Gophers Take on Iowa Sunday for Dual Meet Title

MINNEAPOLIS — Storylines abound this week as the No. 5 Minnesota wrestling program closes out the regular season at home against Iowa on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Historic Williams Arena will host one of college wrestling’s most anticipated rivalries this weekend as Minnesota and Iowa battle it out for the Big Ten Dual Meet Championship. Iowa (14-0-1 overall, 7-0-0 Big Ten) currently sits in the poll position in the Big Ten standings while Minnesota (15-3-1, 6-0-1) trails ever so slightly and is in a must-win situation in order to dethrone the Hawkeyes.

But taking down the three-time defending national champs won’t be easy. Iowa currently holds a 76-dual unbeaten streak (the Hawkeyes tied Oklahoma State earlier this year to snap a winning streak). Last Sunday’s win over Michigan gave Iowa a tie with Oklahoma State for the longest stretch without a loss in NCAA history. The Cowboys’ streak, however, is a 76-dual winning streak.

Furthermore, the University of Minnesota will honor head wrestling coach J Robinson for his 25 years of service to the program during the Gophers’ dual against Iowa on Sunday. Robinson, a former assistant coach at Iowa, has brought the Gophers’ program to a new level during his tenure including coaching the Gophers to the first three NCAA titles in school history (2001, 2002, 2007). Robinson’s ceremony will precede the dual.

Big Ten Network Coverage
The Big Ten Network will give fans who can’t make it out to see the Gophers live a chance to watch this Sunday’s action. The national sports network will broadcast Sunday’s dual between two nationally ranked rivals on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. CST and again

Follow the Action
Live results and updates will be made available throughout Sunday on Gophersports.com and the Golden Gopher Wrestling social media sites. Sunday’s dual will also feature a live blog that can be found on Gophersports.com.

Follow the Gophers
Want exclusive, up-to-the-minute access to Golden Gopher Wrestling? Follow the team online at twitter.com/gopherwrestling andfacebook.com/gopherwrestling for news, results and other exclusive content.

Next Up
Minnesota takes a rare weekend off after hosting Iowa before heading into the championship season. Northwestern will host the Big Ten Championships on March 5-6 before the NCAA championships take place in Philadelphia on March 17-19.

Last Time Out
Minnesota remained unbeaten in its last eight duals when the Gophers topped No. 10 Michigan 21-12 last Friday in Ann Arbor before drawing with No. 3 Penn State at home on Sunday in an 18-18 tie.

Get Score Updates on Your Phone
Fans can get scoring updates from all of Golden Gopher athletics through the Twitter pages @GopherScores and @GoldenWrestling. Just find and follow the selected Twitter accounts, then set up your phone or mobile device to receive the text updates. If you are not already on Twitter, you will need to create an account.

Match of the Meet
Each and every Gopher wrestling match is full of excitement and entertainment, but this weekend one bout stands out among the rest.  Sunday’s 141 lbs. match will feature two of the best in the sport in Minnesota’s Mike Thorn and Iowa’s Montell Marion. Thorn, who leads all Big Ten wrestlers with 32 wins this year, is ranked second in the nation at 141 lbs. by InterMat while his Hawkeyes counterpart sits one spot back at third. And these two know each other well. The duo met three times last year with Thorn holding a 2-1 record against Marion. In their first meeting at National Duals, the Minnesota All-American picked up a pin over the Marion in just 0:42, but the Hawkeyes grappler gained revenge in dual competition when he scored a 15-7 major decision over Thorn on Feb. 14, 2010. But Thorn would get the last laugh in their last meeting, taking down Marion in the Big Ten championships semifinals with a 12-3 major decision in route to Thorn’s first Big Ten title. Now the pair will meet for the first time this year on Sunday afternoon with the Big Ten Dual Meet Championship on the line.

Welcome Back Sonny
All-American Sonny Yohn returned to the Gophers’ lineup for last Sunday’s tie against the Nittany Lions and was part of a 12-6 run in the second half that secured the tie. Yohn’s 10-2 major decision over Nick Ruggear was the redshirt junior’s first action since Dec. 31 when Yohn was injured at the Southern Scuffle. Yohn is 11-2 on the year.

Every Point Counts
Redshirt senior Mike Thorn’s 17-0 technical fall over Randall Languis at 141 lbs. last Saturday was just the latest in a long line of victims for the All-American. With a 31-1 overall record (17-0 in duals), Thorn has scored bonus points in over 65 percent of his matches this season (11 pins, seven major decisions, three technical falls).

Getting the Pin
All-American Mike Thorn cracked Minnesota’s top-ten for career pins earlier this year and currently sits tied with Jacob Volkmann for ninth on the school’s all-time list with 34 career pins. Thorn needs one more fall to take sole possession of ninth and four pins to tie Jason Davids (1994-98) and Mack Reiter (2004-08) for seventh on the Gophers’ list. Jayson Ness (2006-10) ranks first in career pins at Minnesota with 73.

The Road to Philadelphia
Minnesota has fielded one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2010-11 — having already taken on 11 nationally ranked programs with No. 2 Iowa still to go. The Gophers are 7-3-1 against ranked opponents this year while all three losses have come against top-five teams.

Date Rank Opponent Score Result
11/27:  No. 9  Central Michigan 21-17 W
12/05: No. 2  Oklahoma State 16-17 L
12/09: No. 15  Nebraska 26-8 W
01/08: No. 6  Boise State 18-17 W
01/09: No. 1  Cornell 16-20 L
01/09: No. 4  Wisconsin 17-19 L
01/16: No. 13  Iowa State 26-13 W
01/21: No. 23 Purdue 26-15 W
01/23: No. 15 Illinois 25-16 W
01/30: No. 3 Wisconsin 21-15 W
02/13: No. 3 Penn State 18/18 T
02/20: No. 2 Iowa ?/? ?

15 and counting
All-American Zach Sanders has put together 15-straight dual wins dating back to December 9. All but two of those wins went for bonus points as Sanders has tallied two pins, two technical falls and eight major decisions since his last loss. Sanders is 24-2 on the year.

Getting the Pin
All-American Mike Thorn cracked Minnesota’s top-ten for career pins earlier this year and currently sits tied with Jacob Volkmann for ninth on the school’s all-time list with 34 career pins. Thorn needs one more fall to take sole possession of ninth and four pins to tie Jason Davids (1994-98) and Mack Reiter (2004-08) for seventh on the Gophers’ list. Jayson Ness (2006-10) ranks first in career pins at Minnesota with 73.

The Series
Iowa leads the series with Minnesota, 67-24-1, and hold a 31-11-1 advantage in Minneapolis. The Hawkeyes have won the last five meetings, including a 28-9 decision last season in Minneapolis. Minnesota’s last win in the series was Feb.18, 2007, when it posted a 29-13 victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

Big Ten Championships Ahead
The Big Ten Championships will be held Mar. 5-6 at Northwestern University’s Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, IL. Tickets are available from the NU ticket office at 888-GOPURPLE. Fans may request to be seated in a specific school’s designated seating areas. All session tickets are $40 for reserved seats, $36 for adult general admission and $24 for youth general admission. Single session ticket prices are as follows: Session I – $15 for adult general admission and $12 for youth general admission; Session II – $18 for reserved seating, $15 for adult general admission and $12 for youth general admission; Session III – $20 for reserved seating, $18 for adult general admission.

UN-Omaha 22, Augustana 9

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – No. 1-ranked Nebraska-Omaha won seven of 10 matches en route to a 22-9 victory over No. 2 Augustana Wednesday night in front of a record crowd of 2,003 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

UNO improves to 12-1, while Augustana falls to 14-2. The dual marked the end of the regular season for both squads.

Augustana’s 14 dual wins this season ties a school record; the Vikings also collected 14 wins in 2004-05. Both of those campaigns were under Jason Reitmeier.

The Mavericks picked up wins in all matches except for 133, 165 and 197 pounds.

Jason Jeremiason, ranked No. 3 in Division II, immediately went to work at 133 pounds for the Vikings. He topped UNO’s Trent Cox 7-3.

The Mavericks, though, used Mario Morgan as a rebuttal at 141 pounds. No. 1-ranked Morgan snuck past No. 4-ranked Jay Sherer, but not before the defending national champion made it interesting. Sherer trailed by just two points with less than a minute to go, and Morgan was charged a point for stalling. Nothing materialized in the closing moments as Morgan went on to win 5-4.

No. 1-ranked Esai Dominguez pushed the Maverick advantage to 6-3 with his 3-2 win over Nate Herda, ranked No. 5, at 149 pounds.

In a No. 1/No. 3 tilt at 157 pounds, top-ranked George Ivanov edged out a 4-3 decision over Augustana’s Marcus Edgington.

Gavin Nelson cut back into the UNO lead in the ensuing bout; No.4-ranked Nelson logged a 6-3 victory at 165 pounds over Nathan Sigman.

No. 3-ranked Aaron Denson took a 12-3 major decision from the Vikings’ Tom Davies at 184 pounds.

In desperate need of points, the Vikings used an overtime victory by No. 2-ranked Ty Copsey at 174 pounds to trim the deficit to 16-9. Copsey’s takedown of No. 4 Matt Baker at the 37-second mark of the overtime period gave him the sudden victory.

The Mavericks effectively put the contest of out of reach in the heavyweight bout as Taylor Escamilla beat Augustana’s Lance Peters 5-0. The win extended the Maverick lead to 19-9.

UNO’s Josh Keszler closed the dual with a 4-2 overtime victory over Al Meger at 125 pounds.

The Vikings will host the NCAA Super Regional Three Tournament on Feb. 27.  To view the official tournament home page, follow this link:http://www.goaugie.com/sports/2011/1/19/WREST_0119111021.aspx?id=1898

UN-Omaha 22, Augustana 9
125: Josh Keszler (UNO) dec. Al Meger (Augie), 4-2 (SV1)
133: Jason Jeremiason (Augie) dec.Trent Cox (UNO), 7-3
141: Mario Morgan (UNO) dec. Jay Sherer (Augie), 5-4
149: Esai Dominguez (UNO) dec. Nate Herda (Augie), 3-2
157: George Ivanov (UNO) dec. Marcus Edgington (Augie), 4-3
165: Gavin Nelson (Augie) dec. Nathan Sigman (UNO), 6-3
174: Ryan Pankoke (UNO) dec. Carl Serck (Augie), 3-1
184: Aaron Denson (UNO) major dec. Tom Davies (Augie), 12-3
197: Ty Copsey (Augie) dec. Matt Baker (UNO), 3-1 (SV1)
285: Taylor Escamilla (UNO) dec. Lance Peters (Augie), 5-0

Augustana stays No. 2 in national poll

EDMOND, Okla. – Augustana retained its No. 2 position in the final regular season NCAA Division II wrestling rankings released Wednesday by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.  The Vikings collected 152 points and all eight second-place votes.

Nebraska-Omaha was the unanimous No. 1 selection, earning 160 points and all eight first-place votes.  The Mavericks have held the top spot all season.

Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference neighbor St. Cloud State was No. 3 with 144 points.

Seven Vikings were individually ranked.

Ty Copsey garnered the highest individual ranking with his No. 2 position at 197 pounds.

Jason Jeremiason, who made his debut in the national rankings, checked in at No. 3 at 133 pounds, while Marcus Edgington earned the same spot at 157 pounds.

Jay Sherer (141 pounds) and Gavin Nelson (165 pounds) were both No. 4.

Nate Herda was No. 5 at 149 pounds, while Carl Serck was seventh at 174 pounds.

It will be No. 1 versus No. 2 tonight at Augustana as the No. 2-ranked Vikings (14-1) host No. 1 UNO (11-1) at 7 p.m.

The top 20 poll, with points and the teams’ last ranking following by the top-eight rankings at each weight:

Rank  School (State) Points Last Ranking 
1. Nebraska-Omaha  160 1st
2. Augustana (S.D.)  152 2nd
3. St. Cloud State (Minn.)  144 3rd
4. Newberry (S.C.) 136 4th
5. Central Oklahoma  119 5th
6. Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.)  117 6th
7. Grand Canyon (Ariz.)  114 7th
T8. Minnesota State  99 8th
T8. Nebraska-Kearney  99 9th
10. Upper Iowa  89 11th
11. North Carolina-Pembroke 83 10th
12. Ashland (Ohio) 69 12th
13. Western State (Colo.)  68 13th
14. San Francisco State (Calif.)  65 14th
15. Findlay (Ohio)  44 15th
16. Gannon (Pa.) 41 16th
17. Adams State (Colo.)  20 17th
18. Fort Hays State (Kan.)  22 19th
19. Wisconsin-Parkside  15 18th
20. Mercyhurst (Pa.) 12 NR

Others receiving votes: Central Missouri, Colorado School of Mines, Kutztown (Pa.) and Minnesota State-Moorhead.

NCAA Division II Individual Rankings
125 Pounds 
1. Russell Weakley, North Carolina-Pembroke
2. Trevor Franklin, Upper Iowa
3. Corey Ulmer, Minnesota State-Moorhead
4. Andy Forstner, Minnesota State
5. Jose Matos, Gannon (Pa.)
6. Connor McDonald, Newberry (S.C.)
7. Kyle O’Brien, Western State (Colo.)
8. Josh Smith, Nebraska-Kearney
133 Pounds 
1. Todd Wilcox, Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
2. Ryan Link, Pittsburgh-Johnstown
3. Jason Jeremiason, Augustana (S.D.)
4. Kyle Pedretti, Upper Iowa
6. Trison Graham, Central Oklahoma
7. Aldon Isenberg, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
8. Cody Zimmerman, Wisconsin-Parkside
141 Pounds 
1. Mario Morgan, Nebraska-Omaha
2. Naveed Bagheri, San Francisco State (Calif.)
3. Brady Schneeberger, Minnesota State-Moorhead
4. Jay Sherer, Augustana (S.D.)
5. Kenny Jordan, Adams State (Colo.)
6. Andre Harrison, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
7. Dalton Jensen, Nebraska-Kearney
8. Gabe Suarez, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
149 Pounds 
1. Esai Dominguez, Nebraska-Omaha
2. T.J. Hepburn, Nebraska-Kearney
3. Nick Walpole, Indianapolis (Ind.)
4. Matthew Thomas, San Francisco State (Calif.)
5. Nate Herda, Augustana (S.D.)
6. Jacob Horn, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
7. Mitchell Means, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
8. John Paukovits, Kutztown (Pa.)
157 Pounds 
1. George Ivanov, Nebraska-Omaha
2. John Sundgren, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
3. Marcus Edgington, Augustana (S.D.)
4. Sean Byrnes, Newberry (S.C.)
5. Cory Dauphin, Central Oklahoma
6. Jordan Shields, Mercyhurst (Pa.)
7. Josh Nolan, San Francisco State
8. Seth Phalen, West Liberty (W.Va.)
165 Pounds 
1. Mike Williams, North Carolina-Pembroke
2. Tad Merritt, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
3. Michael Lybarger, Findlay (Ohio)
4. Gavin Nelson, Augustana (S.D.)
5. Matt Gille, Wisconsin-Parkside
6. Joey Wilson, Nebraska-Kearney
7. Travis Budke, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
8. Derrick Adkins, Central Oklahoma
174 Pounds 
1. Luke Rynish, Wisconsin-Parkside
2. Tony Petrella, Gannon (Pa.)
3. Ryan Pankoke, Nebraska-Omaha
4. Victor Carazo, Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
5. Tim Darling, Kutztown (Pa.)
6. Ben Becker, Minnesota State
7. Carl Serck, Augustana (S.D.)
8. Mark Meuller, Upper Iowa
184 Pounds 
1. Bryant Blanton, Newberry (S.C.)
2. Charlie Pipher, Western State (Colo.)
3. Aaron Denson, Nebraska-Omaha
4. Cale Cornemann, Northern State (S.D.)
5. A.J. Brentzel, Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.)
6. Aaron Norgren, Minnesota State
7. Ryan Becerra, Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
8. Mitch Schultz, Upper Iowa
197 Pounds 
1. Donovan McMahill, Western State (Colo.)
2. Ty Copsey, Augustana (S.D.)
3. Luke McPeek, Adams State (Colo.)
4. Matt Baker, Nebraska-Omaha
5. Jarrett Edison, Central Oklahoma
6. Lucas Munkelwitz, St. Cloud (Minn.)
7. Pat Mahan, Minnesota State
8. Carl Broghammer, Upper Iowa
285 Pounds 
1. Jacob Kahnke, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
2. Matt Meuleners, Northern State (S.D.)
3. Charlie Alexander, Western State (Colo.)
4. Zach Rosol, Upper Iowa
5. Jacob Southwick, Ashland (Ohio)
6. J.D. Ramsey, West Liberty (W.Va.)
7. Matt Clum, Findlay (Ohio)
8. Brandon Hayes, Central Missouri

Mavericks Remain Eighth in Latest Poll

Four Individual Mavericks Remain Ranked in Respective Classes

Edmond, Okla – The Minnesota State Mavericks remain the eighth-ranked team in the latest NCAA Division II National Wrestling Coaches Association poll.  The Mavericks share the eighth-place ranking with Nebraska-Kearney as Wednesday’s release marks the final released poll of the regular season.

The University of Nebraska-Omaha was the unanimous No. 1 pick as they received all eight first-place votes.  Minnesota State fell to Nebraska-Omaha 22-12 on February 4 which was the last time the Mavericks were defeated.

Along with Nebraska-Omaha, the Mavericks have competed against six teams which are ranked in the top 20 poll and will compete against their seventh this Thursday as they travel to St. Cloud State to take on the No. 3 Huskies.  In these duals, the Mavericks defeated No. 10 Upper Iowa, No. 14 San Francisco State and No. 15 Findlay, while losing to No. 2 Augustana and No. 11 North Carolina-Pembroke.

The Mavericks also maintain four individually ranked wrestlers in the latest version of the rankings.  Each Maverick held their respective position in their individual classes as senior Andy Forstner remains No. 4 in the 125-lb class, senior Ben Becker remains No. 6 in the 174-lbs class, junior Aaron Norgren remains No. 6 in the 184-lb class and junior Pat Mahan remains No. 7 in the 197-lb class.

Minnesota State (9-4, 5-1 NSIC) will take their eighth-place ranking on the road this week for the team’s final dual of the regular season as the Mavericks will compete against No. 3 St. Cloud State (18-2, 5-1 NSIC) for second-place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.  Action is slated to begin at 7:00 pm in St. Cloud, Minn.

The top 20 poll, with points and the teams’ last ranking following by the top-eight rankings at each weight:

Rank  School (State) Points Last Ranking 
1. Nebraska-Omaha  160 1st
2. Augustana (S.D.)  152 2nd
3. St. Cloud State (Minn.)  144 3rd
4. Newberry (S.C.) 136 4th
5. Central Oklahoma  119 5th
6. Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.)  117 6th
7. Grand Canyon (Ariz.)  114 7th
T8. Minnesota State  99 8th
T8. Nebraska-Kearney  99 9th
10. Upper Iowa  89 11th
11. North Carolina-Pembroke 83 10th
12. Ashland (Ohio) 69 12th
13. Western State (Colo.)  68 13th
14. San Francisco State (Calif.)  65 14th
15. Findlay (Ohio)  44 15th
16. Gannon (Pa.) 41 16th
17. Adams State (Colo.)  20 17th
18. Fort Hays State (Kan.)  22 19th
19. Wisconsin-Parkside  15 18th
20. Mercyhurst (Pa.) 12 NR

Others receiving votes: Central Missouri, Colorado School of Mines, Kutztown (Pa.) and Minnesota State-Moorhead.

NCAA Division II Individual Rankings
125 Pounds 
1. Russell Weakley, North Carolina-Pembroke
2. Trevor Franklin, Upper Iowa
3. Corey Ulmer, Minnesota State-Moorhead
4. Andy Forstner, Minnesota State
5. Jose Matos, Gannon (Pa.)
6. Connor McDonald, Newberry (S.C.)
7. Kyle O’Brien, Western State (Colo.)
8. Josh Smith, Nebraska-Kearney
133 Pounds 
1. Todd Wilcox, Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
2. Ryan Link, Pittsburgh-Johnstown
3. Jason Jeremiason, Augustana (S.D.)
4. Kyle Pedretti, Upper Iowa
6. Trison Graham, Central Oklahoma
7. Aldon Isenberg, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
8. Cody Zimmerman, Wisconsin-Parkside
141 Pounds 
1. Mario Morgan, Nebraska-Omaha
2. Naveed Bagheri, San Francisco State (Calif.)
3. Brady Schneeberger, Minnesota State-Moorhead
4. Jay Sherer, Augustana (S.D.)
5. Kenny Jordan, Adams State (Colo.)
6. Andre Harrison, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
7. Dalton Jensen, Nebraska-Kearney
8. Gabe Suarez, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
149 Pounds 
1. Esai Dominguez, Nebraska-Omaha
2. T.J. Hepburn, Nebraska-Kearney
3. Nick Walpole, Indianapolis (Ind.)
4. Matthew Thomas, San Francisco State (Calif.)
5. Nate Herda, Augustana (S.D.)
6. Jacob Horn, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
7. Mitchell Means, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
8. John Paukovits, Kutztown (Pa.)
157 Pounds 
1. George Ivanov, Nebraska-Omaha
2. John Sundgren, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
3. Marcus Edgington, Augustana (S.D.)
4. Sean Byrnes, Newberry (S.C.)
5. Cory Dauphin, Central Oklahoma
6. Jordan Shields, Mercyhurst (Pa.)
7. Josh Nolan, San Francisco State
8. Seth Phalen, West Liberty (W.Va.)
165 Pounds 
1. Mike Williams, North Carolina-Pembroke
2. Tad Merritt, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
3. Michael Lybarger, Findlay (Ohio)
4. Gavin Nelson, Augustana (S.D.)
5. Matt Gille, Wisconsin-Parkside
6. Joey Wilson, Nebraska-Kearney
7. Travis Budke, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
8. Derrick Adkins, Central Oklahoma
174 Pounds 
1. Luke Rynish, Wisconsin-Parkside
2. Tony Petrella, Gannon (Pa.)
3. Ryan Pankoke, Nebraska-Omaha
4. Victor Carazo, Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
5. Tim Darling, Kutztown (Pa.)
6. Ben Becker, Minnesota State
7. Carl Serck, Augustana (S.D.)
8. Mark Meuller, Upper Iowa
184 Pounds 
1. Bryant Blanton, Newberry (S.C.)
2. Charlie Pipher, Western State (Colo.)
3. Aaron Denson, Nebraska-Omaha
4. Cale Cornemann, Northern State (S.D.)
5. A.J. Brentzel, Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.)
6. Aaron Norgren, Minnesota State
7. Ryan Becerra, Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
8. Mitch Schultz, Upper Iowa
197 Pounds 
1. Donovan McMahill, Western State (Colo.)
2. Ty Copsey, Augustana (S.D.)
3. Luke McPeek, Adams State (Colo.)
4. Matt Baker, Nebraska-Omaha
5. Jarrett Edison, Central Oklahoma
6. Lucas Munkelwitz, St. Cloud (Minn.)
7. Pat Mahan, Minnesota State
8. Carl Broghammer, Upper Iowa
285 Pounds 
1. Jacob Kahnke, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
2. Matt Meuleners, Northern State (S.D.)
3. Charlie Alexander, Western State (Colo.)
4. Zach Rosol, Upper Iowa
5. Jacob Southwick, Ashland (Ohio)
6. J.D. Ramsey, West Liberty (W.Va.)
7. Matt Clum, Findlay (Ohio)
8. Brandon Hayes, Central Missouri

Schneeberger Looks To Settle Unfinished Business

MOORHEAD, Minn. – During the 2009 offseason, the Dragons new era under new head coach Kris Nelson began with a few other new faces, including an unpolished transfer from neighboring NCAA Division-I North Dakota State Brady Schneeberger. By the end of the 2009-10 season, the Dragons had a true champion who has one more step to take in his collegiate career.

Brady came to the Bison after posting 184 career wins at West Central Area High School, including a Class A championship in 2006. As a freshman, Schneeberger posted 12 wins but only competed in five matches as a sophomore. Looking to prove himself Brady jumped the Red River, joining former assistant coach Nelson as new members of the Dragons.

Brady SchneebergerSchneeberger posted an even 17-17 record, including winning eight of his first 10 matches. After hitting a rut following his first Dragon Open as a member of MSUM, Schneeberger caught fire in February, topping it all off with a classic confrontation with then No. 1 ranked Jay Sherer from Augustana.

Schneeberger, given the sixth seed in the regionals, became the only wrestler not given the top seed to become the regional champion by pinning Sherer with 15 seconds remaining in regulation. At the time, it was proof that where someone is at the beginning means nothing in the end.

“Last year was an up and down year for me but heading into the regionals I knew I could match up with everyone,” Schneeberger said. ”I never counted myself out even though a lot of people did.“ The season ended at nationals as Brady came up short, but watching how it all ended fueled the drive with in the regional champion for his last season.

“After watching Jay [Sherer] head to nationals and become national champion after I just beat him really hurt, Schneeberger said. “After that I knew that if he could do it, there is no reason why I can’t make it to the top myself.” Schneeberger once again beat the odds this season, by defeating Jay Sherer once again on the national champions’ home mat.

While knowing he had control of each outcome match in and match out, sitting on the sidelines following an injury sustained at a dual at Mary University was a tougher sight to bear.

“It was really tough on me,” Schneeberger said. “Up until that point I was feeling really good and felt like I was starting to peak then that had to happen. It was really hard to sit on the sidelines and watch all those close duals, knowing I could have been that guy that could’ve made the difference.”

With the region now expanding to 11 teams, the road only got tougher for Schneeberger. The long awaited respect for Schneeberger was shown after he broke into the national rankings, where he currently sits at No. 3 in the nation. Schneeberger is out to prove he belongs as one of the NCAA’s elite. Part of that means going through a gauntlet schedule.

“When you get to nationals you’re wrestling the best every single match,” Schneeberger said. “If you have a weak schedule you’re not going to be prepared for that. I won’t be doubting myself because I’ve gone up against some of the toughest wrestlers in the country.” Part of Brady’s dedication is attributed to his parents, Dean and Gail Schneeberger.

“They’ve been making it to just about every match since I started back in second grade,” Schneeberger said. “Now I’m in my fifth year of college wrestling and they are still right there. I don’t know what they are going to do after this is all over.”

Schneeberger has lead his teammates by a quiet example, but when the post season arrives, his last order of business will be capturing that national championship and once again, silencing his critics.

Mustangs On the Road to Finish NSIC Season

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team (6-4-1, 1-4 NSIC) will close out the 2010-11 regular season this week in NSIC action on Thursday with a dual against the University of Mary (5-8, 1-5 NSIC) starting at 6 p.m. The Mustangs will then travel to Aberdeen, S.D. to take on Northern State (3-9-1, 0-6 NSIC) at 7 p.m. on Friday in the final dual of the season.

Follow us live: All NSIC wrestling matches are video broadcast live free of charge by New Media TV. Log onto www.northernsun.org/live.cfmto learn more and to watch the Mustangs when they are on the road! Or go to www.smsumustangs.com and click on the Live Video Webcasts tab on the right hand side of the page.

Streak snapped: Senior CD Johnson had is consecutive wins streak snapped last Thursday in SMSU’s dual with No. 8 Minnesota State. MSU”s Aaron Norgren who is ranked No. 6 at 184 pounds, slipped past Johnson with a 6-4 decision in overtime. Johnson would get back on track the following night, and extend his season record to 23-12 in defeating Buena Vista’s Demetrius Heard by fall at 2:39 adding to SMSU’s large lead over BVU.

Rodas Rules: Junior Brian Rodas (285 pounds) got back on track last week picking up two wins. Rodas defeated MSU’s Nate Haynes in a 9-5 decision capping off the dual with Minnesota State. He would extend his season record to 7-1 with a win by fall over Buena Vista’s Jacob Nelson at 3:35 giving SMSU a 38-6 win over the Beavers. Four of his seven wins this season have come by fall.

The reign of Reinsma:
 Redshirt freshman Justin Reinsma (133 pounds) extended his season record to 23-10 earning two wins last week. Reinsma was the first to score for SMSU against Minnesota State last Thursday winning an 8-3 decision over Paul Norgren. His second win came on Friday night against Buena Vista’s Michael Berardesco. Reinsma recorded his third major decision of the season defeating Berardesco 12-4.

20-plus club: CD Johnson and Justin Reinsma were the first two Mustangs this season to reach the 20-win plateau. Johnson currently owns a record of 23-12 while Reinsma sits at 23-10.

Winning tradition: Southwest Minnesota State’s six wins on the season mark the highest number of wins in a single season since the 2003-04 season when SMSU finished 7-11 overall and 0-2 in NSIC play.

History lesson: SMSU’s 18-3 record in 1978-79 marks the highest win total in by a Mustang wrestling team in school history.

Marauders at a glance: U-Mary enters the dual with a record of 5-8 overall and 1-5 in NSIC action. The Marauders picked up their first NSIC victory with a 21-17 win over Northern State on Feb. 15. Brady Anderson (184 pounds) enters the dual at 18-8 on the season. The sophomore has won nine consecutive bouts dating back to Jan. 19. Anderson was named the NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 24.

Results vs. the Marauders: 
Southwest Minnesota State is 2-0 all-time against U-Mary. The two teams first met during the 2008-09 season. The Mustangs defeated U-Mary on Feb. 13 last season 25-15 in Marshall. The win marked SMSU’s first NSIC win of the season and gave SMSU its highest win total since the 2005-06 season.

Wolves at a glance: Northern State (3-9-1, 0-6 NSIC) is coming off eight straight losses dating back to Jan. 12 when they defeated Northwestern (Iowa) 47-3. The Wolves lost a tight 21-17 NSIC dual against U-Mary on Feb. 15. Matthew Meuleners leads the Wolves with a record of 21-3 at 197 pounds. Meuleners had won 14 consecutive matches before losing a 5-4 decision to Jake Kahnke of St. Cloud State on Feb. 4. Before that match, his last loss was on Nov. 13.

Results vs. the Wolves: SMSU and Northern State first met during the 1979-80 season. The Mustangs own an 11-game lead in the all-time series against the Wolves (20-9-2). The two teams last met last season on Feb. 19. In that meeting, Northern State rallied from a 15-0 deficit to defeat SMSU 21-18 in Marshall.

Mustang lineup:

Wt.     Wrestler
125     Travis Borchert (9-12)
133     Justin Reinsma (23-10)
141     Ethan Hildebrandt (17-9) or Codie Lane (9-10)
149     Demond Carter (4-6)
157     Casey Field (9-15)
165     William Fate (7-5) or Travis Frederiksen (2-4)
174     Zach Coates (10-7)
184     CD Johnson (23-12)
197     Martin Hagen (10-12) or Erik Berdahl (11-2)
285     Brian Rodas (7-1)

Marauder lineup: 

Wt.     Wrestler
125     Matt Garcia
133     Ryan Swelland
141     Tanner Beaman
149     Landon DellaSilva
157     Brandon DeLeao
165     Taylor Nagel
174     Kurt Wiedrich or Ross Edison
184     Brady Anderson
197     Kriss McLeary
285     Austin Woo or Martin Patron

Last time out: The Mustangs earned a 38-6 win over Buena Vista University last Friday night in Marshall. SMSU picked up three falls and two technical falls on the night walking away with a big win over the Beavers. SMSU fell behind 3-0 early when No. 2 ranked Austin Mogg defeated Travis Borchert.

Southwest Minnesota State would win eight of the next nine bouts to defeat the Beavers. Demond Carter, CD Johnson and Brian Rodas all won by fall while Justin Reinsma won by major decision. Casey Field and Zach Coates each won by technical fall.

The Mustangs began the week on Thursday night with a 31-6 loss against No. 8 ranked Minnesota State. Justin Reinsma and Brian Rodas picked up the only two wins for the Mustangs in the dual. Reinsma earned an 8-3 decision at 133 pounds and Rodas won a 9-5 decision at 285 pounds.

Dragons Host Senior Night in Regular Season Finale

MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons wrestling team finishes the dual season with an NSIC showdown against No. 10 Upper Iowa Peacocks on Thursday. The Dragons will showcase their annual Senior Night to honor seniors Evan FordeBrady SchneebergerTallen Wald and Jon Swart.

THE DRAGONS
The Dragons are currently on a three-dual winning streak, which includes wins over Minot State (N.D.), Northern State (S.D.) and Dickinson State (N.D.). The Dragons currently reside one spot outside the top-20 rankings despite winning three of the last four duals since the previous polls were released on Feb. 3.

The Dragons are lead by two ranked wrestlers, Corey Ulmer who leads the Dragons with 20 wins, one short of his win total from last season. Ulmer currently is ranked third in the nation at 125 pounds, one spot behind his opponent Thursday night, Trevor Franklin. Also ranked No. 3 is senior Brady Schneeberger at 141 pounds.

Schneeberger became ranked No. 6 in the nation after defeating Augustana’s (S.D.) Jay Sherer, last year’s NCAA Division-II National Champion, for the second straight time on Jan. 15. Since then Schneeberger has moved up three spots and is 1-1 since returning to the mat on Feb. 10 after missing three weeks of action.

UPPER IOWA
After getting thwarted by Minnesota State Mankato, the Peacocks have gone 2-2, including losses in their last two duals against Augustana and St. Cloud State. The Peacocks currently hold a 5-5 record (3-3 NSIC) on the season but are 1-2 away from Fayette, Iowa.

Almost all of the Peacocks upper weights currently hold a national ranking with Mark Meuller (174 pounds), Mitch Schultz (184 pounds) and Carl Broghammer (197 pounds) all sitting at the last ranking, No. 8 in the nation. In all, six Peacocks have a spot in the national rankings, including heavyweight Zach Rosol (No. 4) and 133-pounder Kyle Pedretti (No. 4).

The dual’s biggest match up puts Upper Iowa’s Trevor Franklin (No. 2) against the Dragons’ Corey Ulmer (No. 3) at 125 pounds. Franklin and Ulmer met at the Brute-Adidas Auggie Open at the University of Augsburg back on Nov. 20 in a match that came down to the wire. Ulmer will look to avenge his four-point championship loss and match his win total from 2009-10.

THE SENIORS
Seniors Evan Forde (Fargo, N.D.), Brady Schneeberger (Elbow Lake, Minn.), Tallen Wald (Montevideo, Minn.) and Jon Swart (Fargo, N.D.) will be honored Thursday night prior to the dual. Forde and Wald were both named team captains coming into this season with Wald returning as one of the national qualifiers from 2009. The four seniors have totalled 55 wins as a group so far this season, all with .500 records or better in the NSIC.

The dual is set to begin at 7 p.m. inside Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. The Dragons will send a starter from each weight class to the NCAA Division-II Super III Regionals on Feb. 27 in Sioux Falls, S.D. on the campus of Augustana College.