St. Cloud State sits atop leaderboard at NCAA DII Championships

Garret Vos celebrates after a win (Photo/SCSU Athletics)

The St. Cloud State University wrestling team finished the first day of action at the 2019 NCAA Division II championships with a number one ranking. The Huskies posted 56.5 team points, while Wheeling Jesuit is in second place with 50.0 points, McKendree is third with 48.0 and Notre Dame (OH) is fourth at 46.5.

The NCAA Division II championships will wrap up with day two of competition on Saturday, March 9 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Huskies currently have three wrestlers who are still alive in the championship bracket with Brett Velasquez at 125-pounds, Kolton Eischens at 174-pounds and Vince Dietz at 197-pounds. SCSU also has four wrestlers alive in the consolation round bracket including Garrett Vos at 133-pounds, James Pleski at 149-pounds, Jake Barzowksi at 157-pounds and Devin FitzPatrick at 165-pounds. Two Huskies were eliminated from competition on the first day - Travis Swanson at 141-pounds and Chance Helmick at 184-pounds.

At 125-pounds, Brett Velasquez scored two victories to improve his season record to 22-3. The wins helped him earn All-America status for the fourth consecutive season and he will be looking to return to the top spot on the podium after winning an NCAA DII national title in 2016 for the Huskies. Velasquez will meet up with Josh Portillo of UN-Kearney in the semi's. See below for the complete results of all the SCSU matches.

At 133-pounds, Garrett Vos battled back with two wins in the consolation rounds after falling in the quarterfinals. This marks the first time that Vos has earned All-America status as a Husky. At 141-pounds, Travis Swanson scored an 8-6 win in first round over Jonathan Miller of UNC-Pembroke before losing his next two matches. He finished his senior year at SCSU with a 25-6 record.

At 149-pounds, James Pleski put in plenty of overtime in his first day of action at the NCAA tourney. He scored an OT victory in his first round match and followed that with a 3-2 tie breaker loss in the quarterfinals. To cap his day, Pleski stayed alive in the consolation bracket with a 5-3 sudden victory decision over Kaleb Warner of UNC-Pembroke. This marks Pleski's third All-America award during his career at SCSU.

At 157-pounds, Jake Barzowski gained All-America status for the first time with a 2-1 record on day one. He won his first round match with a fall and then added a 7-6 win in the consolation bracket over George McGuire of Gannon. At 165-pounds, Devin FitzPatrick was another first time All-American for the Huskies with a 2-1 record on day one. He ended his first day with a convincing pin fall against Jason Buhr of Colorado Mesa at 2:05.

Kolton Eischens moved into the NCAA semi's at 174-pounds with a pair of wins for the Huskies on day one. This also allowed him to gain All-America status for the second consecutive season at SCSU. He is slated to meet Connor Craig of Wheeling Jesuit on Mar. 9 in the semi's.

At 184-pounds, Chance Helmick went 2-2 on the day with a win in the pig tail bracket to start the day followed by another victory in the first round matches. He was eliminated after a loss in the quarterfinals and one in the wrestlebacks. He ends his year with a 16-2 record.

In action at 197-pounds, Dietz advanced to the semifinals with a pair of wins. In the first round, Dietz gained a 10-2 major decision of Khalil Gipson of Adams State and finished the day with extra points on a pin at 6:56 over Nick Baumler of Upper Iowa. This marks Dietz' second All-America award as a Husky and he will face Clayton Wahlstrom of Augustana in the semi's on March 9.

Action will begin at the NCAA DII championships at 9:00 a.m. CT on March 9.


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