Bronchos hold top spot in DII Men’s Coaches Poll heading into postseason

MANHEIM, Pa. – Heading into the 2024 postseason, the Central Oklahoma Bronchos are still the top team in NCAA Division II men’s wrestling, according to the latest edition of the National Wrestling Coaches Association DII Men’s poll, released Monday afternoon.

UCO topped the poll with 87 total points behind a poll-high eight ranked wrestlers. The Bronchos, along with #2 Lander, also feature a poll-high two top-ranked wrestlers in defending National Champions Dalton Abney at 197 and Shawn Streck at 285. Lander comes in at #2 with 80 total points and seven ranked wrestlers, highlighted by James Joplin (125) and David Hunsberger (165) at #1 in their respective weight classes.

Augustana made the jump from #14 to #3 in this edition of the poll, amassing 67 total points behind seven ranked individuals. St. Cloud State is in the four-spot with 57 points, with UW-Parkside and McKendree tied in the fifth spot with 48 team points each.

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Missouri 21 South Dakota State 19

Tanner Sloan gave South Dakota State a late lead with a pin in the 197-pound matchup, but Missouri’s Zach Elam had the final answer with a win by fall in the final match of the dual to give the seventh-ranked Tigers a 21-19 victory in Big 12 Conference wrestling action Sunday afternoon at Frost Arena.

Mizzou improved to 10-2 overall and 6-1 in the Big 12. SDSU, which entered the dual ranked 11th, dropped to 12-4 overall and 6-2 against league foes.

The fourth-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds, Sloan took on No. 8 Rocky Elam in a rematch of both the Big 12 individual championship (won by Elam) and an NCAA semifinal (won by Sloan) last season. Elam put the first points on the board with a takedown late in the opening period and chose a neutral start to the second stanza. Just seconds after he was warned for stalling, Sloan caught Elam in a headlock and took the Tiger wrestler to the mat, first on his side and then to his back, for the fall in 4 minutes and 38 seconds that brought the crowd of 1,841 fans to their feet.

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St. Cloud State 23 U Mary 13

St. Cloud State Clinches NSIC Championship with Win over U Mary

Huskies clinch 12th NSIC title in the last 13 seasons, finishes dual season 14-1 and 9-0 in NSIC duals

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – No. 5 St. Cloud State Wrestling (14-1, 9-0 NSIC) erased a 10-0 deficit after three matches to come back and defeat No. 13 U Mary (11-5, 6-3 NSIC), 23-13, on Sunday afternoon at Halenbeck Hall in St. Cloud. With the win, SCSU closed out its conference dual schedule with a perfect 9-0 mark to clinch a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Regular Season Championship, its 12th NSIC title in the last 13 seasons.

In addition to its 12th conference title in the last 13 seasons, the Huskies won their 17th overall conference championship in program history and recorded its 12th undefeated conference record in dual competition under head coach Steve Costanzo. SCSU is now 19-0 all-time against UMary, winning every dual since its first match on Feb. 16, 2007.

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Minot State 37 MSU Moorhead 8

Hayes Continues Hot Streak Against Beavers

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Hunter Hayes picked up his third win in a row to lead MSU Moorhead wrestling in the final regular season dual of 2023-24. Minot State defeated the Dragons 37-8.

The Dragons would fall in the first two matches of the afternoon as Hunter Hayes stepped in at 141 pounds. Hayes was riding high following a decision victory against the University of Mary on Thursday evening. The senior would jump out to an early advantage against Minot State’s Evan Vieira, scoring a takedown almost immediately in the first period. Hayes only needed three minutes to tech fall Vieira as he would score a pair of four-point near falls in the top position. With the 16-1 victory, Hayes collects his 10th win of the season and his third win in a row.

Gunnar Mogen would battle in his 149-pound bout against Minot State’s Ryan Hrcka. The two competitors were tied at seven points each in the third period, with Hrcka holding a bonus point. With both wrestlers in the neutral position, Mogen would continually try to attack Hrcka’s legs but was unable to fully wrap up and score a takedown. The bonus point proved to be the difference as Hrcka won 8-7.

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