By Ryan Divish
The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team had several wrestlers compete at the University of Mary Marauder Open in Bismarck, ND this past weekend.
The six wrestlers, who competed in North Dakota are not only looking to qualify for the NAIA national tournament, but also to stay sharp for the North Central regional on Feb. 22.
Former Big Sandy star and Light redshirt freshman Lance Nelson captured first place at 149 pounds. Nelson finished the tournament 3-0 with a stellar 11-4 win over seventh-ranked Mike Champagne of Mary.
Northern also had a pair of second place finishes from Chris Smith (133) and Jacob Scoles (141).
Smith destroyed David Folden of Jamestown, 22-7 in his first round match, breezed past Micah Mathieson of Dickinson State in the quarterfinals and picked up a 9-4 victory over Jamestown's Cody Fisher in the semifinals. However, Smith lost a tough 9-8 decision to four time All-American and 2001 NAIA national champ Brian Biel.
Scoles won his first two matches before losing a tough 5-3 decision to Jamestown's Anthony Gerrard in the championship.
The Lights also got a pair of third place finishes from Luke Heuberger (157) and David Waters (174). Heuberger fell in the semifinals to Jamestown's Tom Iverson, 4-2, but rallied for a win in the consolation final by pinning Robert Koroluk of Regina. Waters pinned Edwin Fink in the quarterfinals but was soundly defeated by eventual champion Larry Johnson, 24-7 in the semifinals. Waters finished third as his opponent in the consolation, Nathan Schmitz, was forced to take a medical default.
In other MSU-Northern wrestling news, Dustyn Azure will be out indefinitely with a dislocated elbow. Azure, in the midst of his finest season as a Light, injured the elbow in practice earlier this week.
Lights head coach David Ray hopes that Azure will be ready to go for the regional tournament on Feb. 22. Nelson will most likely take the place of Azure, but they will be difficult shoes to fill. Azure has overall record of 31-7 on the season with a perfect 11-0 record in dual matches.
Caleb Schaeffer (133) is currently tied for Northern's all-time career pins with Lights assistant Tyson Thivierge and Marty Boday. Schaeffer has 53 pins in his brilliant career. With the remainder of the season and entire season next year, the record should be solely Schaeffer's soon.