Johnnies Wrestle Saturday in Wisconsin

The Johnnie wrestling team competes at Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Don Parker Open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3.

Saint John’s recorded five pins, including a new program record from freshman Owen Herbst (Buffalo, Minn.), in a 44-6 win over Minnesota West C.T.C. last Saturday (Jan. 27) in Sexton Arena.

The two teams both forfeited the match at 125 pounds and exchanged forfeits at 149 and 184. SJU recorded bonus-point wins – five pins and two major decisions – in the remaining seven bouts.

Freshman Erick Solano (Katy Texas/Paetow) gave up an early takedown in his match at 133 pounds, but he scored a reversal and turned it into a pin 1:16 into the bout.

Freshman Connor Krueger (Superior, Wis.) followed with a fall in 18 seconds at 141 pounds, his seventh-straight win (16-6 record), and freshman Kris Castro (Simi Valley, Calif./Chaminade) posted a 20-11 major decision at 157. Ahead 11-10 entering the third period, Castro chose down and tallied a reversal with a minute left and surrendered an escape. He sealed the victory on a takedown with 15 seconds remaining and a four-point near fall at the horn for his 15th win of the season (15-8 record).

Junior Logan Thorsten (Foley, Minn.) jumped out to a 7-0 first-period lead in an eventual 9-1 major decision at 165 pounds to improve to 14-6 on the year.

Herbst broke the SJU record for fastest pin with an 8-second fall at 174 pounds. The previous record was Matt Kadrlik ’16, at heavyweight, during the 2013-14 season. Herbst is now 8-1 this season with five pins.

Sophomore Zachariah Hunter (Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater Area) extended his win streak to seven matches with a pin in 2:41 at 197 pounds and freshman Cody Kwak (Ridgeland, Wis./Menomonie) ended the dual with a fall – his team-leading 11th of the season – in 42 seconds at heavyweight. Hunter is now 11-3, while Kwak is 15-8.

Herbst (sixth at 174), Krueger (seventh at 141 pounds) and Hunter (eighth at 197 pounds) were ranked in the top eight of their respective weight classes in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Upper Midwest region rankings released yesterday (Jan. 26). Herbst and Krueger were also listed as honorable mention (Nos. 29-36) by D3wrestle.com in its latest rankings posted Jan. 15.

WHO WILL BE THERE: The Johnnies and Blugolds are scheduled to be joined by Augsburg, Division II Augustana (S.D.), Luther (Iowa), Division II MSU-Mankato, Minnesota West C.T.C., Nebraska Wesleyan, Division I North Dakota State, Rochester C.T.C., Division II St. Cloud State, Division I South Dakota State, Division I Wisconsin, Wisconsin-La Crosse, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Division II Wisconsin-Parkside and Wisconsin-Whitewater.

UPDATED RANKINGS: Three Johnnies – Herbst (sixth at 174), Krueger (seventh at 141 pounds) and Hunter (eighth at 197 pounds) – were ranked in the top eight of their respective weight classes in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Upper Midwest region rankings released last Friday (Jan. 26). Krueger was also listed as honorable mention (Nos. 29-36) by D3wrestle.com in its latest rankings posted Feb. 1.

LAST YEAR’S TOURNEY: Junior D.J. Myles (Dayton, Minn./Champlin Park) won the consolation title with a 4-1 record at 197 pounds – his first competitive matches since Dec. 3 due to injury – to lead SJU at last year’s Don Parker Open on Feb. 4 (2023). His lone loss, which came in the second round, was to a Division I wrestler. Myles bounced back with three straight wins: a forfeit, pin and major decision.

Logan Hennen made his SJU wrestling debut and finished sixth with a 2-2 record, including a medical forfeit over senior Ben Gilbertson (Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice), at 184 pounds.

Check out Johnnies Wrestling at gojohnnies.com and on X (Twitter).

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