Super Region 5 Preview: North Dakotans Set to Make Push to D2 Nationals

Minot State, The University of Mary, and individuals from MSU-Moorhead and Northern State with North Dakota roots will take to the mat this Saturday at Nemzek Hall on the campus of Minot State University with national qualification on the line.  The qualification process has changed a bit since last year.  In seasons past, four “Super Regionals” each qualified four wrestlers for a total of sixteen competitors at the national tournament.  This year, the NCAA shifted to six “Super Regionals” with the top three at each weight qualifying.  It is a good thing that two more wrestlers will qualify (18 compared with 16) at each weight, but that doesn’t make it any easier for wrestlers from the NSIC to qualify for the national tournament.  Gone from this year’s Super Regionals are two-day formats.  With around ten teams for every region, each regional will take place in a single day.  Also gone are the high stress true-fourth matches that made these regional must-watch television.  This year, the third place bouts will finish with one wrestler advancing to Cleveland and one going home.

Minot State is led in pre-seeding (subject to change at tonights coaches meeting) by 285 pound freshman Jordan Will.  Will was a two-time state champion at Bishop Ryan in Minto as a prep.  As a third seed, Will is in great position to qualify the Beavers for nationals at 285 for the second consecutive year.  Last season, Mitch Eull finished on the podium at 285.  Will lost only one NSIC dual match on the season, way back on December 5 to St. Cloud’s Zachary Muller.  Muller has been replaced in the St. Could lineup by Noah Ryan.  Should Will win his quarterfinal, he would likely wrestle Ryan in the semifinals with a spot at nationals on the line.  Will has not wrestled Region #1 seed Triston Westerlund of Upper Iowa this season.  Remember that Will played an entire football season for the Beavers, so he started the season late had has gotten stronger as the year has progressed.  Since the loss to Muller, Will has won 12 of 13 bouts.  His only loss in that span came by fall to #4 ranked Andrew Dunn of Kutztown.   Minot State’s other North Dakotans in the lineup, Tanner Crissler (Turtle Mountain) and Je-Mario Jones (Minot), are seeded sixth and tenth respectively.  Crissler is in his last season with the Beavers.

Minot State Seeds

125:  #7 Dean Arevalo

133:  #9 Oscar Nellis

141:  #5 Jared Sublet

149:  #6 Tanner Crissler

157:  #10 Zachary Berry

165:  #6 Nathan Baca

174:  #10 Anthony Raupp

184:  #7 Keegan Berry

197:  #10 Je-Mario Jones

285:  #3 Jordan Will

The Marauders are led by #1 Seed Tate Barnhardt.  Barnhardt, a two-time state champion from St. Mary’s Central in Bismarck is currently ranked fifth and has not been beaten in the region this year.  Barnhardt is 3-0 against #2 Justin Folley of Upper Iowa and 1-0 vs. #3 George Farmah of Mankato.  He has yet to meet potential semifinal opponents Arik Furseth (Parkside) and Garrett Vos (St. Cloud) this year, though Furseth did score a pin over Barnhardt last season.  Also seeded to qualify for Mary is 174 Phil Springsteen.  Springsteen is seeded second at 174 and could face a semifinal rematch of his penultimate bout of the regular season; a 7-5 win by decision decision over Lucas Poloncic of Augustana.  At 125, Marauder Nate Humann is seeded sixth in what is possibly the deepest weight class at the regional.  Humann fell to likely quarterfinal opponent Andrew McFall of Mankato 9-5 two weeks ago, but has a win over the top seeded Cole Jones of Moorhead.  After missing much of late January and early February to injury, 141 Hunter Eckert is back and ready to make a hard push toward national tournament qualification.  Eckert’s seed isn’t spectacular at seventh, but when healthy he is capable of beating everyone in the weight class.  Humann and Eckert are both Bismarck Century products.  The final local in the lineup for Mary is 157 Devin Steidler.  Steidler had his redshirt pulled late in the year after wrestling open competitions at 149 and is seeded ninth.

Mary Seeds

125:  #6 Nate Humann

133:  #1 Tate Barnhardt

141:  #7 Hunter Eckert

149:  #5 Max Bruss

157:  #9 Devin Steidler

165:  #7 Austin Eichmann

174:  #2 Phil Springsteen

184:  #10 Lance Jarrett

197:  #7 Ryan Stottler

285:  #4 Gerardo Jaime

Northern State is sending two Carrington products to the Super Regional in Walker Carr and Billy Holtan.  Carr is the fifth seed at 157, while Holtan is eighth at 165.

MSU-Moorhead senior Adam Blees will look to qualify at 174 from the fifth seed.  Blees’s likely quarterfinal tilt will be with Mankato’s Zach Johnston.  Johnston defeated Blees 3-1 in overtime in the last bout of the season.  At 141, Bismarck Century product Mason Schulz is seeded sixth.  Schulz will get Louie Sander of Mankato in the quarters.  Moorhead 285 Jordan Magnuson is seeded fifth.  Magnuson prepped at Valley City.

Watch live on Trackwrestling starting at 10:00 AM Saturday.

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