Just when things look to be on the up and up, Minnesota State is met with a harsh smack back to reality. The Mavericks fell to both Minot State and number fourteen-ranked Augustana over the weekend. Sitting even with a record of 5-5, things do not look to be in favor of MSU with only two games left in the regular season.
Friday, things were looking good for MSU as they took on the Beavers. Freshman Kole Marko, junior Mike Smith, and Senior Brody Nielsen all claimed decision wins to give them a 9-0 lead for MSU. However, the streak was short-lived as Minot junior, Dustin Swisher, defeated Dylan Butts by decision.
However, the true shock of the night was in the Heavyweight matchup. As senior Darrell Mason squared off against Minot sophomore, Jake Swirple, who is considered to be the best wrestler in the conference. Mason ended up claiming a 2-1 decision win over Swirple to give him the biggest win of the year. Following the win, Mason, while excited, remained humble after a massive win.
“It was great just having my boys with me, being out there and seeing a lot of the guys I coached for summer camps at home, and just being able to get back to winning. It’s just another win and it goes back to going over the basics and fundamentals. So, I am just trying to enjoy the journey and to keep improving,” said Mason
With a lead of 12-3, it seemed like the Mavs would once again dominate their opponent. However, things started to turn sour for the Mavs entering the halfway point. A forfeit victory by MSU would cut the deficit down to three. It was then followed by Minot sophomore, James Davis, claiming the decision win over MSU sophomore, Isaiah Mlsna, to tie it at 12-12.
Entering the final matches, MSU senior, Brock Luthens, tried to get the team started with a majority decision win to put them up by four. However, the Beavers responded as Minot sophomore, Kelby Armstrong, made it a one-score game after beating MSU sophomore, Willie Bastyr. The final match between Minot senior Nathan Baca and MSU sophomore Drake Hayward decided the winner.
In the end, Baca emerged victorious after defeating Hayward via the decision, to give the Beavers the victory. Following the match, Darrell Mason talks about how the next few games are not changing his own approach as well as his teammates.
“Same old, same old if I am being honest. Going out there every night, being ready to compete at the highest level, and making sure we are having fun and enjoying ourselves. Nothing’s changed and it’s business as usual,” said Mason.
Header Photo: The MSU Wrestling team falls just shy of the win with a 18-16 loss against Minot State Thursday, Feb. 2 in the Taylor Center. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)
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