By Rob Everingham
The MSU-Northern Lights wrestling team (8-1) headed to Powell, Wyo., during the past weekend for a dual with Northwest College. Northern came out with a 39-9 victory over Northwest.
The Lights won eight of their 10 matches. The losses came at 133 pounds, because Northern's Kurt Lorenz was not yet cleared to wrestle and claimed the forfeit. Northern's only other loss came at 174 pounds as Light Casey Pinion fell in a 6-5 decision.
Northern finished the dual with three pins and three technical falls.
At 125 pounds, Abel Valdez won over Levi Martinez 19-4. This was one of three weight classes where Lights' head coach David Ray said they needed to pick up a win.
Ray said Northwest did not wrestle its starter at 125 pounds.
Northern's Jessie Schaeffer won by pin at the 4:59 mark over Josh Buck in the 141 pound weight class.
Lyle Cronk won a 15-8 decision over Thad Sydall at 149 pounds.
Northern's second pin of the dual came at 157 pounds, as Brendan Burns pinned Northwest's Morse Breedlove at the 4:36 mark of their match.
At 165 pounds, Light Chris Hayes was all over Chris Mathis of Northwest. Hayes won by a 20-3 decision.
Tyson Thivierge wrestled at 184 pounds and won a 20-4 decision over Patrick Garcia.
Northern's two-time defending national champion Turk Lords pinned John Fager at the 4:39 point.
To wrap things up in the heavyweight division, Northern's Dane Jacobsen won a 9-2 decision over Greg Bankert of Northwest.
Ray said there was a nice crowd and the dual was a good way to finish up before the Christmas break.
After driving down on Saturday morning and having to wrestle that evening, Ray said, his team came out a big sluggish in the first rounds.
"But, then in the second and third, we dominated in all of those except in the one loss," Ray said.
The Lights now have time off until the Midlands on Dec. 28-29. Ray said he is taking five wrestlers to the Midlands, but hopes everyone else will continue working over the break.
"They are all required to come back on the 29th of December and I expect them to be in shape," Ray said. "If they're not, they are letting themselves down and the team down."
After the break, the Lights are right back into action as they head to nationally-ranked Ricks College on Jan. 5, then wrestle in the Clackamus Open in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 8.