George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
In the land of NAIA wrestling, January is the time for teams to start peaking as the national tournament draws closer. And that appears to be what’s happening to the Montana State University-Northern wrestling team. Last weekend in Dickinson, N.D., the No. 10 Lights had their strongest showing of the season, finishing fourth at the Dickinson State Classic. The Lights crowned four individual champions and scored 81 points, just two points behind Concordia College, but well ahead of arch rival the University of Great Falls. The secondranked Argos scored just 60.5 points at the meet. Leading the way for MSU-N was Cory Borges who captured the 125-pound championship by beating then top-ranked Cory Johnston of DSU. With the win, Borges is now the topranked 125-pounder in the country according to the latest NAIA rankings which were released on Thursday. The Lights also got a strong showing from un-ranked Mike McPeak at 141 pounds. McPeak bested Conc o rd i a ’s PJ Ma c k in the championship match, while MSU-N’s Byron Kuylen beat Chadron State’s Max Baker to win the 149-pound championship. Kuylen, a sophomore, is currently ranked fifth at 149 pounds. Rounding out the individual titles for the Lights was freshman Evan Hinebauch, who captured the 174-pound title by beating Chadron’s Willy Jones in the final. Northern also got a solid secondplace finish from heavyweight Robbie Shaw and a third-place finish from Brian Fritchman, who is back at 197 pounds after recovering from a broken foot. Fritchman enters this week as the No. 2 197-pounder in the country. “I like where this team is at and how we’re looking right now,” MSU-N head coach Dan Troupe said. “We really looked solid in Dickinson and I thought we did pretty well at Midlands too. We’re finally getting to full strength and I think we are going to be strong here at the end of the season.” Northern is back on the road today and Saturday. The Lights are in Cedar Falls, Iowa for the NAIA National Duals. The Lights will next wrestle at home on Jan. 24 when they host Simon Fraser.