NDSU crowns 5 champs at Bison Open

FARGO, N.D. -- After claiming five Bison Open individual championships over the last four years combined, the North Dakota State wrestling team crowned five champions in the Bison Sports Arena on Saturday.

Senior Trent Sprenkle (125), unattached freshman Josh Rodriguez (133), senior Joe Garner (149), junior Steven Monk (165) and senior Mac Stoll (184) all went unbeaten on the day to win individual championships. It marked the seventh year in a row that at least one Bison came away with a title, but it was the first time since 2009 that NDSU won multiple championships at the Bison Open.

The five champions were NDSU's most at the Bison Open since crowning eight in 2003.

Unattached freshman Justin Scherkenbach, senior Mark Erickson and sophomore Kurtis Julson claimed runner-up finishes at 133, 141 and 174 pounds, respectively.

Sprenkle posted three consecutive pins to qualify for the finals and recorded a 6-5 decision over Samuel Brancale of Minnesota to wrap up North Dakota State's first title of the day.

Rodriguez, wrestling unattached at 133 pounds as a true freshman, recorded a 27-11 technical fall and two decisions to make the finals, before topping fellow NDSU true freshman Scherkenbach, 7-6.

Garner opened his day with two consecutive major decisions at 149 pounds. He notched a 12-5 decision over Zane Zeman of Minnesota in the semifinals and an 11-4 decision over Minnesota's Conrad Rangell in the finals.

Monk, the wins leader for the Bison at 157 last season, made the move up to 165 pounds and opened this year with two pins and two technical falls to advance to the finals. He defeated Minnesota's Dylan Reel in a 7-5 overtime decision to become NDSU's fourth champion of the day.

Stoll capped the championship run for the Bison at 184 pounds with a 10-2 major decision over Brett Pfarr of Minnesota. Stoll registered a first-round technical fall and a second-round pin, but his closest match of the day was a 2-0 decision over teammate Kody Sorenson in the semifinals.

Erickson dropped his finals match to No. 8 Nick Dardanes of Minnesota by injury default. Julson fell 6-0 to No. 5 Logan Storley of Minnesota.

North Dakota State will open its dual season on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Bison Sports Arena when it takes on No. 24 Boise State.


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