Havre Daily News sports editor
Montana State University-Northern head wrestling coach Dan Troupe got his first dual win of his collegiate coaching career on Wednesday night. The Lights defeated Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., 23-19.
The Lights had started the season 0-2 in dual action.
“It's my first win and it was a barnburner,” Troupe said. “We had to win some close matches late in the dual, but we got it done.”
Indeed, the Lights trailed Northwest heading into Aaron Jensen's 165-pound match with Andy Wempn. But just as Jensen did last week in Havre against Jamestown College, he got the Lights on the comeback trail with a 14-5 win over Wempn. Ryan Mattingly also pushed Northern's comeback efforts with a dramatic 13-11 overtime win over Shawn Vincent at 184 pounds. The match was one of three matches that had to go to overtime.
Despite the efforts of Jensen and Mattingly, the dual was still in doubt heading into the 197-pound match between MSU-N's Brian Fritchman and Avery Rogers. Fritchman came through for the Lights, pinning Rogers to earn a full six points. His win secured the dual victory for Northern.
“We needed that pin,” Troupe said. “Fritchman has really been on a roll for weeks now. He is really wrestling well right now.”
Northern got wins earlier in the dual from Mike McPeak and Chris Smith. McPeak pinned T.J. Sailer in the 133-pound match, and Smith earned a major decision over John Graham, by a score of 14-1.
“We needed every one of those wins,” Troupe said. “It was a really close dual with a lot of really good matches. Our guys did a great job of continuing to wrestle. They didn't quit tonight and we found a way to get the win.”
Northern's current road trip is far from over. The Lights will now head to Golden, Colo., where they will dual Western Colorado, Kutztown College and the Colorado School of Mines, all on Friday.
The Lights will finish the weekend off by participating in the Northern Colorado open tournament in Greely, Colo., on Saturday.
MSU-N 23, Northwest College 19
125 - Khalin Wilson, NW dec. A.J. Bartels, MSU-N, 13-4
133 - Mike McPeak, MSU-N pinned T.J. Sailer, NW
141 - Chris Smith, MSU-N maj. dec. John Graham, NW, 14-1
149 - C.J. Rathjun, NW dec. Steve Boger, MSU-N, 4-0
157 - Eric Coxville, NW maj. dec. Ty Aiken, MSU-N, 17-2
165 - Aaron Jensen, MSU-N dec. Andy Wempn, NW, 14-5
174 - Julias Rios, NW dec. Emmory Wilson, MSU-N, 3-1 (OT)
184 - Ryan Mattingly, MSU-N dec. Shawn Vincent, NW, 13-11 (OT)
197 - Brian Fritchman, MSU-N pinned Avery Rogers, NW
HWT - Spencer Boles, NW dec. Josh Robinson, MSU-N, 4-2 (OT).