No. 2 Vikings entertain No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha in dual finale on Wednesday


This week: No. 2 Augustana (14-1) will conclude dual action for the season on Wednesday when it hosts No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha (11-1) at 7 p.m.

Last time out: Augustana secured its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference wrestling title with a 29-8 victory over No. 11 Upper Iowa last Friday night in Sioux Falls.  The Vikings won eight of 10 matches to throttle the Peacocks.

Top-teams tilt: The buzz around Wednesday’s dual with Nebraska-Omaha exists for two main reasons.  First, it’s a classic No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup that will likely determine who takes the top spot in the final NCAA Division II rankings.  Second, Augustana has a chance to deliver a dose of payback to UNO, which beat the Vikings 17-15 in January at the NWCA National Duals.  That defeat marked Augustana’s only loss of the season.

We meet again:  The Vikings are 2-0 this season when facing a team for the second time.  Augustana has defeated both Minnesota State and St. Cloud State twice in 2010-11.  Wednesday’s contest with Nebraska-Omaha is also a second meeting.  To read about the last time the two teams faced off, click here.

A chance at history:  A win on Wednesday against Nebraska-Omaha would be historic.  A victory over the Mavericks would give the Vikings their 15th dual win of the season, beating the previous record of 14.  Augustana also reached 14 wins during the 2004-05 season–also under the guidance of head coach Jason Reitmeier.

Conference title:  The conference crown picked up by the Vikings last Friday was their first in the NSIC and their third overall. Augustana finished 7-0 in NSIC competition. The Vikings won the North Central Conference in 1981 and 2005–the latter also under head coach Jason Reitmeier.

Nationally ranked opponents:  Wednesday will be Augustana’s sixth contest this season against a nationally ranked opponent.  The Vikings are 5-1 against nationally ranked teams and 3-0 against them at home.  Augustana has beat both No. 7/No. 8 Minnesota State and No. 2/No. 3 St. Cloud State twice and No. 11 Upper Iowa once.

Home improvement: 
 Augustana hasn’t lost at home since the 2008-09 season.  The Vikings finished 4-0 at home last season and are currently 6-0 in the Elmen this season.  The last time Augustana lost at home was on Feb. 6, 2009, when St. Cloud State topped the Vikings 17-16.

Northern Sun honors:  The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced Monday that 133-pounder Jason Jeremiason is its Wrestler of the Week.  Jeremiason knocked off top-ranked Kyle Pedretti of Upper Iowa on Friday night, helping Augustana to a 28-9 victory over the Peacocks. The win secured the NSIC title for the Vikings, who finished conference dual action with a perfect 7-0 mark. Jeremiason used a pair of takedowns and more than two minutes of riding time to notch the 5-1 win. His victory pushed the Viking lead to 12-3.  The Vikings have had four Wrestler of the Week honorees this season.

Date Wrestler
Nov. 29 Cody Lensing
Jan. 10 Jason Jeremiason
Jan. 31 Ty Copsey
Feb. 14 Jason Jeremiason

By the numbers:  Augustana’s 14-1 record has included its fair share of one-sided wins this season.  The Vikings have pitched shutouts three times and held opponents to just six points six times.  Augustana has outscored its opponents 444-106 this season.

Viking lineup: 

Wt. Wrestler
125 Al Meger
133 Jason Jeremiason
141 Jay Sherer
149 Nate Herda
157 Marcus Edgington
165 Gavin Nelson
174 Carl Serck
184 Tom Davies OR Sean Derry
197 Ty Copsey
285 Lance Peters

National news: Augustana retained its No. 2 ranking in the latest NCAA Division II wrestling rankings released Feb. 3 by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The Vikings accumulated 150 points and had six individuals ranked.  Nebraska-Omaha held on to the No. 1 position, earning 158 points and eight first-place votes. The Mavericks have held the top spot all season. St. Cloud State received the other two first-place votes and 148 points to be ranked third.

Oct. 21 3rd
Dec. 8 3rd
Jan. 4 3rd
Jan. 2 2nd
Feb. 3 2nd

Who’s ranked: The Vikings had six individuals ranked in the latest NCAA Division II rankings. Ty Copsey collected the highest individual ranking for the Vikings, checking in at No. 2 at 197 pounds.  Marcus Edgington was No. 3 at 157 pounds, while Jay Sherer and Gavin Nelsonwere No. 4 at 141 and 165 pounds, respectively.  Nate Herda took the No. 6 spot at 149 pounds, and Carl Serck was No. 7 at 174 pounds.  To view the latest rankings, click here.

Northern Sun rankings:  Augustana is ranked No. 1 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.  The Vikings accumulated 57 points in the conference. Nate Herda was the top pick at 149 pounds, while Ty Copsey was also No. 1 at 197 pounds.  Jason Jeremiason (133 pounds), Jay Sherer (141 pounds), Marcus Edgington (157 pounds), Gavin Nelson (165 pounds) and Carl Serck (174 pounds) were all in No. 2 spots.  Al Meger (125 pounds) and Lance Peters (285 pounds) were both No. 5 at their respective weights, while Tom Davies was No. 7 at 184 pounds.

Regionally speaking:  The Vikings are No. 2 in Super Regional Three after earning 48 points in the rankings released Feb. 1. Ty Copsey (197 pounds) was the lone Viking to take a top spot regionally. Jay Sherer (141 pounds), Nate Herda (149 pounds), Marcus Edgington (157 pounds) and Gavin Nelson (165 pounds) were all ranked second.  Jason Jeremiason (133 pounds) and Carl Serck (174 pounds) checked in at No. 3, Al Meger (125 pounds) and Lance Peters (285 pounds) at No. 5 and Tom Davies (184 pounds) at No. 7.

NSIC names Jeremiason Wrestler of the Week for second time


BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced Monday that Augustana’s Jason Jeremiason has been named Wrestler of the Week for his performance in the No. 2 Vikings’ win over No. 11 Upper Iowa last Friday. This marks the second time this season Jeremiason has earned the honor.

Jason JeremiasonJeremiason, a junior 133-pounder from Marshall, Minn., knocked off top-ranked Kyle Pedretti of UIU on Friday night, helping Augustana to a 28-9 victory over the Peacocks. The win secured the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title for the Vikings, who finished conference dual action with a perfect 7-0 mark. Jeremiason used a pair of takedowns and more than two minutes of riding time to notch the 5-1 win. His victory pushed the Viking lead to 12-3.

Jeremiason, who also earned Wrestler of the Week accolades on Jan. 10, is now 17-3 on the season.

Augustana has had four Wrestler of the Week recipients this season. Cody Lensing picked up the honor on Nov. 29, Jeremiason on Jan. 10 and Ty Copsey on Jan. 31.

No. 2 Augustana (14-1) will conclude dual action for the season on Wednesday when it hosts No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha (11-1) at 7 p.m.

North Dakota State 44 Dickinson State 3

Bison Roll Over Dickinson State, 44-3

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State won nine straight bouts, including five by fall, en route to a 44-3 win over Dickinson State in wrestling in front of 294 fans at the Bison Sports Arena on Sunday, Feb. 13. NDSU improves to 9-4 overall with the victory. The Bison have outscored their opponents 87-10 in their last two duals.

No. 19 Trent Sprenkle got the Bison off to a strong start at 125 pounds with a 20-4 technical fall over Sergio Martinez. Sprenkle tallied six takedowns and two three-point near falls in the win.

At 133, Justin Solberg tallied the first of five pins for the home side, earning a first period pin of Kevin Hanson in 2:17. Earning his first career start at home, Geoff Martin dominated Adam Orton at 141 pounds. In the first two periods, Martin notched six takedowns and two three-point near falls before pinning Orton 27 seconds into the third period.

Andrey Patselov returned to the mat for the Bison at 149 pounds after missing two months of the season with an injury. He earned three takedowns in a 7-4 decision win over Jordan Ewen to extend NDSU’s lead to 20-0.

The Bison claimed the next two bouts by fall. At 157 pounds, Vince Salminen picked up his 10th pin of the season, taking down Kyle Johnson in 3:24. Steven Monk followed up at 165 pounds with a pin of Nick Zumwalt in 4:32.

Tyler Wells competed against Dickinson’s Brady Burgess at 174 pounds. Wells tied the match at 1-1 with an escape with 59 seconds to go in the match before notching the match-winning takedown with only 12 seconds remaining to claim a 3-1 win.

At 184 pounds, Kenny Moenkedick used a strong third period with a takedown and two-point near fall to defeat Steven Urquizo, 6-5. Drew Ross notched his second straight first period pin at 197 pounds, sticking Kenneth Finlayson in only 1:22.

In the final bout of the day, Dickinson State’s George Hargrove defeated Will Johnson, 8-3.

The Bison will host Utah Valley Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the regular season finale. The match will also be the final home dual for seniors Vince Salminen, Kenny Moenkedick, Geoff Martin and Andrey Patselov.

North Dakota State 44 Dickinson State 3
125: No. 19 Trent Sprenkle (NDSU) tech. fall Sergio Martinez, 20-4 (3:26)
133: Justin Solberg (NDSU) fall Kevin Hanson, 2:17
141: Geoff Martin (NDSU) fall Adam Orton, 5:27
149: Andrey Patselov (NDSU) dec. Jordan Ewen, 7-4
157: No. 18 Vince Salminen (NDSU) fall Kyle Johnson, 3:24
165: Steven Monk (NDSU) fall Nick Zumwalt, 4:32
174: Tyler Wells (NDSU) dec. Brady Burgess, 3-1
184: Kenny Moenkedick (NDSU) dec. Steven Urquizo, 6-5
197: Drew Ross (NDSU) fall Kenneth Finlayson, 1:22
285: George Hargrove (DSU) dec. Will Johnson, 8-3

St. Cloud State 21 Upper Iowa 12

#3 St. Cloud State Charts Victory at #11 Upper Iowa

The #3 St. Cloud State University scored a 21-12 victory at #11 Upper Iowa University on Sunday, Feb. 13.  The victory improved SCSU’s record to 18-2 on the season and the Huskies will conclude their regular season on Thursday, Feb. 17 with a 7 p.m. home match against #8 Minnesota State at Halenbeck Hall in St. Cloud.

The match at UIU scored a win in the opening bout with a 6-1 decision by #2 Trevor Franklin over SCSU’s Dylan Wright at 125-pounds.  The Peacocks gained their second win of the afternoon with a 3-1 decision by #1 ranked Kyle Pedretti over SCSU’s Eric Ellington at 133-pounds.

The Huskies kicked it into gear at 141-pounds with a 12-6 victory by #8 Gabe Suarez over UIU’s Blake Hilmer.  At 149-pounds, SCSU Jacob R. Horn posted a big 14-4 major decision over UIU’s Colby Kriegel to give the Huskies’ their first lead of the match.

At 157-pounds, #2 ranked John Sundgren of SCSU collected a 15-0 major decision at 3:40 of his match against UIU’s Winston Robbins.  At 165-pounds, #2 Tad Merritt helped push SCSU’s lead to 15-6 with a 7-3 victory over UIU’s Bryce Lumzy.

The Huskies’ run was halted at 174-pounds as UIU’s Mark Mueller posted a 3-2 victory over #8 Shamus O’Grady of SCSU.  Upper Iowa added its final win of the match with a 3-1 victory by Wade Gobin over SCSU’s Mic Berg at 184-pounds.

Up 15-12, SCSU got back on track at 197-pounds with a 3-2 win by #6 Lucas Munkelwitz over UIU’s #8 Carl Broghammer.

The285-pound match was the highlight match of the afternoon as it pitted two of the nation’s top four wrestlers in SCSU’s Jake Kahnke (#1 NCAA) and UIU’s Zach Rosol (#4 NCAA). Both wrestlers fought off strong takedown attempts in a scoreless first period.   The match moved to the final period without a score, but Kahnke put two minutes of ride time on the board. The Husky heavyweight scored a reversal and a takedown in the final period and claimed a 6-2 victory.

With the win, St. Cloud State took the NSIC dual by a final score of 21-12.

St. Cloud State 21 Upper Iowa 12
125: Trevor Franklin (UI) DEC Wright, Dylan (SCS) 6-1
133: Kyle Pedretti (UI) DEC Ellington, Eric (SCS) 3-1
141: Suarez, Gabriel (SCS) DEC Blake Hilmer (UI) 12-6
149: Horn, Jacob R. (SCS) MD Colby Kriegel (UI) 14-4
157: Sundgren, John (SCS) TF5 Winston Robbins (UI) 15-0 3:40
165: Merritt, Tad (SCS) DEC Bryce Lumzy (UI) 7-3
174: Mark Mueller (UI) DEC O’Grady, Shamus (SCS) 3-2
184: Wade Gobin (UI) SV Berg, Michael (SCS) 3-1
197: Munkelwitz, Lucas (SCS) DEC Carl Broghammer (UI) 3-2
285: Kahnke, Jake (SCS) DEC Zach Rosol (UI) 6-2

Minnesota 18 Penn State 18

Gophers Tie No. 3 Penn State 18-18

February 13, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — The No. 5 Minnesota wrestling team remained unbeaten in the Big Ten after tying No. 3 Penn State 18-18 on Sunday afternoon at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers recorded wins via decisions by Zach Sanders and Mike Thorn and also tallied key major decisions by Cody Yohn, Kevin Steinhaus and Sonny Yohn to overcome a 12-6 deficit at half time and keep the Gophers unbeaten in their last seven duals.

2011 Penn State at Minnesota

Penn State-Minnesota Post-Meet Interviews –

Sanders, a two-time All-American ranked fifth in the nation at 125 lbs., scrounged a 10-8 decision over No. 11 Brad Pataky in the dual opener before Penn State’s Andrew Long – ranked No. 7 – tallied a 14-4 major decision over David Thorn in the 133 lbs. match. The Nittany Lions’ first lead would be short lived however when No.2 Mike Thorn edged No. 7 Andrew Alton with a 4-1 decision – giving Minnesota a 6-4 advantage.  Penn State would reply with a pair of wins in the next two matches to take a 12-6 lead into the half. At 149 lbs, No. 5 Frank Molinaro snuck by Minnesota’s Danny Zilverberg to pick up a 6-5 decision before No. 3 David Taylor scored a 16-1 technical fall on Matt Mincey in the 157 lbs. match.

Minnesota would match Penn State’s success in the second half when the Gophers would outscore their conference opponent 12-6 thanks to three major decisions in the heavier weight classes. No. 11 Cody Yohn scored an 8-0 major decision over Jake Kemerer in the 165 lbs. match, and No. 8 Kevin Steinhaus followed a 12-5 decision in Penn State’s favor at 174 lbs. with another major decision for the Gophers – this time outscoring No. 13 Quentin Wright 10-1 to put the Gophers down by just one point at 14-15.

All-American and fourth-ranked Sonny Yohn then came up big for Minnesota in his return to the mat. Yohn, who had been out of action since late December, put the Gophers up 18-15 when the Alamosa, Colo. native scored a 10-2 major decision over Nick Ruggear at 197 lbs. At heavyweight, No. 6 Cameron Wade of Penn State would earn a 2-0 decision over No. 8 Tony Nelson to close out the dual and secure an 18-18 tie. The even slate extends the Gophers’ unbeaten streak against the Nittany Lions to ten-straight meetings while Penn State has never won a dual against the Gophers in Minneapolis.

Minnesota closes out the regular season next Sunday against No. 2 Iowa at Williams Arena. Tickets are still available for the 2 p.m. dual The Big Ten Network will broadcast the dual on same-day tape delay.

No. 3 Penn State at No. 5 Minnesota
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Minneapolis, Minn. (Sports Pavilion)

Minnesota 18 Penn State 18
125: #5 Zach Sanders (MINN) dec. #11 Brad Pataky (PSU) 10-8
133: #9 Andrew Long (PSU) maj. David Thorn (MINN) 14-4
141: #2 Mike Thorn (MINN) dec. #7 Andrew Alton (PSU) 4-1
149: #5 Frank Molinaro (PSU) dec. Danny Zilverberg (MINN) 6-5
157: #3 David Taylor (PSU) tech. Matt Mincey (MINN) 16-1; 3:37
165: #11 Cody Yohn (MINN) maj. Jake Kemerer (PSU) 8-0
174: #2 Ed Ruth (PSU) dec. #13 Scott Glasser (MINN) 12-5
184: #8 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) maj. #13 Quentin Wright (PSU) 10-1
197: #4 Sonny Yohn (MINN) maj. Nick Ruggear (PSU) 10-2
285: #6 Cameron Wade (PSU) dec. #8 Tony Nelson (MINN) 2-0

Forde’s Story Far From Over

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Each senior on the Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team has their own unique story or lasting impression. For Evan Forde, his lasting impression as a leader and teammate is already well known. His legacy as a Dragons wrestler, however, still has one more chapter left.

Forde is a local product of Fargo, N.D. and the pride of the Fargo South High School Bruins. Before his arrival at MSUM, the Forde name was a well-known part of wrestling in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Evan’s father, Lynn, is the coach of the Bruins wrestling team and was a member of the North Dakota State Bison wrestling team along with Evan’s uncles Bruce Forde and Randy Forde.

Forde was a successful wrestler at Fargo South, placing three times in the state tournament as high as second. Upon his arrival, Forde made an instant mark on the conference, posting a 15-14 record.

Forde has been the Dragons’ captain for the past two seasons, in large part due to his leadership and intensity. For Forde, there is added pressure that comes with being a captain and having the experience of a senior in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

“When I was younger, I had to just worry about myself and be ready to wrestle on my own,” Forde said. “Now there is more pressure to have the whole team ready, along with yourself.”

Forde has doesn’t hide the fact that his record since the spring semester has began has been frustrating. Rather, he expects to win the close matches with his experience. The frustration has turned into added motivation to prove how strong of a wrestler he is with his collegiate career nearly at its end.

“The biggest thing is finishing off these last few duals strong,” Forde said. “I’m getting to that point where I’m watching a lot of film on the guys I have wrestled and get to where I’m ready to peak.”

A large part of Forde’s approach is to never give excuses for coming up short. To never blame any struggles on the road being too tough. For Evan, the same applies to the competition the Dragons face year in and year out.

“Having a tough schedule helps us because by wrestling all this tough competition during the year, that’s going to help better prepare you for the post season,” Forde said. “In the end, having a tough schedule and a poor record is better than an easy schedule and a good record.”

It’s not too often you can go to an NCAA Division-II dual and see a wrestler sometimes out yell his coach. But come to a Dragons’ dual and that very well could be the case. Forde does his best to hide the coach with in, but his competitive drive often gets the best of him.

“I don’t pay attention to it but that is what I’m known for,” Forde said. “I can get a little into it but that’s because I want my teammates to win as badly as I want myself to win. It can be more frustrating watching teammates lose because it’s out of your control.” Evan’s voice is usually silent when he wrestles, but his father Lynn is there to kill any silence.

“That’s still the voice I can easily pick out from the crowd, Forde said. “I hear every word he says and I still get good advice from him. He has basically been my coach my whole life.” The lessons Lynn taught Evan extend beyond the mat as well.

“My motto has been to try and live life with no regrets and he has really supported me through that,” Forde said. “If you put 100 percent effort into what you’re doing than no matter what the outcome you can be proud of what you done.” It’s fairly easy for Forde to realize what it’s going to be like when this is all gone.

“You miss the feel of competition a lot, it’s why we are all in this, Forde said. “But I will miss the camaraderie and that team aspect. I know that we (seniors Tallen Wald, Jon Swart, Brady Schneeberger and Evan) can all look back on our struggles together and see how we got through it as teammates. To finish strong with these guys would mean a lot to me.”

Finishing strong begins with the John Sterner Endowment Dual, which means more to Forde than one would begin to think.

“There is tradition here in this wrestling program and the Endowment Dual is a tribute to that tradition,” Forde said. “It’s not just about raising money it’s about putting on a good show for all of those people who support us.” Forde has full control over how much longer he will wrestle; assuring no timetable can end his career.

“That’s why this sport is so great,” Forde said. “If your team isn’t doing so well there is still not limit to how far you can go. I want my team to do well but the only way to help them is by taking care of myself.” With the national tournament nearly a month away, it’s Forde’s chance to leave his mark on Dragons’ wrestling.

“I’ve been in this sport my whole life and I got one month left to see what I can do.”