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St. Cloud State clinches NSIC championship

2/15/2013
St. Cloud State University Sports Information

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- The No. 1 ranked St. Cloud State University wrestling team (21-0, 8-0 NSIC) captured its second consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship with a convincing 29-6 victory over No. 8 ranked Minnesota State University (9-3, 6-1 NSIC) on Thursday, Feb. 14 in Halenbeck Hall.

The victory capped a historic night as the Huskies tied an NCAA Division II record by winning their 47th consecutive dual match victory. The last time the Huskies suffered a loss was an 18-13 setback against Augustana on Jan. 27, 2011. The 47 straight wins by the Huskies ties the Division II record previously set by Pittsburgh-Johnstown from Dec. 2, 1994-Nov. 20, 1996.

To make the evening more epic, the victory was SCSU's coach Steve Costanzo's 100th career victory with the Huskies. In seven seasons, Costanzo now owns an impressive 100-23 career ledger at SCSU.

The match opened at 125-pounds with a 6-0 victory by MSU's David Demo over SCSU's No. 3 ranked Eric Forde. The Huskies quickly regained control of the match with a 5-2 win at 133-pounds by No. 3 Andy Pokorny over No. 7 Alphonso Vruno of MSU.

SCSU stretched its lead to 6-3 with a 6-1 win by Jay Hildreth over MSU's Nathan Hennes at 141-pounds. Jacob D. Horn, one of nine seniors saluted tonight in their final regular season appearance at home, increased SCSU's match lead to 9-3 with a 6-4 victory at 149-pounds over MSU's Thomas Allen.

The Huskies earned bonus points at 157-pounds as No. 7 Clint Poster notched a big 16-0 tech fall win over MSU's Sawyer Hoffman. Poster finished the match up at 3:41 to gain those important five points.

The Mavericks snapped SCSU's win streak at 165-pounds as No. 7 ranked Cody Quinn grabbed a 5-2 win over SCSU's Gabe Fogarty. The Huskies then settled matter with four consecutive wins to ice the contest.

At 174-pounds, senior Kurt Salmen edged MSU's Brendan Eichmann with a 3-2 decision win to make the score 17-6. At 184-pounds, No. 1 ranked senior Shamus O'Grady pushed his season record to 32-1 with a 7-4 win over No. 4 ranked Aaron Norgren of MSU. The victory was O'Grady's 100th career win in the cardinal and black. The win also clinched the dual win for the Huskies.

To leave no doubt, SCSU's Chris Brassell scored a 4-1 win over Nathan Haynes at 197-pounds and then No. 2 ranked senior Jacob Kahnke finished the night with a 4:59 pin over Corby Running of MSU at 285-pounds.

"Minnesota State is a much improved team this season and I certainly didn't expect to win eight out of the 10 matches tonight," SCSU coach Steve Costanzo said. "I felt it was a very good performance on our part to get the win.

"To win the NSIC title means a lot to our program. To win the NSIC title is always one of our goals at the start of the season, and now we need to be focused and set our sights on the upcoming regional and national championships. You really go through your season as a way to prepare for the end of the year and from here on out it will be a sprint to the finish."

The Huskies will enjoy a brief break this weekend before heading down to the 2013 NCAA Division II Super Region 3 championships in Waterloo, Iowa on Feb. 24. SCSU is the two-time defending NCAA Division II regional champions. This meet serves as the qualifying round for the upcoming NCAA Division II championships on March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala.

Results:
125 David Demo, MSM, dec. Eric Forde, SCS, 6-0
133 Andrew Pokorny, SCS, dec. Alphonso Vruno, MSM, 5-2
141 Jay Hildreth, SCS, dec. Nathan Hennes, MSM, 6-1
149 Jacob D. Horn, SCS, dec. Thomas Allen, MSM, 6-4
157 Clint Poster, SCS, tech. fall Sawyer Hoffman, MSM, 3:41 16-0
165 Cody Quinn, MSM, dec. Gabe Fogarty, SCS, 5-2
174 Kurt Salmen, SCS, dec. Brendan Eichmann, MSM, 3-2
184 Shamus O'Grady, SCS, dec. Aaron Norgren, MSM, 7-4
197 Chris Brassell, SCS, dec. Nathan Haynes, MSM, 4-1
285 Jake Kahnke, SCS, pinned Corby Running, MSM, 4:59

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