Wrestling ready to rumble

The team is getting prepared for the regional tournament in St. Cloud this weekend

Jake Rinehart
Staff Writer

The Mavericks wrestling team will be in action this weekend as they will travel to St. Cloud to compete in the NCAA Division II Super Regional 3 Tournament.

This will be a two-day tournament on Friday and Saturday.

The regional tournament is a qualifier for the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships hosted by Upper Iowa, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 9-10.

The top-four finishers from each weight class in the Super Regional 3 Tournament this weekend will advance to the national championships.

Minnesota State enters the weekend ranked No. 11 in the nation. The Mavericks are the third-highest rated NSIC team, following No. 1 St. Cloud State and No. 6 Upper Iowa.

This will be a very competitive tournament, as six of the 15 teams competing in St. Cloud are ranked in the NWCA Top-25 poll, while four other teams are receiving votes as well.

Four ranked Mavericks will lead the team into the tournament this weekend. Zach Johnston is the highest rated Minnesota State wrestler, ranked No. 4 in the 174-pound weight class. Johnston has accumulated an 18-5 record this season including a team-high 14 decision victories.

Andrew McFall and All-American Corey Abernathy are ranked fifth and sixth in their respective weight classes. McFall has an overall record of 15-5 this season at the 125-pound weight class and is 7-3 in duals for the Mavericks. Abernathy is 15-4 in the 184-pound weight class and will be looking to return to the National Championship tournament after finishing eighth a year ago.

Daniel Close is the ninth-rated wrestler at 157-pounds with a 17-4 overall record. Close has won his last four matches including an upset of then ranked No. 1 Larry Bomstad of St. Cloud State. Bomstad is currently ranked No. 3 in the 157-pound weight class.

Matthew Blome and Kyle Rathman will enter the regional tournament holding team-highs for Minnesota State. Blome earned All-American status a season ago with an eighth-place finish at the National Championships and leads the Mavericks with six falls this season. Freshman wrestler Rathman holds a team high 19 wins this season contributing to his 19-4 record.

For the first time ever, Trackwrestling, a provider of live streaming, event management and scoring services for wrestling teams, clubs and leagues, will stream live coverage from all 10 sites of the 2018 NCAA Division II and III Wrestling Championships regionals.

Additionally, and the NCAA Sports app — managed by Turner Sports — will feature live coverage of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Mavericks have an opportunity in this tournament to make a name for themselves, and it all starts for them this Friday, in St. Cloud.

Photo: (Aditiya Dhapare/MSU Reporter)

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