Led by technical fall victories from two-time NCAA qualifiers David Kocer and Seth Gross, the South Dakota State wrestling team closed out the dual season with a 22-12 victory over rival North Dakota State before 2,324 fans Friday night at Frost Arena.
In retaining the Border Bell traveling trophy, the 12th-ranked Jackrabbits ran their dual winning streak to 14 matches in improving to 14-2 overall. SDSU also finished undefeated in Big 12 Conference duals for the first time with an 8-0 record. NDSU dropped to 7-10 overall in duals and 1-7 in the Big 12.
Trailing 6-0 through two matches, Kocer put the Jackrabbits on the board with a 16-1 technical fall over Dylan Urbach in the 174-pound match. Ranked 10th and a Wagner native, Kocer scored a two-point near-fall in the first period and added four more back points after his second takedown of the match in the second period for a 10-0 lead.
Martin Mueller followed with an 11-5 decision over Charley Popp to give SDSU the lead for good. Nate Rotert, ranked 11th at 197 pounds, scored on a takedown in the closing seconds to edge Cordell Eaton, 3-1, to up the Jackrabbit lead to 11-6 at the halfway mark of the dual.
After NDSU drew to within 11-9 on a win at heavyweight by Dan Stibral, the Jackrabbits put together another three-match winning streak in the lower weights to seal the dual.
Connor Brown came through with an 11-5 decision over Paul Bianchi at 125 pounds, while Gross lived up to his top billing at 133 pounds with a 16-0 technical fall over Cam Sykora. Gross led 6-0 after one period with a takedown and four-point near-fall, then notched another takedown and pair of four-point near-falls to win in four minutes.
Henry Pohlmeyer secured the victory with a dominant 5-0 blanking of McGwire Midkiff in the 141-pound match, racking up more than four and a half minutes of riding time.
NDSU got out to its early lead by winning the lone match between ranked wrestlers. Eighth-ranked Clayton Ream outlasted 13th-ranked Luke Zilverberg, 7-5, with a takedown in the second sudden-victory overtime period. Andrew Fogarty followed with a 6-3 decision over Logan Peterson at 165 pounds, but the Bison could not come up with any bonus-point victories on the night.
Both teams will be off from competition until the Big 12 Wrestling Championship March 3-4 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
157: #8 Clayton Ream (NDSU) dec. #13 Luke Zilverberg (SDSU), 7-5 [SV-2]
165: Andrew Fogarty (NDSU) dec. Logan Peterson (SDSU), 6-3
174: #10 David Kocer (SDSU) tech. fall Dylan Urbach (NDSU), 16-1 [6:13]
184: Martin Mueller dec. Charley Popp (NDSU), 11-5
197: #11 Nate Rotert (SDSU) dec. Cordell Eaton (NDSU), 3-1
285: Dan Stibral (NDSU) dec. Alex Macki (SDSU), 5-0
125: Connor Brown (SDSU) dec. Paul Bianchi (NDSU), 11-5
133: #1 Seth Gross (SDSU) tech. fall Cam Sykora (NDSU), 16-0 [4:00]
141: Henry Pohlmeyer (SDSU) dec. McGwire Midkiff (NDSU), 5-0
149: Kyle Gliva (NDSU) dec. Colten Carlson (SDSU), 7-4
* NDSU leads the all-time series, 42-21-1, although the Jackrabbits have won the last four matchups
* SDSU improved to 22-3 in duals against Big 12 Conference opponents since joining the league as an affiliate member at the start of the 2015-16 season
* Kocer recorded his 101st career victory to tie Mike Engels (101-14-1 record from 1971-74) for 13th place on the SDSU career victories chart
* Rotert moved into a tie with Zilverberg for 18th place on the Jackrabbit career wins list with 93
* Gross improved to 21-0 in 133-pound matches this season