Blue Hawks win final 2 matches to defeat MSU MoorheadJesse Hellinger said the Dickinson State wrestling team came into Wednesday night’s dual against Minnesota State Moorhead with an eye on closing out matches.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Jesse Hellinger said the Dickinson State wrestling team came into Wednesday night’s dual against Minnesota State Moorhead with an eye on closing out matches.
“The coaches have really been working with us on that,” Hellinger said. “They’ve been keeping adamant about busting it hard in the second and third period, make sure we stay heavy, stay strong and our lungs are as strong as they can be.”
The Blue Hawks had two big matches late as Hellinger and heavyweight Jose Lopez sealed the nonconference dual victory with a decision and a pin, respectively, to defeat the Dragons 28-16 at Scott Gymnasium.
Hellinger, wrestling up one weight class at 197 pounds after MSUM forfeited at 184, faced off against Dragons freshman Erik Lehmann and did exactly what his coaches asked him to do late in the match — he went hard in the final minute.
DSU led 19-16 after gaining six points from the forfeit and Hellinger all but sealed the victory with an 8-4 decision over Lehmann, last year’s North Dakota Class A state champion at 189 pounds, with a reversal and a three-point near fall in the final minute.
“He wrestled exactly the way he needed to,” DSU head coach Thadd O’Donnell said.
Lopez put the finishing touches on the victory, scoring a reversal with 45 seconds left in the second period of his match against Gerad Fugelberg and scoring a pin at 3:29.
“You’ve got to fight off your back and fight off bottom and we didn’t do that,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said. “We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and keep working hard. It’s not going to get any easier for us.”
The Dragons had their moments, however.
The dual opened with a close match at 125 between DSU sophomore Byrden Lazaro, ranked No. 5 in the NAIA, and MSUM senior Corey Ulmer, ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II.
It was their rubber match. They split their earlier two meetings.
After a back-and-forth first period, Ulmer finally gained the upper hand with a takedown 1:15 into the second period. The Wishek native held on for a 7-4 decision to hand Lazaro only his second loss of the season.
“We knew Bryden’s match was going to be a coin toss,” O’Donnell said. “If you wrestle that 10 times, it’d probably be 5-5.”
DSU bounced back, however, as Austin Frazier got ahead early and battled Matt Wuorinen to a 16-11 decision at 133.
DSU senior Adam Orton then picked up a convincing 10-1 major decision over Tyler Steinwand at 141 and junior Brad Steele gave the Blue Hawks a 13-3 lead when he pinned Derek Lee 3:42 into their 149-pound match.
“The middle matches were really huge for us, the way the guys wrestled,” O’Donnell said.
MSUM wouldn’t go away though, fighting back to take a 16-13 lead. Kerron Williams pinned Jake Sherburne in 5:38 at 157, Jacob Bennett beat Manny Reyes by a 10-3 decision and Trent Sovde picked up a 14-5 major decision against Kenny Finlayson at 174.
However, the open weight at 184 was crucial in DSU regaining the lead and the momentum.
Nelson said an eligibility issue kept one of his wrestlers at home.
“We found that out right before we took off today,” Nelson said. “It always hurts when you’ve got an open weight class, which you don’t like to see.”
It was the first dual of the season for DSU, which hosts the Blue Hawk Classic tournament on Saturday at Wienbergen Gymnasium.
“It starts us out for our weekend,” O’Donnell said. “The guys have been in the room and are going hard. … It’s good to see they can come out and perform and not vapor lock under the lights.”
125: Corey Ulmer, MSUM, dec. Bryden Lazaro, 7-4.
133: Austin Frazier, DSU, dec. Matt Wuorinen, 16-11.
141: Adam Orton, DSU, major dec. Tyler Steinwand, 10-1.
149: Brad Steele, DSU, pinned Derek Lee, 3:42.
157: Kerron Williams, MSUM, pinned Jake Sherburne, 5:38.
165: Jacob Bennett, MSUM, dec. Manny Reyes, 10-3.
174: Trent Sovde, MSUM, major dec. Kenny Finlayson, 14-5.
184: Clayton Steinmetz, DSU, open.
197: Jesse Hellinger, DSU, dec. Eric Lehmann, 8-4.
HWT: Jose Lopez, DSU, pinned Gerad Fugleberg, 3:29.