Wrestling Team Starts Season
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 15:11
The NDSU wrestling team hit the mat Saturday, hosting their 42nd annual Bison Open.
Colligate wrestlers from Minnesota, Minnesota State Moorhead, Concordia and South Dakota State flooded the BSA for the daylong event. The Bison have enjoyed great success in the Open in the past and Saturday the success continued.
Over the past four years, the Bison have accumulated a grand total of five individual champions, a number they reached Saturday alone.
The three national qualifiers from a season ago didn’t disappoint, as Trent Sprenkle, Steven Monk and Mac Stoll all won their brackets, cruising through Gophers on the way.
Sprenkle was the first Bison to be crowned Saturday, sneaking past Minnesota’s Samuel Brancale 6-5 in the 125 pound championship. Sprenkle proved his national ranking by pinning his first three opponents of the day, showing overall domination throughout the afternoon.
Monk successfully made his move into the 165-pound weight division, winning the weight class Saturday. Monk defeated Minnesota’s Dylan Reel, adding to the Bison championship tally to four on the day.
Stoll won the final championship for the Bison in the 184-pound division. Stoll stormed through the Gopher’s Brett Pfarr in the final, scoring 10-2. Much like his highly profiled teammates Sprenkle and Monk, Stoll put on a captivating performance being slowed by no one except for teammate and fellow-184-pounder, Kody Sorenson, losing to Stoll 2-0 in the semi-final match.
True freshman and 133-pounder Josh Rodriguez also won his weight division, along with senior Joe Garner who won the 149-pound division.
It was the first time since 2009 that the Bison won multiple championships at the Bison Open and also made it seven years straight with at least one individual title.
Three Bison also claimed runner-up finishes. True-freshman Justin Scherkenbach finished second in as many weeks in the 133-pound division, falling to teammate Rodriguez 7-6 in the final. Scherkenbach and Rodriguez will be an interesting duo for the Bison at the 133-pound division. Both true-freshmen have shown glimpses of greatness over the past two weekends. Last week in Brookings, Scherkenbach and Rodriguez finished second and third, starting their Bison careers smoking hot.
Senior Mark Erickson and sophomore Kurtis Julson also claimed runner-up finishes at 141 and 174 pounds, respectively.
Minnesota cleaned-up the rest of the championships, matching NDSU’s total with five on the day.
The Bison will look to continue their impressive start as they welcome the Broncos of Boise State this Friday at the BSA. Opening match is set for 7 p.m.