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DSU’s Hellinger reaches semifinals at national tournament

TOPEKA, Kan. — After a grueling, 14-hour day of wrestling, one Dickinson State wrestler is still alive for a championship title.

Senior Jesse Hellinger finished day one of the NAIA National Championships in the semifinal bracket for 197 pounds on Friday and is set to face Missouri Valley senior Josh Manu in the third session today.

Hellinger received a first round bye and cruised his way to the semis with a 6-2 decision over senior Scott Stuart and a quick pin of Southern Oregon junior Charles Johnson in 1 minute, 42 seconds.

DSU’s other qualifiers — senior Brian Klevis (285), sophomores Skyler Carroll (197) and Sean Elkins (157) and freshman Seth Ehlang (141) — lost their opening matches to find themselves in the consolation brackets. All four wrestlers are out of contention for placing in their respected weight classes but battled until the end.

At heavyweight, Klevis was close to advancing in each of his matches, but was pinned with five seconds to go in the first and with one second left in his final match against Life University (Ga.) freshman Jacob Roza.

In the team standings, Grand View University (Iowa) finds itself on top with 113 points followed by Frontier Conference foes University of Great Falls (Mont.) and Montana State-Northern with 51 and 50 points, respectively. DSU is currently in 21st place with 16.5 points.

The tournament will resume at 10 a.m. with championship matches starting at 7 p.m. today.