|141||Starter||Next Man||Keep your eye on|
|Taylor Nein-Possible Redshirt|
141 is the real question mark weight class for the Bison this season. Bismarck native Taylor Nein took this spot from more seasoned teammates last year as a true freshman and finished with a 9-16 (5-12 duals) record. It seems likely that Nein will use his redshirt this year. That leave California native Nico Colunga, who was thrust into a similar position that Nein was in -true freshman starter- two years ago at 133. Colunga redshirted last winter and hit the weights hard, so 141 looks to be his spot at the moment. Colunga was 8-6 as a redshirt last year. Sam Hampton and Nate Smith the next men up as redshirt freshmen.
With Mitch Bengtson up to 149, will Kyle Gliva or Mitch Friedman attempt to make 141 should the come up short in wrestle offs? That will be something to watch for as the early part of the season unfolds.
|149||Starter||Next Man||Keep your eye on|
|SR||Mitch Bengtson||Mitch Friedman
After sustaining a major ankle injury during offseason workouts last year, NCAA qualifier Mitch Bengtson returns for his senior season with a vengeance. The big question coming into this season was whether or not Bengtson could get back to the 141 pound weight class that he held for the Bison up until the injury. Bengtson is going to make the move to 149, which presents NDSU with the unenviable position of have three capable seniors at that weight. Seniors Kyle Gliva and Mitch Friedman held this spot in tandem last year before Friedman wrestled the Big 12 championships.
After finishing 23-12 as a freshman and qualifying for NCAA’s, Bengtson was 16-12 as a sophomore and seemed to struggle offensively at times. I file a lot of the struggle Bengtson experienced under difficulty in making 141. That offseason, Bengtson looked strong wrestling 145 in the international styles, and I really expect him to have a nice senior season up a weight. Bengtson isn’t ranked to start the year, I think a jump into the top 20 by Christmas is certainly a possibility.
Bengtson is the front runner to win the spot, but this is probably the most important weight to follow November 5 at the intersquad scrimmage. Gliva and Friedman finished a combined 10-10 in dual competition last year, so both are capable of scoring wins for the Bison.
If Bengtson holds 149, it seems very likely that either Friedman or Gliva makes the cut to 141, but we can cross that bridge when the time comes.
Keep a eye on true freshman Gavin Sutton, who will redshirt this year with his sights set on taking this spot over next season. Sutton was an Illinois AA state champion last season and has the wrestling pedigree to transition easily into the grind of college wrestling.