Blue Hawks win a pair at NAIA National DualsSPRINGFIELD, Ill. — If there’s such a thing as an extremely belated Christmas present, the Dickinson State wrestling team received one Saturday.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — If there’s such a thing as an extremely belated Christmas present, the Dickinson State wrestling team received one Saturday.
Senior heavyweight Jose Lopez gave his team a gift in the final match of the first-round dual against Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Saturday at the NAIA National Dauls.
Lopez pinned Theodore Furnish responded with a pin at 2 minutes, 35 seconds to close a 21-19 win and guarantee the Blue Hawks at least an eighth-place finish in the tournament.
“It came down to the last match,” DSU head coach Thadd O’Donnell said. “It was definitely a team effort in that dual. Jose needed a big win for us to move on.”
After the momentous match, DSU ran into No. 1-ranked Grand View (Iowa), which handled the Blue Hawks 39-8. DSU’s two wins came from Bryden Lazaro at 125 pounds and Jesse Hellinger at 184.
However, the Blue Hawks didn’t let a loss set the team back. They responded with a 28-12 win over Missouri Baptist in their final dual of the day. DSU is still in the hunt for fifth place.
Lazaro finished with two wins while Brad Steele (149), Cameron Schrempp (174) and Hellinger each supplied one win.
O’Donnell said one of the biggest bright spots was from the younger wrestlers toward the end of the day. Junior Robert Meador (133), senior Nester Ruleas (149), freshman Sean Elkins (157), freshman TJ Poole (165), freshman Skyler Carroll (197) and junior Brian Klevis (heavyweight) all notched wins in DSU’s win over Missouri Baptist.
“For us, coming off a loss against Grand View, the guys really stepped up,” O’Donnell said. “I’m really happy with our freshman stepping on the mat and wrestling hard for seven minutes.”
The Blue Hawk continue face against Midland University (Neb.) in the consolation semifinals at 8 a.m. today.
“It’s definitely a grind,” O’Donnell said. “We get to see all the top teams in the NAIA.”