The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team had a rough trip to the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals last weekend in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Now, with their final home dual of the season just a week away, the Lights will look to build some momentum in Oregon.
Tonight, the Lights get two days of wrestling started with a dual against Clackamas Community College in Clackamas, Ore. Northern will also compete in the Clackamas Open on Saturday. Tonight’s dual will be a homecoming of sorts for a pair of Northern’s top wrestlers. Junior 149-pounder Anthony Weerheim and sophomore heavyweight Rudy Schaffroth transferred to MSU-N this season, after both grapplers had a successful run at Clackamas a year ago.
In all, the Lights bring five nationally-ranked wrestlers into this weekend's action, including Weerheim and Schaffroth. Weerheim moved up to No. 2 at 149 in this week’s NAIA national ratings, with only two losses on the season. Schaffroth has also been dominant for the Lights and is ranked third in this week’s ratings.
Northern has another second-ranked wrestler in junior Evan Hinebauch. The former Havre Blue Pony has overcome an offseason injury and a couple of early losses, and is now wrestling to the form of a national contender.
Freshman Max Payne has also had to deal with injury this season, but is now returning to form and is ranked seventh at 174 pounds, while true freshman Cameron Neiss is currently ranked 10th at 133 pounds. Former Blue Pony Myles Mazurkiewicz of UGF is having a tremendous sophomore season, and is still ranked second at 141 pounds.
In the NAIA Coaches Poll this week, the Lights remained at the No. 1 spot in the NAIA. Notre Dame of Ohio continues to hold the top spot in the country, while UGF moved up to No. 3 this week.
When the Lights return from Oregon, they will prepare for their final home dual of the season. Northern will host Northwest College on Thursday night at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse.