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Photo by: Robby Gallagher

Jacks break for Vegas

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/30/2012 11:29:23

The South Dakota State wrestling team takes a break from dual competition in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Cliff Keen Invitational.

SDSU continued its tough stretch of non-conference duals in Missouri last weekend. The Jacks faced Pac-12 foe Stanford and SEC host and No. 6 Missouri. The Jacks led the Cardinal after five matches, but was unable to hold the lead in a 22-11 loss. In its second dual of the day, SDSU was overpowered 36-3 by a Missouri lineup sporting nine ranked wrestlers.

The losses dropped SDSU's record to 2-5 on the season.

First-year head coach Chris Bono and first-year assistant coaches Israel Silva and Andrew Sorenson lead SDSU. Bono posted a 39-17-0 record in three years at UT-Chattanooga, including a 15-0 SoCon record. His squad won three SoCon regular season and tournament championships and he was named SoCon Coach of the Year all three seasons.


Cliff Keen Invitational - In addition to SDSU, 31 other schools are scheduled to send participants to this year's invitational. Of those 31, 11 are ranked in the InterMat NCAA Division I tournament-strength rankings, the highest being Ohio State at No. 5.

Additionally, 76 wrestlers are ranked in the top-20 individually by InterMat. Four weights sport nine ranked wrestlers (149, 174, 184, 197) and no weight class sports less than five ranked wrestlers (165). Individual rankings are listed below.

SDSU Projected Competitors - Aaron Pickrel (125), Brance Simms (133), Ben Gillette (141), Dustin Walraven (149), Cody Pack (157), Joe Brewster (165), John Nething II (174), Hunter Weddington (184), Brandon Ballard (197), J.J. Everard (285)

Ranked Wrestlers at the Cliff Keen Invitational

125 (6) - No. 4 Alan Waters (Missouri), No. 5 Trent Sprenkle (NDSU), No. 8 Matt Snyder (Virginia), No. 10 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell), No. 11 Nikko Triggas (Ohio State), No. 13 Sean Boyle (Michigan)

133 (8) - No. 1 Logan Stieber (Ohio State), No. 4 Joe Colon (UNI), No. 8 Nathan McCormick (Missouri), No. 10 Brian Owen (Boise State), No. 11 Nick Arujau (Cornell), No. 17 George DiCamillo (Virginia), No. 18 Ian Nickell (CSU Bakersfield), No. 20 Colin Johnston (West Virginia)

141 (8) - No. 2 Hunter Stieber (Ohio State), No. 4 Michael Mangrum (Oregon State), No. 8 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin), No. 9 Mike Nevinger (Cornell), No. 12 Camryn Jackson (Michigan), No. 14 Nick Hucke (Missouri), No. 15 Steven Keith (Harvard), No. 20 Nathan Pennesi (West Virginia)

149 (9) - No. 4 Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State), No. 5 Jason Chamberlain (Boise State), No. 9 Eric Grajales (Michigan), No. 10 Cole VonOhlen (Air Force), No. 12 Derek Valenti (Virginia), No. 13 Cam Tessari (Ohio State), No. 16 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri), No. 17 Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska), No. 20 Daniel Young (Army)

157 (7) - No. 6 James Green (Nebraska), No. 13 Josh Kreimier (Air Force), No. 14 David Bonin (UNI), No. 15 Josh Demas (Ohio State), No. 16 Craig Eifert (Cornell), No. 17 George Ivanov (Boise State), No. 18 R.J. Pena (Oregon State)

165 (5) - No. 1 Kyle Dake (Cornell), No. 7 Nick Sulzer (Virginia), No. 8 Steven Monk (NDSU), No. 10 Taylor Massa (Michigan), No. 15 Zach Toal (Missouri)

174 (9) - No. 2 Nick Heflin (Ohio State), No. 8 Robert Kokesh (Nebraska), No. 9 Jon Fausey (Virginia), No. 12 Dom Kastl (Cal Poly), No. 13 Dan Yates (Michigan), No. 14 Cole Gracey (Army), No. 15 Matt Miller (Navy), No. 18 Todd Porter (Missouri), No. 20 Cody Caldwell (UNI)

184 (9) - No. 2 Steve Bosak (Cornell), No. 6 Josh Ihnen (Nebraska), No. 7 Ryan Loder (UNI), No. 9 Mike Larson (Missouri), No. 12 Jake Swartz (Boise State), No. 15 Casey Newburg (Kent State), No. 17 Mac Stoll (NDSU), No. 18 Ty Vinson (Oregon State), No. 20 Kevin Radford (Arizona State)

197 (9) - No. 1 Dustin Kilgore (Kent State), No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming), No. 5 Brent Haynes (Missouri), No. 11 Taylor Meeks (Oregon State), No. 12 Brent Chriswell (Boise State), No. 16 C.J. Magrum (Ohio State), No. 17 Jake Meredith (Arizona State), No. 19 Max Huntley (Michigan), No. 20 James Fox (Harvard)

285 (6) - No. 2 Dom Bradley (Missouri), No. 6 Chad Hanke (Oregon State), No. 10 Ben Apland (Michigan), No. 11 Levi Cooper (Arizona State), No. 15 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin), No. 18 Peter Capone (Ohio State)



The South Dakota State wrestling team was outpaced in a pair of duals in Columbia, Mo., by Stanford and Missouri.

The Jacks opened the weekend versus the Cardinal and, despite leading after five matches, was unable to hold in a 22-11 loss.

"We let the Stanford dual slip through our hands," head coach Chris Bono said. "Two true freshmen went out and won matches, but we were not consistent throughout the lineup. It was a dual we could have won, but it was a huge improvement from last week. The guys fought hard and did a much better job."

In its second dual of the day, SDSU faced host and No. 6 Missouri. The Tigers sported nine ranked wrestlers in today's starting lineup and raced to a 36-3 win.

"Joe Brewster beat the No. 13 wrestler at his weight in the country, which was our positive from the dual," said Bono. "As a team, we were over matched. Missouri had a ranked wrestler at every weight and is a top-10 team. I was pleased with our progress and improvement, but it is never fun to lose two duals."

"We will get back on the wrestling mat, get better and be on our way next week."

Stanford 22 - SDSU 11

The Jacks opened the weekend versus the Cardinal and, despite leading after five matches, was unable to hold in a 22-11 loss.

In the first match, Aaron Pickrel lined up at 125 pounds versus Evan Silver. Pickrel scored a takedown in the first period and added an escape in the second for a 3-0 lead entering the final period. But Silver rallied in the third set and won by 4-3 decision.

Brance Simms was next at 133. Simms led 4-1 after a solid first period and stayed on top 4-2 at the end of two. In the third period, Simms added one point for a 5-2 decision and evened the team score at 3-3.

At 141, Ben Gillette took on Josh Lauderdale. Gillette jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the first and pushed the lead to 6-3 after two. Gillette added to his lead and put the match out of reach, scoring a 9-4 decision and giving SDSU its first lead of the dual.

Dustin Walraven matched up at 149 and trailed after the first. Walraven battled back and pushed the score higher, but dropped the decision 12-10.

In the 157-pound match, Cody Pack raced out to a 10-2 lead after the first period. After putting up seven points in the second, Pack coasted to a tech fall and put the Jacks up 11-6.

Joe Brewster took the mat at 165, but was bested by major decision.

At 174, John Nething II took on Thomas Kimbrell. The two wrestled to a scoreless first period, but Nething II fell behind 3-2 and was unable to score the decisive takedown.

Trailing 13-11, the Jacks needed to win two of the final three matches to win the dual.

First, Shea Nolan competed at 184 pounds, but dropped a 7-1 decision.

In the 197-pound match, Brandon Ballard lined up for SDSU, but was unable to get on the board and dropped a 5-0 decision. The decision secured the win for the Cardinal.

In the final match of the day, J.J. Everard was bested by 9-4 decision.

Missouri 36 - SDSU 3

In its second dual of the day, SDSU faced host and No. 6 Missouri. The Tigers sported a ranked wrestler at every weight and raced to a 36-3 win.

Aaron Pickrel opened the day once again, but dropped a major decision to Alan Waters at 125.

At 133 pounds, Brance Simms lined up versus Nathan McCormick. Simms fell behind 2-1 after the first period and was unable to recover, dropping an 8-2 decision.

In the 141-pound match, Ben Gillette lost by fall to Trevor Jauch.

Dustin Walraven looked to turn the fortunes around at 149, but fell behind 4-1 and was unable to close the gap in a 5-1 decision loss to Drake Houdashelt.

Cody Pack also wrestled tough at 157, but dropped another close decision for the Jacks.

At 165, Joe Brewster scored the biggest win of the day, a 6-3 decision to put SDSU on the board.

John Nething II lost by major decision to Todd Porter at 174, as did Hunter Weddington to Mike Larson at 184.

Brandon Ballard lost by 11-4 decision to Brent Haynes at 197.

In the final match of the dual and the day, J.J. Everard was pinned by Dominque Bradley.

The Tigers sported nine ranked wrestlers in today's starting lineup.


Head coach Chris Bono and assistant coaches Israel Silva and Andrew Sorenson announced the signing of the sixth-best recruiting class in the nation (The Open Mat, Amateur Wrestling News).

Eight student-athletes joined the Jackrabbit wrestling team on signing day, including three ranked by Amateur Wrestling News. Brandon Brunner, Hank Goettl, Colin Holler, Coltan Laganiere, Paul Mascarenas, Austin Oyen, Nathan Rotert and Matt Seabold make up the best recruiting class in SDSU history.

The No. 6 ranking makes it the best recruiting class for any sport in the history of Jackrabbit athletics.


SDSU opens its home dual season with its lone competition in December. The Jacks take on the Cougars of SIUE for the fourth time in school history. Last season, SDSU defeated SIUE 25-15 in Edwardsville, Ill. The all-time series is tied at 1-1-1.

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