Jacks post three opening-round wins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three South Dakota State wrestlers won opening-round matches Thursday to begin competition at the 2024 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships held at T-Mobile Center.

The Jackrabbits’ two highest seeds, second-seeded Cade DeVos at 174 pounds, and third-seeded Tanner Sloan in the 197-pound division, cruised to bonus-point victories. DeVos scored a 15-0 technical fall (4:43) over Rider’s Michael Wilson, while Sloan built an 11-0 lead over Sam Mitchell of Buffalo before pinning his opponent 25 seconds into the third period.

DeVos will face No. 18 Benjamin Pasiuk of Army West Point in the Round of 16 Thursday night. Sloan, who reached the 197-pound finals last year, is set to square off against 14th-seeded John Poznanski of Rutgers in the next round.

Also winning his opening-round match was 157-pounder Cael Swensen. The 15th-seeded Swensen scored a takedown in the final 20 seconds of his match against No. 18 Vinny Zerban of Northern Colorado to record a 4-1 decision. Zerban had been ranked as high as No. 2 in the weight class during the regular season.

A sophomore from Plymouth, Minnesota, Swensen matches up against second-seeded Jacori Teemer of Arizona State in the Round of 16.

Ninth-seeded Bennett Berge fell victim to upset in his NCAA Championships debut. Berge was stymied throughout his match against 24th-seeded Shane Liegel of Wisconsin, dropping a 9-1 decision. He will meet Air Force’s Sam Wolf, who is seeded eighth, for the fourth time this season in a consolation matchup Thursday night.

Four other Jackrabbit wrestlers dropped their opening-round matches and will compete in consolation matches Thursday night, including two-time All-American Clay Carlson. A late change to the bracket moved Carlson up to the No. 29 seed and a matchup against fourth-seeded Ryan Jack. Carlson was upended by Jack, 8-3, and will square off against No. 13 Jordan Titus of West Virginia in a rematch from the Big 12 Championship two weeks ago.

Derrick Cardinal, seeded 18th at 133 pounds, lost a 12-4 major decision against Iowa’s Brody Teske, while Tanner Jordan was pinned in his 125-pound match versus 10th-seeded Eric Barnett of Wisconsin.

Alek Martin also was sent to the wrestlebacks in the 149-pound division after losing by technical fall to No. 4 Caleb Henson of Virginia Tech.

SDSU finished the first session with 6.5 points to stand in a tie with Lehigh for 16th place in the team race. Penn State (15.5 points), Nebraska (14) and Michigan (13.5) are the top three teams after one session.

UP NEXT
Thursday’s night session is slated for a 6 p.m. start. Video coverage will be on ESPN and ESPN+.

SDSU RESULTS
125: #23 Tanner Jordan, Sr., St. Paris, Ohio (0-1 record)
lost to #10 Eric Barnett, Wisconsin, by fall 0:45
vs. #26 Blake West, Northern Illinois

133: #18 Derrick Cardinal, So., Forest Lake, Minn. (0-1 record)
lost to #15 Brody Teske, Iowa, by major dec., 12-4
vs. #31 Maximilian Leete, American

141: #29 Clay Carlson, Sr., Willmar, Minn. (0-1 record)
lost to #4 Ryan Jack, North Carolina State, by dec., 8-3
vs. #13 Jordan Titus, West Virginia

149: #29 Alek Martin, So., St. Paris, Ohio (0-1 record)
lost to #4 Caleb Henson, Virginia Tech, by tech. fall, 18-3 (4:47)
vs. #13 Caleb Rathjen, Iowa

157: #15 Cael Swensen, So., Plymouth, Minn. (1-0 record)
def. #18 Vinny Zerban, Northern Colorado, by dec., 4-1
vs. #2 Jacori Teemer, Arizona State

174: #2 Cade DeVos, Sr., Altoona, Iowa (1-0 record)
def. #31 Michael Wilson, Rider, by tech. fall, 15-0 (4:43)
vs. #18 Benjamin Pasiuk, Army

184: #9 Bennett Berge, R-Fr., Mantorville, Minn. (0-1 record)
lost to #24 Shane Liegel, Wisconsin, by major dec., 9-1
vs. #8 Sam Wolf, Air Force

197: #3 Tanner Sloan, Sr., Alburnett, Iowa (1-0 record)
def. #30 Sam Mitchell, Buffalo, by fall 5:25
vs. #14 John Poznanski, Rutgers

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