SJU’s Herbst & Krueger Advance to Saturday at NCAA Regional

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Two Saint John’s wrestlers advanced to the second day of the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional with 2-1 records on Friday, March 1, at Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Quandt Fieldhouse.

The regional resumes at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, and will award first through sixth at each weight class.

Freshman Owen Herbst (Buffalo, Minn.) started his day at 174 pounds with an opening-round pin in 1:55 but fell to Aurora’s (Ill.) Christian Komitas with a 9-2 decision in the quarterfinal. He advanced to Saturday via medical forfeit and will face Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Carson Trotzer. Herbst is now 11-3 this season.

NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional
March 1-2, at Stevens Point, Wis.
Trackwrestling | Video

Freshman Connor Krueger (Superior, Wis.) fell one point from a major-decision win (13-7) in his first match at 141 pounds and dropped to the consolation bracket with a first-period technical fall to Augsburg’s Sam Stuhl, who is ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation. Krueger stayed alive with a 7-1 victory over Concordia-Moorhead’s Gabe Bellefeuille, which moved his season record to 22-9. He will face Cale Coppess of Wheaton (Ill.) on Saturday.

Four other Johnnies won a match but saw their season end with a pair of losses. Freshman Cody Kwak (Ridgeland, Wis./Menomonie) and sophomore Zachariah Hunter (Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater Area) both started the regional with pins at heavyweight and 197 pounds, respectively. Kwak suffered a fall (3:58) to top-ranked Tyler Kim of Augsburg and exited the tournament with a 4-2 loss to Concordia-Moorhead’s Ayden Friese, ending the season with a 19-11 record. Hunter, meanwhile, suffered a fall in 1:21 to No. 2 Parker Venz of Augsburg and ended his sophomore campaign with a 15-8 record via a 13-4 major decision to Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Matt Hanke.

Senior Ben Gilbertson (Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice) dropped a close 5-2 decision in his first match at 184 pounds and collected a pin in 3:39 in his first wrestleback. He ended the season with a 9-10 record following a heartbreaking 9-6 overtime loss to the Cobbers’ Nathaniel Kisgen.

Freshman Kris Castro (Simi Valley, Calif./Chaminade) drew the top seed and top-ranked wrestler at 157 pounds, Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Nolan Hertel, in the first round and suffered a defeat by technical fall. He bounced back with an 11-0 major decision over Pacific’s (Ore.) K’den McMullin in his first consolation match but ended the season with a 11-2, major decision to Carson Cook of Concordia (Wis.) to finished with a 16-13 record.

133 -Erick Solano (0-2)
141 -Connor Krueger (2-1)
157 -Kris Castro (1-2)
165 -Noah Whitfield-Lopez (0-2)
174 -Owen Herbst (2-1)
184 -Ben Gilbertson (1-2)
197 -Zachariah Hunter (1-2)
285 -Cody Kwak (1-2)

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