St. Cloud State captures third consecutive Super Region championship
WATERLOO, Iowa -- No. 1 St. Cloud State captured its third consecutive Division II Super Regional III championship on Sunday at Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa.
The Huskies posted 140.5 team points ahead of second-place Upper Iowa with 95.5 points. SCSU captured four individual titles at the region tournament and will advance nine wrestlers to the upcoming NCAA Division II championships on March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala.
SCSU senior Shamus O'Grady was named the tournament's Most Valuable Wrestler for his first place finish at 184 pounds.
The Huskies also brought home first-place finishes at 133 pounds by senior Andy Pokorny, 157 pounds by redshirt freshman Clint Poster and 285 pounds by senior Jacob Kahnke. SCSU gained second-place finishes at 125 pounds by sophomore Eric Forde and 149 pounds by Jacob D. Horn.
SCSU wrestlers also earning trips to the DII championships for third-place finishes at the regional include freshman Matt Nelson at 141 pounds, freshman Gabe Fogarty at 165 pounds and senior Kurt Salmen at 174 pounds.
O'Grady charted a 4-0 record for the Huskies at 184 pounds as he charted two major decisions in the opening rounds of the regional. In the semifinals, O'Grady scored a 6-2 win against No. 5 Sean Derry of Augustana. He capped the day with a big 2-0 win against Aaron Norgren of Minnesota State.
In another big win for the Huskies, Kahnke gained a thrilling 3-1 win in overtime against 1 Matt Meulners of Northern State. To reach the showdown against the two-time defending national champ from NSU, Kahnke scored two wins in the opening rounds and then scored a 3-0 win against James Malechek of UW-Parkside.
At 133 pounds, No. 3 Pokorny opened with wins in the first two rounds before charting a 9-2 win against Alphonso Vruno of MSU. In the title bout, Pokorny gained a big 4-1 win against Upper Iowa's Trevor Franklin.
At 157 pounds, Poster gained a first-round bye and added a second-round win to set up a 4-0 win against No. 3 seed Bryce Lumzy of Upper Iowa. In the title match, Poster grabbed the title with 7-2 win against Joey Moorhouse of Maryville.
At 149 pounds, Horn received a first-round bye and won his quarterfinal match. In the semi's Horn charted a 4-1 win against No. 1 seed Nate Herda of Augustana. In the bout for first place, Horn dropped a 4-1 match to Keenan Hagerty of Maryville.
The Huskies added another second place finish at 125-pounds. Forde received a first place bye and posted a quarterfinal victory over NSU's Anthony Bruno. In the semi's, Forde charted a key 2-1 decision over #2 seed David Demo of MSU. In the bout for first, Forde lost a 5-0 decision against #1 seed Alex Johns of Indianapolis.
At 141 pounds, Nelson gained a quarterfinal technical fall over Matt Ruby of Minot State. In the semi's Nelson suffered a 4-3 loss to Justin Kieffer of Indianapolis. Nelson charged back with a pair of wins in the wrestlebacks that was capped by a 16-6 win over Angel Vega of MSU Moorhead in the bout for third place.
At 165 pounds, Fogarty earned a first round win before losing in the quarterfinals. In the wrestlebacks, Fogarty stayed alive with a 6-5 decision against Northern State's Blake Lundgren. He then added a 7-3 win against Wade Gobin of UIU. In the bout for third place, Fogarty scored a 12-5 win over Jeff Weiss of Indianapolis.
Salmen earned his trip to the NCAA finals with his third place ending at 174 pounds. After a first-round bye, Salmen scored a 6-3 win against Shelby Mappes of Indianapolis. In the semi's Salmen lost a close 3-2 match to Blake Sorensen of UIU. Salmen fired back with a 4-1 win against No. 1 seed Brendan Eichmann of MSU in the wrestlebacks and then scored a 10-1 major against Josh Anthony of UW-Parkside in the bout for third.
At 197 pounds, SCSU's Chris Brassell won a first-round match against Micah Larson of SMSU. He lost in the quarterfinals and then advanced to the wrestleback semi's before losing to Davien Willis of UW-P. In the bout for fifth place, Brassell lost a close 6-5 decision to Northern State's Chad Gibson.
The four individual titles marks the most Super Region 3 titles won by the Huskies.