The Minnesota State wrestling team is prepared for the NCAA Division-II Super Region Three Tournament this weekend in Moorhead, Minn. This is the step before the National Championship tournament and the top four wrestlers in each weight class will earn an invitation.
“We are excited for the opportunity that we have this weekend. Our Super Region is stacked and will be a grind, but we’ll be up for the challenge,” said Head Coach Jim Makovsky. The starting ten wrestlers will be heading up for the Super Regional. Six of the ten are currently ranked in the top six in the region. Senior Adam Cooling holds the number one ranking in the region and third ranked nationally in the 174-pound weight class. The former All-American leads the Mavericks in wins this season (28-2). Last year he finished third in this tournament and third in the National Championship.
Junior Corey Abernathy is ranked third in the region in the 184-pound weight class. This is Abernathy’s second appearance in the super regional. Redshirt freshman Louie Sanders is currently fourth in the region in the 141-pound weight class. This is his first appearance in this tournament. Junior Dylan Herman (157 lbs.), sophomore Daniel Close (149 lbs.), and freshman Mathew Blome (197 lbs.) all are ranked sixth in the region in their respective weight class. This will be Herman’s and Close’s second appearance in this tournament. Close came very close to an invitation to the National Championship last year, finishing sixth in the Super Regional.
Coach Makovsky certainly has the mentality of a hard-nosed wrestling coach.
“Our goal is to be healthy, happy and hungry and motivated to wrestler to the best of our ability. This is what we train for. We welcome tough challenges. The results will take care of themselves. We don’t deserve anything. We’ll have to earn it,” Makovsky said.
As a team, the Mavericks are ranked seventh in the latest regional poll. First place in the region is interconference foe, St. Cloud State. Since the holiday tournament in Colorado, the Mavericks have been on a tear. They finished the rest of their duals 7-1 with their only loss coming from top-ranked St. Cloud. The Mavericks finished the regular season second place in the NSIC and are currently tied for 19th Nationally.
“I have no clue on what our wrestler’s chances are,” Makovsky said. “I choose to focus on getting them ready to go. All ten have a golden opportunity this weekend.”
The matches will begin at 10 A.M. on Friday and Saturday. After completion of the Super-Regional Finals, there will be a short break. The National Championship is on March 10 in Birmingham, Ala.