The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team built some momentum for the early part of its season when the Lights forged a dramatic tie with the University of Great Falls last Thursday night in Havre.
On Saturday, the Lights continued to build on that momentum.
At a tournament in Spokane, Wash., MSU-N had two individual champions, put three wrestlers in the finals and placed five wrestlers overall. The finish in Spokane now gives Northern eight wrestlers who are already qualified for the NAIA national tournament which means the Lights are off to a very good start to their 2010-2011 season.
"I'm very pleased with how a majority of the team wrestled this weekend," MSU-N head coach Tyson Thivierge said "After the tie with UGF we came into Saturday with great energy and guys really stepped up and wrestled well."
MSU-N had two champions in Spokane.
At 149 pounds, Anthony Weerheim went a perfect 4-0, while heavyweight Rudy Schaffroth also went 4-0 on the day en route to a tournament title. Two of Schaffroth's wins came by fall Saturday.
"Anthony wrestled very solid thru out the day and continued to put himself in good scoring positions all day. He is very fun to watch and coach," Thivierge said. "Rudy is gaining more confidence every day in his conditioning and really getting back to his true form. Having a heavyweight that explosive is fun to watch."
The Lights also got a second-place finish from former Havre High star Evan Hinebauch. For the second time in a week, Hinebauch met up with UGF's Michael French, this time in the finals in Spokane, with French coming out on top 3-2. Hinebauch went 3-1 on the day, including a 3-1 win over Oregon State's Taylor Meeks in the semifinals. Meeks had beaten French the week before in Oregon.
The Lights also got strong showings from Cody Miller at 157 pounds and Jared Miller at 174.
Cody Miller went 4-1 and finished third at 157, while Jared Miller went 4-2 and finished fourth at 174.
"Cody was able to put his head down and go forward with a new intensity," Thivierge said. "He showed great poise and it was good to see him come back from a loss in the semis.
"Jared showed his grit and showed how weight cutting doesn't bother him at all."
The Lights return to action on Dec. 3-4 with several NAIA duals in Great Falls.
Note: Thursday night's dual match with UGF indeed was an official tie at 24-24. It was first thought by both coaching staffs that Northern had won the dual on criteria which said the team with the most six-point wins would be declared the winner in the event of a final score tie. However, over the weekend, MSU-N and UGF reported that per NCAA rules, the dual did in fact end in a tie with no winner declared.