Havre Daily News sports editor
It has been a rollercoaster season thus far for the Montana State University-Northern wrestling team.
And Monday's NAIA Northern Regional Tournament in Jamestown, N.D., was no different, as the Lights finished in third place.
Northern has dominated the Northern Region for what seems like forever. But on Monday, the Lights scored 106.5 points, barely enough to hold off the host Jamestown Jimmies for third place. Fifth-ranked Dickinson State University captured the team title with 163 points, and the fourth-ranked University of Great Falls was second with 133.5 points.
The Lights took 11 wrestlers to the event and placed eight individuals. Several MSU-N wrestlers had to finish in the top four in their respective weight classes in Jamestown in order to qualify for the NAIA National Tournament next month. Several others had already qualified.
“We had a pretty good day,” MSU-N head coach Dan Troupe said. “We got the guys into the national tournament that we thought we would. We were hoping to place some guys a little higher and get a couple more in, but overall it was a pretty good tournament for us.”
Of its eight individual placers, Northern only crowned one champion in Jamestown. Junior transfer Kole Tolliver not only captured the 157-pound regional championship, but he avenged one of his few losses of the season by pinning UGF's Joe Casey in the finals. Casey had defeated Tolliver in Havre in a dual earlier this month.
“Kole wrestled really well and it was good to see him beat Casey,” Troupe said. “That win does a lot for his confidence heading into nationals.”
Northern doubled up at 133 pounds, with Colt Heger placing second and Mike McPeak finishing third. Heger defaulted due to injury to Jamestown's Shane Hase in the final, while McPeak defeated Jamestown's Zach Holcumb, 12-10, in the consolation final.
At 141 pounds, senior Chris Smith rallied to defeat Jamestown's Scott Thompson to finish in third place. Smith pinned Thompson in the third period.
Sixth-ranked Aaron Jensen had an up-and-down tournament, finishing third at 165 pounds. For the third time this season, Jensen lost a close decision to UGF's Ryan Smith, this time in the semifinals. Jensen rebounded from the loss and earned a hard-fought 9-6 decision over Stanton Schlecht in the consolation final.
The Lights also doubled up at 174 and 184 pounds.
Emory Willson defeated teammate Colter Dimas, 7-6, for third place at 174 pounds. And former Havre High standout Chad Seely finished a very solid fourth at 184 pounds, while senior Ryan Mattingly was fifth.
“Chad Seely and Colter Dimas both had really good tournaments,” Troupe said. “They are young and they both wrestled well.”
Brian Fritchman rounded out the scoring for Northern with a fifth-place finish at 197 pounds.
Chinook native and UGF 197-pounder Eric Hinebauch finished fourth and will advance to the national tournament. Hinebauch hadn't defeated Fritchman in several bouts this season, but on Monday he pinned the MSU-N junior in the first period.
Despite the disappointing finish, Fritchman will still move on to the national tournament.
MSU-N will have this week to prepare for the 2006 NAIA National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, on March 3-4.
Northern Regional Results
At Jamestown, N.D.
1. Dickinson State 163, 2. UGF 133.5, 3.MSU-Northern 106.5, 4. Jamestown 105.
1. Corey Johnston, Dickinson State; 2. Mark Johnston, Dickinson State; 3. Forrest Bouge, GF; 4. Jason Harrington, GF.
Semifinals-Corey Johnston, DSU, def. Forrest Bouge, GF, 8-5; Mark Johnston, DSU, dec. Jason Harrington, GF, 6-3. Championship-Corey Johnston, DSU, dec. Markie Johnston, DSU, 3-2. Third place-Bogue, GF, dec. Harrington, GF, 3-1.
1. Shane Hase, Jamestown; 2. Colt Heger, MSU-N; 3. Mike McPeak, MSU-N; 4. Zach Holcumb, Jamestown. First round-Michael McPeak, MSU-N, dec. Ryan Montang, GF, 13-10.
Semifinals-Colt Heger, MSU-N, dec. Zach Halcumb, JC, 9-4; Shane Hase, JC, major dec. over McPeak, MSU-N, 12-0. Championship-Hase, JC, won by injury default over Heger, MSU-N.Consolation-Halcumb, JC, pinned Montang, GF, 6:04. Third place-McPeak, MSU-N, dec. Halcumb, JC, 12-10. Fifth place-Montang, GF.
1. Nick Budeski, GF; 2. Micah Mathieson, Dickinson State; 3. Chris Smith, MSU-N; 4. Scott Thompson, Jamestown.
Semifinals-Nick Bodeski, GF, pinned Scott Thompson, JC, 3:46; Micah Mathieson, DSU, dec. Chris Smith, MSU-N, 11-7. Championship-Bodeski, GF, technical fall over Mathieson, DSU, 19-4. Third place-Smith, MSU-N, pinned Thompson, JC, 6:12.
1. Jon Muri, GF; 2. Marcos Austin, Dickinson State; 3. Adam Monroe, GF; 4. Jake Esser, Jamestown.
First round-Adam Monroe, GF, major dec. over Tee Aiken, MSU-N, 12-4. Semifinals-Jon Muri, GF, major dec. over Jake Lesser, JC, 18-7; Marcos Austin, DSU, pinned Monroe, GF, 1:31. Championship-Muri, GF, dec. Austin, DSU, 10-9. Consolation-Esser, JC, dec. Aiken, MSU-N, 11-10. Third place-Monroe, GF, dec. Esser, JC, 2-1. Fifth place-Aiken, MSU-N.
1. Kole Tolliver, MSU-N; 2. Joe Casey, GF; 3. James Meland, Jamestown; 4. Carlyle Scott, Jamestown.
Semifinals-Kole Tolliver, MSU-N, won be default over Carlyle Scott, JC; Joe Casey, GF, dec. James Meland, JC, 7-5. Championship-Tolliver, MSU-N, pinned Casey, GF, 2:53. Third place-Meland, JC, won by forfeit over Scott, JC.
1. Tyson Springer, Dickinson State; 2. Ryan Smith, GF; 3. Aaron Jensen, MSU-N; 4. Stanton Schlect, Dickinson State.
First round-Stanton Schlecht, DSU, dec. Keenan Funk, JC, 12-5. Semifinals-Tyson Springer, DSU, pinned Schlecht, DSU, 0:34; Ryan Smith, GF, dec. Aaron Jensen, MSU-N 5-3. Championship-Springer, DSU, dec. Smith, GF, 3-2. Consolation-Jensen, MSU-N, major dec. over Funk, JC, 15-6. Third place-Jensen, MSU-N, dec. Schlecht, DSU, 9-6. Fifth place-Funk, JC.
1. Gabe Harry, Dickinson State; 2. Mike Kummer, GF; 3. Emory Willson, MSU-N; 4. Colter Dimas, MSU-N.
First round-Colter Dimas, MSU-N, dec. Clyde Switzer, JC, 10-7. Semifinals-Gabe Harry, DSU, pinned Emory Willson, MSU-N, 4:18; Mike Kummer, GF, major dec. over Dimas, MSU-N, 14-2. Championship-Harry, DSU, dec. Kummer, GF, 11-7. Consolation-Willson, MSU-N, dec. Switzer, JC, 10-5. Third place-Wilson, MSU-N, dec. Dimas, MSU-N, 7-6. Fifth place-Switzer, JC.
1. Elijah Simburger, Dickinson State; 2. Jake Toavs, Dickinson State; 3. Dan Gordon, GF ; 4. Chad Seely, MSU-N.
First round-Elijah Simburger, DSU, major dec. over Dan Gordon, GF, 11-1; Jake Toavs, DSU, pinned Chad Seely, MSU-N, 0:32. Semifinals-Simburger, DSU, major dec. over Mattingly, MSU-N, 10-1; Toavs, DSU, pinned Joe Vincent, JC, 1:51. Championship-Simburger, DSU, dec. Toavs, DSU, 5-0. Consolation-Gordon, GF, dec. Vincent, JC, 12-10; Seely, MSU-N, pinned Mattingly, MSU-N, 5:36. Third place-Gordon, GF, dec. Seely, MSU-N, 9-4. Fifth place-Mattingly, MSU-N, dec. Vincent, JC, 12-9.
1. Justin Schlect, Dickinson State; 2. Stacey Mello, Jamestown; 3. Marcus Andy, GF; 4. Eric Hinebauch, GF (Mont.)
First round-Eric Hinebauch, GF, pinned Brian Fritchman, MSU-N, 1:30. Semifinals-Justin Schlecht, DSU, pinned Hinebauch, GF, 1:48; Stacey Mello, JC, dec. Marcus Andy, GF, 4-1. Championship-Schlecht, DSU, major dec. over Mello, JC, 12-0. Consolation-Andy, GF, dec. Fritchman, MSU-N, 5-4. Third place-Andy, GF, pinned Hinebauch, GF, 1:39. Fifth place-Fritchman, MSU-N.
1. Joe Espejo, Dickinson State; 2. Clay Rogers, Dickinson State; 3. Sam Sand, Jamestown (N.D.); 4. Danny Ledda, Jamestown.
Semifinals-Clay Rogers, DSU, dec. Sam Sand, JC, 3-1; Joe Sepejo, DSU, major dec. over Danny Ledda, JC, 12-3. Championship-Espejo, DSU, dec. Rogers, DSU, 3-2. Third place-Sand, JC,