals this weekend will be available for viewing through the FloWrestling.org subscription service.

Watch Northern Colorado | Watch California Baptist | Live Results

PROBABLE STARTERS: Following is the probable Jackrabbit lineup for this weekend’s duals against Northern Colorado and California Baptist:

  • 125: #17 Tanner Jordan • Sr., St. Paris, Ohio (15-4 overall, 6-1 in duals)
  • 133: #16 Derrick Cardinal • So., Forest Lake, Minn. (16-3 overall, 7-0 in duals)
  • 141: #25 Clay Carlson • Sr., Willmar, Minn. (5-4 overall, 1-2 in duals) or Caleb Gross • Sr., Pound, Wis. (9-6 overall,3-2 in duals)
  • 149: #20 Alek Martin • So., St. Paris, Ohio (10-6 overall, 3-3 in duals) or Daniel Kimball • Sr., Buckingham, Iowa (14-4 overall, 1-0 in duals)
  • 157: #15 Cael Swensen • So., Plymouth, Minn. (10-5 overall, 5-2 in duals)
  • 165: #26 Tanner Cook • Sr., Ilion, N.Y. (4-5 overall, 1-4 in duals)
  • 174: #4 Cade DeVos • Sr., Altoona, Iowa (11-1 overall, 6-1 in duals)
  • 184: #13 Bennett Berge • R-Fr., Mantorville, Minn. (7-2 overall, 3-1 in duals)
  • 197: #5 Tanner Sloan • Sr., Alburnett, Iowa (10-1 overall, 5-0 in duals)
  • 285: #31 Luke Rasmussen • R-Fr., Brookings, S.D. (11-6 overall, 3-3 in duals) or Bowen McConville • Sr., Renton, Wash. (8-5 overall, 1-0 in duals)

Notes: Rankings listed are the highest of either Intermat or FloWrestling rankings as of Jan. 12, 2024

THE SERIES: South Dakota State and Northern Colorado have been members of the same wrestling conference for the better part of 40 years. The history between the two programs dates back to when both programs competed at the NCAA Division II level as members of the North Central Conference, followed by membership in the Western Wrestling Conference and Big 12 Conference at the Division I level.

In 38 dual meetings since the time the two programs first met during the 1972-73 season, the Jackrabbits hold a 26-12 series advantage. The series has been filled with streaks; SDSU won the first 10 meetings and seven in a row from 1997-2003, before UNC ushered in the current Division I era with eight consecutive wins from 2005-12.

The Jackrabbits have regained the upper hand in the series by winning the last seven meetings, including a 23-13 victory in Greeley, Colorado, on Jan. 27, 2023. UNC led 13-0 through three matches before SDSU claimed the final seven bouts to earn the win.

#18 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 23, NORTHERN COLORADO 13 (Jan. 27, 2023 • Greeley, Colo.)
125: #16 Stevo Poulin (UNC) dec. #30 Tanner Jordan (SDSU), 9-2
133: Jace Koelzer (UNC) dec. Derrick Cardinal (SDSU), 6-4 [SV-1]
141: #1 Andrew Alirez (UNC) dec. #10 Clay Carlson (SDSU), 10-3
149: Chris Sandoval (UNC) major dec. Alek Martin (SDSU), 10-2
157: #19 Cael Swensen (SDSU) dec. #31 Vinny Zerban (UNC), 4-2
165: #14 Tanner Cook (SDSU) def. Baylor Fernandes (UNC), by default 1:38
174: #15 Cade DeVos (SDSU) dec. #30 Andrew Berreyesa (UNC), 2-1
184: #17 Cade King (SDSU) dec. Branson Britten (UNC), 5-2
197: #11 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) def. Xavier Vasquez (UNC), by fall 2:00
285: #13 A.J. Nevills (SDSU) dec. Xavier Doolin (UNC), 8-4
Note: SDSU deducted one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct

vs. California Baptist
Sunday’s dual between South Dakota State and California Baptist will mark only the second time the two squads have met. The Jackrabbits recorded a 44-0 shutout in the initial matchup on Jan. 7, 2023, in Riverside, California.

#19 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 44, CALIFORNIA BAPTIST 0 (Jan. 7, 2023, at Riverside, Calif.)
125: #30 Tanner Jordan (SDSU) dec. Elijah Griffin (CBU), 5-3
133: Derrick Cardinal (SDSU) dec. Hunter Leake (CBU), 2-1
141: #11 Clay Carlson (SDSU) tech. fall Christian Nunez (CBU), 18-3 [4:20]
149: Alek Martin (SDSU) tech. fall Chaz Hallmark (CBU), 20-3 [7:00]
157: #19 Cael Swensen (SDSU) tech. fall Joseph Mora (CBU), 17-1 [4:56]
165: #13 Tanner Cook (SDSU) def. Frank Almaguer (CBU), by fall 2:27
174: #16 Cade DeVos (SDSU) major dec. Louis Rojas (CBU), 18-5
184: #16 Cade King (SDSU) dec. Peter Acciardi (CBU), 4-0
197: #12 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) major dec. Caden Gerlach (CBU), 10-1
285: #14 A.J. Nevills (SDSU) def. Chris Island (CBU), by fall 2:57

LAST WEEK: South Dakota State wrestlers scored early and often, putting together a pair of dominating performances Jan. 12 at the Virginia Duals held at the Hampton Coliseum.

In improving to 6-2 in duals this season, the 11th-ranked Jackrabbits opened the day with a 50-0 whitewashing of Kent State, followed by a 30-13 victory over No. 16 Navy. SDSU combined for 14 bonus-point victories in the two duals.

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 this week, checking in at No. 10 in the rankings conducted by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The Jackrabbits moved up one spot following convincing victories over Kent State (50-0) and Navy (30-13) last weekend at the Virginia Duals.

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 are ranked in either the most recent InterMat or FloWrestling rankings for the third week in a row — marking the frist time in the Division I era (since start of 2004-05 season) that SDSU has reached that benchmark. Both 149-pounder Alek Martin and heavyweight Luke Rasmussen joined the group of ranked wrestlers following strong showings at the Soldier Salute to close out the 2023 calendar year.

Highlighting the rankings is senior Cade DeVos, who is ranked fourth by FloWrestling and fifth by InterMat. DeVos, who won the 174-pound title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December, is 11-1 on the season.

Bennett Berge has been the big mover in the individual rankings recently, vaulting 15 spots in the FloWrestling 184-pound rankings and 12 places in the InterMat rankings to No. 13 and 14, respectively, following his Jan. 4 victory over then-No. 11 Jaden Bullock of Michigan.

Following is the list of Jackrabbits in the most recent individual rankings:

  • 125: Tanner Jordan (17th by FloWrestling/18th by InterMat)
  • 133: Derrick Cardinal (16th by FloWrestling/16th by FloWrestling)
  • 141: Clay Carlson (25th by FloWrestling/26th by InterMat)
  • 149: Alek Martin (20th by InterMat)
  • 157: Cael Swensen (15th by InterMat/18th by FloWrestling)
  • 165: Tanner Cook (26th by FloWrestling)
  • 174: Cade DeVos (4th by FloWrestling/5th by InterMat)
  • 184: Bennett Berge (13th by FloWrestling/14th by FloWrestling)
  • 197: Tanner Sloan (5th by FloWrestling/6th by InterMat)
  • 285: Luke Rasmussen (31st by InterMat)

A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits close out a three-match homestand with a Jan. 26 dual against Air Force. Start time is set for 7 p.m. at Frost Arena.

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