The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team is coming off one of its most consistent weekend’s of the season.
Now, Northern head coach Tyson Thivierge is hoping his team builds on that momentum.
The No. 8 Lights took second place at last Saturday’s Mile High Open in Prescott, Ariz, and they captured two of the three duals last Friday in Prescott.
Tonight, the Lights face another tough dual in the form of the Northwest College Trappers. The first match is set for 7 at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse.
Northern crushed the Trappers 34-9 back in November in Powell, Wyo., but both teams have a different look at this point in the season. The Lights are without redshirt-freshman Hunter Azure, who was starting to come on strong at 141 pounds before suffering a second season-ending knee injury in the last two years.
Now, senior Anthony Weerheim has dropped to 141 and will stay there for the remainder of the season. Weerheim’s first action at 141 was last weekend, where he went a sparkling 6-0 and captured a Mile High Open title.
True freshman Riley Miller also had a solid weekend in Arizona and will remain MSU-N’s lone 125-pounder. The Lights’ lineup will also include sixth-ranked Cameron Neiss at 133, while James Petersen has moved in at 149 pounds. Mickey Cheff continues to man the 157-pound spot for the Lights, and Ethan Hinebauch, who’s ranked fourth, will go at 165 pounds. Hinebauch had a great weekend of wrestling in Arizona as well.
In the upper weights, the Lights will continue to go with either 10th-ranked Jared Miller or Max Payne at 174. The duo both reached the 174-pound title match in Prescott last weekend. Evan Hinebauch, who’s now ranked second, continues to go at 184 pounds, while Kody Reed wrestles at 197. Another wrestler improving steadily for the Lights is redshirt-freshman Nick King at heavyweight.
Despite the lopsided victory in Powell, the Lights know the Trappers present a stern test on the mat. Northwest is currently ranked seventh among NJCAA schools, and they bring seven nationally-ranked grapplers into tonight’s dual.
Leading the way is Keithan Cast at 174 pounds. Cast is ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA. Bernie Dupuy will also give Ethan Hinebauch a good match at 165. Dupuy is currently ranked No. 4. Ben Price is ranked eighth for the Trappers at 197, Miles Nixon is ranked ninth at 184, while Whitey Gardner (133), Colton Thornton (141) and Nathan Garcia (149) all hold No. 10 rankings coming into tonight’s dual.
The matchup with the Trappers will be the next-to-last home meet for the Lights. Northwest lost to Great Falls Wednesday night in Great Falls.
Northern closes out its home schedule on Feb. 8 against UGF. MSU-N will also travel to Minot, N.D. this weekend for the Minot State Open.
Tonight’s dual between the Lights and Trappers is slated to get underway at 7 at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse.
Tonight at 7 p.m.
at MSU-Northern Fieldhouse
Lights Probable Lineup
125 — Riley Miller, Fr.; 133 — Cameron Neiss, So.; 141 — Anthony Weerheim, Sr.; 149 — James Petersen, So.; 157 — Mickey Cheff, Fr.; 165 — Ethan Hinebauch, Fr.; 174 — Jared Miller, So. or Max Payne, So.; 184 — Evan Hinebauch, Sr.; 197 — Kody Reed, So.; HWT — Nick King, Fr.
Trappers Probable Lineup
125 — Brandon Matlock; 133 — Justin Gardner; 141 — Colton Thornton; 149 — Nathan Garcia; 157 — Jackson Cottrell; 165 — Bernie Depuy; 174 — Kiethan Cast or open; 184 — Miles Nixon; 197 — Ben Price; HWT — Sean Sullivan.