Blue Hawks beat up WolvesThe Dickinson State wrestling team flexed its muscles and showed off its stamina Wednesday night at Scott Gymnasium.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson State wrestling team flexed its muscles and showed off its stamina Wednesday night at Scott Gymnasium.
Of the 10 matches, eight went the distance with DSU picking up wins in five.
The Blue Hawks, ranked No. 8 in NAIA, built a lead with three major decisions and topped off a 29-11 victory over Northern State, a NCAA Division II team from Aberdeen, S.D., with a technical fall and a pin late in the dual.
“They got it done,” DSU head coach Thadd O’Donnell said. “They understand how important each of those matches is and they know it’s one match. We’ve got to go from whistle to whistle.”
Bryden Lazaro, a 125-pound junior, and Matt Chambers, a 133-pound junior, opened the night with impressive shutout victories.
Lazaro scored an 8-0 major decision over Anthony Bruno and Chambers beat Tyler Frost by a 3-0 decision.
DSU really got going when in the final minute of senior Nestor Ruelas’ 149-pound match against Wolves sophomore Grant Steen, who had pinned him earlier in the season.
After both wrestlers refused to give up an inch in the first six minutes, Ruelas went to work, scoring a three-point near fall with 1:01 remaining and another just seconds later. A late two-point near fall and a riding-time point gave Ruelas a 9-0 major decision.
“That was a tight match,” O’Donnell said. “It could have went either way and we exploded in the third period.”
It had effect on the rest of the Blue Hawks, who improved to 17-2 in duals.
DSU junior Tyler Johnson came out at 157 and got a 7-1 decision over Gavin Larsen and senior Cameron Schrempp stayed in control throughout his match to pick up a 13-2 major decision against Anthony Navarro.
“They were probably a little more aggressive than we were,” Northern State head coach Pat Timm said. “We got caught in positions in matches we thought we could possibly win. We just got caught in bad position. We can’t win duals like that. Hat’s off to them. They outwrestled us.”
The Blue Hawks sealed the win when 184-pound junior Jesse Hellinger dominated Jeb Clay en route to a 16-0 technical fall 19 seconds into the third period.
Freshman Skyler Carroll put the icing on DSU’s cake with a pin over Baker Haar 1:18 into their 197-pound match.
“Our team performed extremely well,” Hellinger said. “Coming off that last loss (against the University of Great Falls) was hard. Tonight, doing what we did to a team that beat us up pretty good last year, it just feels good to come out and wrestle to our full potential.”
Northern State had its moments, however.
Senior heavyweight Matt Meuleners, ranked No. 1 in Division II, scored a 10-0 major decision over DSU backup Brian Klevis and Ian Muirhead stayed in control at 141 to earn a 9-1 major decision over DSU senior Elias Armendariz.
Jose Lopez, DSU’s nationally ranked heavyweight, was out with an illness. So was 157-pounder Sean Elkins. Both were late scratches from the lineup.
O’Donnell said the Blue Hawks’ depth was in focus Wednesday as Johnson stepped in for Elkins and Ruelas, starting at 149 for injured senior Brad Steele, picked up a huge win.
“It really makes the pressure on us, deciding who are 12 guys are that go to regionals,” O’Donnell said of the North Group national-qualifying tournament, which is Feb. 16 in Fremont, Neb.
“It’s cloudy right now, figuring out that lineup. I’ve turned into a basketball coach, deciding who’s going to be playing and who’s not. It’s a tough decision right now because we have guys who are wrestling pretty dang good. They’re making their statement for themselves and for the team.”
125: Bryden Lazaro, DSU, major dec. Anthony Bruno, 8-0. 133: Matt Chambers, DSU, dec. Tyler Frost, 3-0. 141: Ian Muirhead, NSU, major dec. Elias Armendariz, 9-1. 149: Nestor Ruelas, DSU, major dec. Grant Steen, 9-0. 157: Tyler Johnson, DSU, dec. Gavin Larsen, 7-1. 165: Blake Lundgren, NSU, dec. Jonathan Morales, 8-4. 174: Cameron Schrempp, DSU, major dec. Anthony Navarro, 13-2. 184: Jesse Hellinger, DSU, tech. fall Jeb Clay, 16-0, 5:19. 197: Skyler Carroll, DSU, pinned Baker Haar, 1:18. HWT: Matt Meuleners, NSU, major dec. Brian Klevis, 10-0.