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St. Cloud State claims regional championship

The St. Cloud State University wrestling team captured its fourth consecutive NCAA Division II regional championship and its seventh title since 2011 on Saturday, Feb. 29 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Huskies tallied 155.0 points to earn the team title while SCSU wrestlers claimed seven individual titles at the meet. In addition, St. Cloud State coach Steve Costanzo was named the NCAA Division II Super V Regional Coach of the Year.

St. Cloud State SCSU will be sending a total of nine wrestlers to the upcoming NCAA Division II championships as the Huskies look to bring back their third consecutive national title and fifth since 2015.

At the regional, SCSU gained a championship in the 133-pound bracket with a 3-2 victory by No. 2 Garrett Vos over No. 3 Justin Folley of Upper Iowa. Vos ended the tournament with a 3-0 record and will be making his second consecutive trip to the NCAA nationals.

At 141-pounds, SCSU's Joey Bianchini won top honors with a 15-4 major decision over No. 9 Hunter Burnett of Augustana. Bianchini scored a 3-0 record at the regional and will be making his first trip to the NCAA finals on March 13-14.

SCSU's No. 2 James Pleski gained his third consecutive NCAA regional crown with a thrilling 3-2 victory over No. 3 Kyle Rathman of Minnesota State, Mankato in the title bout. Pleski was 3-0 at the regional and is a three-time All-American for the Huskies.

The titles continued at 157-pounds with a first place finish by No. 2 Jake Barzowski, who scored a 4-2 win over No. 10 Braydon Huber of U-Mary. Barzowski was 3-0 in regional action and will be making his second consecutive trip to the NCAA finals.

At 165-pounds, No. 3 Devin FitzPatrick added a title to his resume with a 10-4 victory over No. 12 Shane Gantz of UW-Parkside. He was 3-0 at the NCAA regional and will also be making his second consecutive trip to the NCAA championships.

SCSU's No. 4 Kolton Eischens placed first for the Huskies at 174-pounds as he charted a 10-0 major decisions over U-Mary's No. 8 Phillip Springsteen. Eischens was 3-0 in regional play and is a two-time All-America award winner for the Huskies.

At 184-pounds No. 3 Tyree Overton gained bonus points with a 23-10 major decision over Minnesota State's Trevor Turriff in the title bout. Overton posted a 3-0 record at the regional and will be making his second trip to the NCAA finals for SCSU.

In action at 197-pounds, Noah Ryan placed second after dropping a close 5-2 decision to No. 2 Nick Baumler of Upper Iowa in the title match. Ryan was 2-1 in regional action and will be making his first trip to the NCAA tournament in 2020.

At 285-pounds, SCSU's No. 10 Ezayah Oropeza punched his ticket to the NCAA tournament with a third place finish and a 4-1 record in regional competition. In the bout for third place, Oropeza posted a fall at 1:58 against David Griffet of Minnesota State.

At 125-pounds, SCSU's Brandon Betancourt placed fourth with a 2-2 record at the regional. In the third place match, Betancourt lost a 4-3 match against Trenton McManus of Minnesota State.

The Huskies will next travel to the 2020 NCAA Division II wrestling championships, which will be held in Sioux Falls, S.D. at the Denny Sanford Premiere Center. For more details on tickets and other information regarding the NCAA championships, please visit: https://goaugie.com/sports/2020/1/10/2020-ncaa-wrestling-championship.aspx

Regional Team Scores:
SCSU 155.0
Upper Iowa 125.5
Augustana 96.5
Minnesota State 93.0
UW-Parkside 73.0
MSU Moorhead 60.5
Mary 55.0
Northern State 37.0
Minot State 20.0
Southwest Minnesota State 14.5

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