SJU Wrestling Ranked Seventh, Four Johnnies in Top 10

NWCA Team Rankings | NWCA Individual Rankings

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – The Saint John’s University wrestling team dropped one spot to No. 7 in the latest Brute-Adidas National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division III team rankings released Feb. 8.

In the NCAA Great Lakes Region, Augsburg stayed at No. 3, Concordia-Moorhead moved up one spot to No. 6, North Central (Ill.) fell three spots to No. 22, and Elmhurst (Ill.) moved up one to No. 24.

Four of the Johnnies’ 10 starters remained ranked individually. Senior Matt Baarson (20-3 record; Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park) stayed at No. 1 in the 165-pound weight class. He has won five of his last six matches since the previous rankings (Jan. 25), with his lone loss to Steven Monk from Division I North Dakota State in the North Country Open championship last Saturday.

Senior Minga Batsukh (19-1 record; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia/St. Benedict’s Prep, N.J.) moved up one spot to No. 3 at 149 after defeating then-No. 3 Tony Valek from Augsburg two weeks ago. Batsukh’s only loss this season was to No. 2 Blaine Woszczak of Ithaca (N.Y.). Last weekend, Batsukh won his weight class with four technical falls and a major decision. He collected a total of 50 takedowns in his five matches, including a school-record in his 35-19 win in the opening round. The 17 takedowns broke the old record of 15 set by Scot Doboszenski during the 1992-93 season.

Junior Matt Pfarr (19-5 record; Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson)  stayed at No. 4, while junior Dustin Baxter (18-5 record; Fairbanks, Alaska/West Valley) held steady at No. 7 at 184. Baxter won his first match of the North Country before forfeiting the semifinal to teammateMitch Hagen. He then posted a major decision and won the third-place match via forfeit. Pfarr, meanwhile, won the 174-pound bracket with a 5-0 record and a 13-4 major decision in the championship match.

The Johnnies finish their regular season at the Wisconsin-Eau Claire Invitational this Saturday, Feb. 12. Teams scheduled to attend include No. 3 Augsburg, Jamestown (N.D.), Luther (Iowa), No. 22 North Central (Ill.), No. 3 St. Cloud State (Division II), Wisconsin-Eau Claire, No. 2 Wisconsin-La Crosse, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin-Parkside, No. 18 Wisconsin-Stevens Point (No. 18), No. 17 Wisconsin-Whitewater, No. 1 Wartburg (Iowa) and Winona State.

Mustangs Travel to Mankato for First NSIC Road Dual

Back at Home on Friday


Assistant wrestling coach Jake Avre previews upcoming duals

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team (5-3-1, 1-3 NSIC) will hit the road for its first road NSIC dual of the season. The Mustangs are set to take on No. 8 Minnesota State (8-4, 4-1 NSIC) on Thursday, Feb. 10 with action beginning at 7 p.m. at Bresnan Arena in Mankato. SMSU will return home on Friday for its final home dual of the season against Buena Vista (Iowa) (4-8, 2-7 IIAC) at 7 p.m. in the PE Gym.

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.

Four straight: CD Johnson (184 pounds) continues to roll picking up his 21st win of the season last Saturday against Kody Kalkbrenner of Minnesota State Moorhead. Johnson picked up a 10-2 major decision over Kalkbrenner, earning his fourth straight NSIC victory.

Three of the four wins came by major decisions. Johnson’s streak started with a 15-0 major decision over No. 5 Mic Berg (St. Cloud State). The senior then went on to win a 10-2 major decision over Mark Mueller (Upper Iowa), 6-4 decision over Tom Davies (Augustana) and a 10-2 major decision over Kalkbrenner (MSUM). The win over Kalkbrenner extended Johnson’s season record to 22-11. Johnson set a new career-high for wins (previously 19).

Rodas rules: Junior Brian Rodas (285 pounds) lost his first match of the season last Saturday, falling to Jon Swart (MSU Moorhead). Swart needed an extra session to defeat Rodas 2-1. Rodas was unbeaten in four previous matches. The junior has won three of his four bouts by fall this season.

The reign of Reinsma: Redshirt freshman Justin Reinsma (133 pounds) enters the weekend with a 21-10 record. After two consecutive losses, to ranked opponents, Reinsma snapped back to earn a 2-1 victory over Evan Forde (MSUM). Reinsma’s win pushed the Mustangs lead to 15-10 as SMSU went on to win the dual 18-16.

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 22-11 while Reinsma sits at 21-10.

Mavericks at a glance:
 The Mavericks are coming off two consecutive losses to the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country. Last Friday, Minnesota State hosted No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha and lost that dual 22-12 after owning an early 9-3 lead. Just a weekend earlier the Mavericks squared off with No. 2 Augustana College and lost that dual 21-10. Minnesota State has three wrestlers currently ranked in their respective weight classes. Andy Forstner is ranked fourth at 125 pounds. Aaron Norgren (184 pounds) and Ben Becker (174 pounds) are each ranked sixth in their weight class.

Results vs. the Mavericks:
 Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota State first met during the 1980-81 season. The Mavericks lead the all-time series 21-8, and have won the last 19 meetings between the two schools. Last season, SMSU led the Mavericks 15-11 at home before winning the dual’s final three bouts to top SMSU 22-15 in Marshall.

Beavers at a glance: Buena Vista hosted a double-header last weekend against Northwestern College (Iowa) and Morningside College. The Beavers started off the night with a 32-22 win over Northwestern before falling 40-9 to Morninside. Buena Vista had lost four straight duals before beating Northwestern last Thursday. Buena Vista has two wrestlers ranked in the Division III individual rankings. Austin Mogg is currently ranked second at 125 pounds and Brian Broll ranks sixth in the 197-pound weight class.

Results vs. the Beavers:
 SMSU and Buena Vista have competed in duals since the 1969-70 season. Buena Vista currently owns the lead in the all-time series (20-6-1). The Mustangs won the last meeting between the two schools on Jan. 30, 2010. SMSU defeated the Beavers 41-3 in Storm Lake, Iowa, winning nine out of 10 bouts.

Mustang lineup:

Wt. Wrestler
125 Travis Borchert (9-11)
133 Justin Reinsma (21-10)
141 Ethan Hildebrandt (16-8)
149 Demond Carter (3-5)
157 Casey Field (8-14)
165 William Fate (6-4) or Logan McAlpin (1-11)
174 Zach Coates (9-6)
184 CD Johnson (22-11)
197 Martin Hagen (10-10)
285 Brian Rodas (5-1)

Mavericks lineup:

Wt. Wrestler
125 No. 4 Andy Forstner (16-11)
133 David Demo (8-13)
141 Robby Fisher (11-14)
149 Jesse Westphal (13-14)
157 Tel Todd (19-11)
165 Brendan Eichmann (18-15)
174 No. 6 Ben Becker (12-5)
184 No. 6 Aaron Norgren (20-8)
197 Pat Mahan (6-6)
285 Nate Haynes (10-18)

Beavers lineup:

Wt. Wrestler
125 No. 2 Austin Mogg (18-6)
133 Mike Berardesco (10-14)
141 Tim Vore (1-17)
149 Zach Ryan (8-14)
157 Codey Schultz (4-8)
165 Dez Broeg (6-17)
174 Casey Paprocki (8-18)
184 Joe Klinkel (7-18)
197 No. 6 Brian Broll (23-3)
285 Jacob Nelson (5-13)

Last time out: The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team won its first NSIC dual of the season last Saturday by defeating No. 20 Minnesota State University Moorhead 18-16. The win marks SMSU’s first win over MSU Moorhead since the 2000-01 season.

The Mustangs and the Dragons each earned five individual wins but SMSU’s major decisions from Zach Coates, Martin Hagen and CD Johnson led SMSU to victory. The win was SMSU’s first NSIC dual victory since Feb. 13, 2010, when SMSU defeated U-Mary 25-15.

Gophers Head to No. 10 Michigan, Host No. 3 Penn State Sunday

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota returns to action this weekend with a pair of duals against nationally ranked opponents — taking on No. 10 Michigan on Friday at 6 p.m. CST in Ann Arbor before hosting No. 3 Penn State at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Sports Pavilion.

Michigan (10-3 overall, 5-1 Big Ten) is coming off a split last weekend, taking down Wisconsin 26-9 last Friday but losing to Penn State 28-13 two days later in Ann Arbor for their first loss at home this year (the Wolverines are 3-1 at Cliff Keen Arena in 2010-11). The loss also snapped a six-dual winning streak for Michigan dating back to Jan. 8 (a 24-12 loss also to Penn State in the finals of the Virginia Duals). Michigan features five wrestlers ranked by Intermat including 141 lbs. redshirt junior Kellen Russell, ranked No. 1 in the nation by Intermat. Russell is 27-0 this season.

Penn State (15-1, 4-1) waltzed into the state of Michigan last weekend and came home with a pair of wins — taking down Michigan State 30-9 on Friday before beating the Wolverines on Sunday. The sweep put the Nittany Lions back on track after the program suffered its first loss of the season to Iowa (22-13) on Jan. 30. Penn State lists eight nationally ranked wrestlers on its roster including six grapplers ranked in the top-ten.

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 weekend’s action. Friday’s dual at Michigan will be streamed online at BigTenNetwork.com (subscription required). Meanwhile, Sunday’s showdown of top-five teams will be aired by the network on tape delay at 9:30 p.m. on 2/13 and again on 2/15 at 7 p.m.

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 weekend’s action. Friday’s dual at Michigan will be streamed online at BigTenNetwork.com (subscription required). Meanwhile, Sunday’s showdown of top-five teams will be aired by the network on tape delay at 9:30 p.m. on 2/13 and again on 2/15 at 7 p.m.

Match of the Meets
Each and every Gopher wrestling match is full of excitement and entertainment but this weekend two bouts stand out among the rest. Minnesota’s Mike Thorn (31-1) will have his hands full this weekend when he faces off against two of the elite wrestlers in the nation. He opens the weekend on Friday against the only man who has beaten him this year — Michigan’s Kellen Russell. Thorn, the No. 2 wrestler  at 141 lbs., dropped a 6-2 decision to top-ranked Russell in the finals of the Southern Scuffle on Dec. 29. Minnesota’s All-American currently leads all Big Ten wrestler’s with 31 wins this season. Russell ranks second in the conference’s 141 lbs. bracket with a 27-0 record while Thorn’s opponent on Sunday, No. 7 Andrew Alton, ranks third at 25-4.

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).

The Road to Philadelphia
Minnesota has fielded one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2010-11 — having already taken on ten nationally ranked programs with three top-ten teams still to go. The Gophers are 7-3 against ranked opponents this year while all three losses have come against top-five teams.

500 for Robinson
Saturday’s dual at Michigan will mark the 500th dual in the head coaching history of J Robinson. Robinson holds a 370-126-3 coaching record — all at Minnesota — and holds the most wins among active Big Ten coaches.

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.

Feeling Right at Home
Minnesota is 13-6 all-time against Penn State in a series that dates back to 1985. But the Gophers have been extremely lucky against their conference foe as of late — winning seven in a row against the Nittany Lions. Penn State has not beaten Minnesota since Feb. 6, 1998 while the Nittany Lions have not won at Minnesota since Feb. 8, 1992.  Minnesota is 26-30-2 all-time against Michigan.

Big Ten Tourney Rematch
A rematch of last year’s Big Ten tournament third-place match is possible on Sunday should Penn State’s Brad Pataky compete against Zach Sanders at 125 lbs. Sanders, currently ranked fifth, earned 13-11 sudden victory win over Pataky last year to claim third place at the conference championship.

Two Matches, Two Wins
Twice in the 2010-11 wrestling seasons have Minnesota coaches called on redshirt sophomore Matt Mincey to compete in dual action, and twice has Mincey (10-5 overall)come away with wins despite wrestling in two different weight classes. The Apple Valley, Minn. native opened his dual season on Jan. 21 with a surprising 15-0 tech fall over Purdue’s Tommy Churchard in the 149 lbs. match before tallying an 11-8 decision against Sean Nemec of Ohio State last Saturday in a 157 lbs. match.

Honoring an Icon
Minnesota will honor one of the greatest wrestlers to ever don the Maroon and Gold on Sunday when the program celebrates Ness’ historic career. The four-time All-American was the first Gopher ever to win the prestigious Hodge Trophy and concluded his career with a national championship and a perfect 31-0 season in 2009-10. Ness sits first all-time in career pins (73) and third all-time in career victories (148) at Minnesota.

Robinson Celebrates 25 Years
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 next Sunday. Robinson has brought the program to a new level during his tenure including coaching the Gophers to the first three NCAA titles in school history (2001, 2002, 2007).

J Robinson 25th Anniversary Ceremony Set for Iowa

MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Minnesota will honor head wrestling coach J Robinson’s 25 years of service on Sunday, Feb. 20 when the No. 4 Gophers host No. 2 Iowa at Williams Arena. The long-time Gophers coach has brought Minnesota’s wrestling program to new heights since taking over the program in 1986 while the J Robinson name has become synonymous with amateur wrestling.

Robinson, a two-time National Coach of the Year, has guided the program to three national championships including the school’s first-ever NCAA title in 2001. Minnesota rewrote the record book that year, becoming the first team in NCAA championships history to record 10 All-Americans and the first team to capture the team title without placing a competitor in the final round. Minnesota would repeat as national champions in 2002 and add a third title in 2007.

Robinson has also coached 12 individual NCAA champions while 46 of his wrestlers have amassed a total of 97 All-America honors including the only six Gophers to earn All-American honors in each of their four years of eligibility.

A native of San Diego, Calif., Robinson has been labeled the “Dean of Big Ten Wrestling,” earning six conference championships and coaching 42 Gophers to individual Big Ten titles. Robinson has been named the conference’s Coach of the Year a record seven times.

The university will honor Robinson throughout the Minnesota/Iowa dual — one of the most anticipated events of the year in college wrestling – including a 25th anniversary celebration preceding the dual and a commemorative poster and t-shirt giveaway for fans.

No. 4 Minnesota returns to action this weekend at No. 14 Michigan on Friday night before taking on No. 3 Penn State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers then close out the regular season against Iowa a week later at 2 p.m. at Williams Arena.

Cobbers Ranked 6th, Have 6 Ranked

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Concordia jumped to No.6 in the team rankings and Concordia has six wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of the nation.

Fresh off their wins over DIII nationally ranked teams Augsburg and St. John’s and their win over Division II nationally ranked MSU Moorhead, the Cobbers climbed to their highest ranking in school history. Concordia was also ranked sixth for one week in the beginning of December last year. Concordia is currently 10-2 in dual meets and has won eight straight duals.

Concordia has six wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of the nation which is the most they have ever had in one ranking period. It ties for the most of any team in the Great Lakes Region and is among the top for all teams in the nation.

Cobber senior Phil Moenkedick continued to hold tight to his spot as the top wrestler in the 184-lb weight class. Moenkedick, the defending national champion, is currently 26-1 on the season and has won 24 straight matches after losing to Kevin Steinhaus of the University of Minnesota in the opening invite of the season. Steinhaus is currently ranked No.8 in Division I and is 25-8 on the year.

Despite not losing since Jan. 8, Justin Berns dropped from No.5 to No.6 at 157. Berns is currently 22-3 on the year and has won 18 of his last 19 matches. His only loss during that time came to Carrington Banks of Wartburg who is ranked No.3 in Division III

Moenkedick and Berns recently surpassed the school record for wins in a career. They both have 126 career wins which is two better than the old mark of 124 held by Steve Larsen.

The other Cobber wrestlers ranked in the top 10 include Ben Presler, Daron Hohbein, Ross Dankers and Tom Bouressa. Presler is 16-11 on the year and ranked No.6 at 125. He has won eight off his last nine matches. Hohbein is ranked 10th at 133 and is 10-4 this season. Dankers, a 2010 All-American, is 19-6 on the year and ranked fifth at 174. He has been in the top 10 of the nation the entire season. Bouressa is the newest member of the Cobber national ranking crew. Entering the top 10 for the first time in his career, Bouressa is 19-4 on the year and ranked No.10 at 285. He has won 15 of his last 16 matches with his only loss coming to John Helgerson of Wartburg who finished second in the NCAA national meet last season, is currently the No.1 ranked wrestler in the nation and is 35-4 on the year.

Concordia has one more dual meet in the 2010-11 season before competing in the NCAA Great lakes Regional. The Cobbers will square off against the University of Mary on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Bismarck, N.D.

MSU-Moorhead 30 Minot State 9

MINOT, N.D. – The No. 20 ranked Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons wrestling team took on their final road opponent of the 2010-11 season against future NSIC opponent Minot State (N.D.). The Beavers received a free pass at 125 pounds but gained little else as the Dragons stole the show, winning 30-9.

Redshirt junior Corey Ulmer was inactive against the Beavers, which gave the home team a 6-0 lead. The Dragons opened up their night at 133 pounds with redshirt senior Evan Forde who took on Robert Herrera. Herrera chose the bottom position to start the second and Forde nearly made him pay for it, gaining a three-point nearfall.

Forde denied Herrera any points in the third, choosing to go neutral and taking the two minutes of riding time to a 4-0 win. After a loss at 141 pounds toConnor MacGregor who was in the lineup for Brady SchneebergerTyler Steinwand continued his hot streak with a 15-5 major decision win over Jon Wilson at 149 pounds.

Steinwand worked Wilson over for points from the start, gaining a takedown then releasing Wilson three times in the first to lead 6-3. In the third, Steinwand racked up more points, escaping 32 seconds into the final period. Steinwand took down Wilson twice in the final minute, gaining a three-point nearfall to work his way up to the 10-point win.

Much like Steinwand, redshirt senior Tallen Wald gained majority of his points in the final period of the 157-pound match against Marcus Wilson. Wald led 4-0 after two periods as a result of a takedown and reversal in the first and second periods, respectively.

In the third, Wald reversed Wilson 19 seconds into the period, but Wilson escaped 11 seconds later. A little over half way through the period, Wald took down Wilson and nearly pinned him 18 seconds later. Riding time finished off Wilson for an 11-1 major decision win for Wald.

The most impressive win of the night belonged to Tyler Kivel at 165 pounds against Coby Carson. Carson gained a takedown half way into the opening period but would have no more success as Kivel escaped to trail 2-1. Kivel took down Carson and followed it up with a three-point nearfall to lead 6-2.

In the third period, Kivel chose the top position and nearly pinned Carson three separate times, twice for two points and a three-point nearfall. A total of 2:34 of riding time gave Kivel a 14-2 major decision win, the third in a row for the Dragons.

Trent Sovde got back on the winning track at 174 pounds against Cristian Molina. Sovde took Molina down 53 seconds into the match but Molina managed to escape 17 seconds later. Sovde gained another point in the second by escaping to lead 3-1 after the second. Sovde’s two takedowns sealed the win for Sovde by a final of 7-2.

Freshman Kody Kalkbrenner also had a bounce back win of his own at 184 pounds when he faced Luke Michaelson. Kalkbrenner and Michaelson battled in the first period as Kalkbrenner gained a mid-period takedown but Michaelson countered with an escape and a quick takedown of his own. Not to be out done, Kalkbrenner reversed Michaelson to end the period, up 4-3.

In the second, Kalkbrenner forged ahead with a takedown and a three-point nearfall to end the period on his way to a 9-5 win. With the nearly secured,Brian Woelfel showed how tough on top he could be against Wade Weppler. Woelfel gained a takedown, scoring two more points to open up a 4-0 lead.

In the period, Weppler chose the bottom position in an effort to gain points but Woelfel refused to yield, finishing with over four minutes of riding time for a 5-0 win.

In the final match, redshirt senior Jon Swart proved it was a matter of time for Sean Small at heavyweight. Swart took down Small 1:17 into the period, nearly pinning Small a minute later. As the period was closing to an end, Swart finished off Small with a pin at 2:46.

The Dragons won eight of the nine matches on the night, most of them in convincing fashion for the 30-9 win. The win brings the Dragons record to 5-8 on the season. The Dragons return home for the remainder of the regular season, starting with a conference dual against Northern State (S.D.) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The dual is the annual John Sterner Endowment Dual, which benefits the Dragons wrestling program. The entire cost of admission goes toward the fund, which helps MSU-Moorhead wrestling scholarships.

Coach Sterner was the Dragons’ head coach from 1988 until 2003. During that time Coach Sterner had a coaching record of 137-92-1 and was inducted into the Minnesota Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in April of 2010.

MSU-Moorhead 30 Minot State 9
125: Kellan Zietz (Minot) For Forfeit (Moor)
133: Evan  Forde (Moor) DEC Herrera, Robert (Minot) 4-0
141: Deon Buhl (Minot) DEC Connor MacGregor (Moor) 11-7
149: Tyler Steinwand (Moor) MD Jon Wilson (Minot) 15-5
157: Tallen Wald (Moor) MD Marcus Wilson (Minot) 11-1
165: Tyler Kivel (Moor) MD Carson, Coby (Minot) 14-2
174: Trent Sovde (Moor) DEC Cristian Molina (Minot) 7-2
184: Kody Kalkbrenner (Moor) DEC Luke Michaelson (Minot) 9-5
197: Brian Woelfel (Moor) DEC Wade Weppler (Minot) 5-0
285: Jon Swart (Moor) FALL Sean Small (Minot) 2:46