Though I am sure neither head coach is thrilled about the final score of their respective duals with #1 ranked St. Cloud State, the reality is that both Minot State’s Evan Forde and Mary’s Adam Aho came away from their drubbings in better position than they were before.
For the Beavers, heavyweight Mitch Eull scored a 3-2 victory over tenth ranked Lawrence Phillips after falling victim to Phillips 9-4 earlier in the season. The win should put Eull in good position a month from now at the super regional, where Eull could get seeded as high as second should he win the remainder of the NSIC matches on his schedule. The other victory for the Beavers Friday night came in come from behind fashion from sophomore 125 Dean Arevalo. Arevalo has proven to be a nice spark plug at the start of duals, and though his win didn’t come against St. Cloud’s top 125 (national champion Brett Velasquez), Arevalo is a strong underclassman that should produce nice dividends for coach Forde down the road. The other thing that coach Forde is getting from his guys up and down the lineup is effort. Minot State doesn’t look tike the team that would have been trounced in individual bouts with St. Cloud in the past. Coach Forde is continuing to close the gap on the better teams in the NSIC and I expect that will show up in the team score at some point this season.
Like Eull, Mary 165 pound freshman Phillip Springsteen scored a victory over a ranked St. Cloud grappler he had previously been beaten by. Springsteen fell in overtime to #6 ranked Travis Holt last November, but was dominant this time around, scoring a 5-2 decision on the strength of two takedowns and a lot of riding time. If Springsteen has improved from neutral the way he showed against Holt, the Washington native is going to be very tough to beat one month from now at the super regional. Mary’s only other victory of the match came from #9 ranked Tate Barnhardt at 133. Barnhardt continues to be a model of consistency, and the junior from Bismarck put together the most complete match of his college career against a game Adam Hedin. Barnhardt’s scrambled well for scores from all positions, and his bottom wrestling is becoming an asset for the first time in his career. Marauder fans can also get excited about new 157 Jared Reis, who was defeated by #1 ranked Larry Bomstad 4-2 after only a week of full time practice under his belt. If Reis gets his conditioning locked in over the next month, expect him to be a national title contender.
Other Weekend Tidbits
*Mary was without #8 ranked Rudy Guillen for their match with St. Cloud on Sunday. Guillen is still recovering from a flu strain that has been particularly debilitating this winter. Expect to see him back and healthy Sunday at Moorhead.
*Ryan Blees had a fantastic showing for Virginia Tech against Edinboro Friday evening. Blees scored an 18-4 major decision victory over Edinboro’s Peter Pappas in a match the Hokies won 20-15. Blees has been impressive since filling the void at 149 left by Solomon Chisko. Chisko was back in the lineup for the Hokies Sunday vs. Pitt, so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out for Blees.
*NDSU laid an absolute stinker at home against Wyoming on Sunday. If you don’t believe me, take if from Bison Director of Alumni Relations Nick Magee:
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I want to apologize to the fans who attended tonight’s <a href=”https://twitter.com/NDSUwrestling?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@NDSUwrestling</a> meet. That is not what Bison Wrestling is and WE are going to fix it. Starting now!</p>— Nick Magee (@nmagee81) <a href=”https://twitter.com/nmagee81/status/954911751937683456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 21, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The Bison have been wrestling uninspired lately, and their team is too talented to not show up at home against a former Wester Wrestling Conference rival. Hopefully NDSU can shake the rust off this weekend and Purdue and Northern Illinois Friday and Sunday.