Following last week’s tough loss, Minnesota State Wrestling bounced back without hesitation. After trailing by 10 points midway through the match, the Mavericks would mount a comeback to defeat Southern Minnesota State 26-18.
The victory would also be a historical milestone for Head Coach, Jim Makovsky. He earning both his 300th career and becoming the winningest coach in school history, passing the former legendary coach Rummy Macias. While such a massive achievement, Coach Makovsky cannot take all the credit for his work.
“I just take it one match at a time and the wins pile up. We have had a lot of people who have contributed, and it really isn’t about me. We have a great program and history which is special, but that is the case with every match as well. It is a bunch of special matches that have really added up over time,” said Makovsky.
The match was a tight contest, which saw the Mavericks jump out to an eight-point lead in their first two matches. However, going into the third match, the lead would slowly dwindle after SMSU sophomores Caden Sterns and Carter Marx put the Mustangs up by one. Entering match four, SMSU junior Jacob Dykes gave them a 12-8 lead and a horn down motion to fans in attendance.
Moving over to the lower weight classes, momentum would swing back in favor of the Mavericks. After losing three straight, MSU sophomore Isaiah Mlsnacut the lead down to seven, following a gutsy win. The Mavericks then turned up the heat after freshman Caleb Meunier pinned SMSU’s Tyler Soltau within the opening seconds to give the Mavericks a 23-18 lead. Putting the Mavericks out in front after trailing for three straight matches.
Entering the final match, MSU sophomore Drake Hayward matched up with SMSU sophomore Sean Howk. A scoreless first period led to Hayward receiving two points in the second period from an escape and a stalling call on SMSU. Hayward also got an escape in the third, giving him the 3-2 decision win and finalizing the team score at 26-18 MSU.
The Mavericks now earn their fourth win of the season and their first win at home, having momentum on their side as they prepare to take on Saint Cloud State next weekend. Even for the comeback, Coach Makovsky still thinks they have a lot to work on following the team’s win.
“It’s nine or ten different guys who are all separate. Whether we are up or down, it really did not matter. It wasn’t our best showing. We weren’t hitting their angles or going to their ties and getting into position, so we have a lot to work on going forward,” said Makovsky.
Write to Charlie Groebner at Charles.Groebner@mnsu.edu
Header Photo: MSU Men’s Wrestling are back in the win column with a 26-18 win Saturday, Jan. 14 against SMSU. Head Coach, Jim Makovsky, also reached an all-time career high of 300 coaching wins. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)