South Dakota State 32, Air Force 9

Jacks down Air Force to run streak to six

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 Friday night at Frost Arena.

The 10th-ranked Jackrabbits recorded their sixth consecutive dual victory, improving 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’s 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.

#10 South Dakota State 32, Air Force 9
125: #18 Tanner Jordan (SDSU) dec. Tucker Owens (AF), 5-3
133: Logan Graf (SDSU) dec. Brenden Barnes (AF), 4-3
141: #25 Clay Carlson (SDSU) dec. Garrett Kuchan (AF), 10-7
149: #21 Alek Martin (SDSU) major dec. Joe Fernau (AF), 9-1
157: #15 Cael Swensen (SDSU) tech. fall Brooks Gable (AF), 17-2 [5:23}
165: #14 Giano Petrucelli (AF) dec. Tanner Cook (SDSU), 5-0
174: #4 Cade DeVos (SDSU) major dec. Gage Musser (AF), 14-4
184: #13 Bennett Berge (SDSU) major dec. #7 Sam Wolf (AF), 8-0
197: #5 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) def. Calvin Sund (AF), by fall 2:12
285: #2 Wyatt Hendrickson (AF) def. Luke Rasmussen (SDSU), by fall 2:01

Note: Ranking indicated is highest between FloWrestling and InterMat weekly rankings


  • SDSU evened the all-time dual series against Air Force at nine wins apiece
  • The Jackrabbits have won the last eight meetings
  • SDSU hosted Air Force for the first time in dual competition since the 2015-16 season
  • The Jackrabbits have won 17 consecutive dual matches in the month of January over the last three seasons
  • Jordan avenged a 2-1 loss to Owens in the opening round of the NCAA Championships last March
  • Graf upped his record to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in duals while filling in for Derrick Cardinal
  • Swensen has won four matches by technical fall and two by major decision in his current six-match winning streak
  • Sloan improved to 57-4 in career dual matches
  • Sloan ran his season record to 13-1 and extended his personal winning streak to eight, with the last six victories by either technical fall or fall
  • Attendance was 1,581

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