MSU-N matmen succeed in Oregon
The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team didn't accomplish everything it set out to do in Clackamas, Ore., but the Lights came pretty close.
Northern was in Clackamas for two days of wrestling, including a close 22-20 dual loss to the Clackamas Cougars in a Friday night dual. Clackamas is the top-ranked NJCAA team in the country, and the Lights were open at 125 pounds, or the dual might have come out differently.
But as tough a loss as it was on Friday night, MSU-N bounced back in a big way during Saturday's Clackamas Open.
MSU-N got individual championships from Anthony Weerheim at 149 pounds, Evan Hinebauch at 184 pounds and Rudy Schaffroth at heavyweight, and overall the Lights placed five wrestlers.
"As a team, we're getting really close to wrestling extremely well," MSU-N head coach Tyson Thivierge said. "We are a better tournament team than a dual team, although we are starting to improve in our dual performances."
Weerheim, a former Clackamas star, cruised to the 149 pound title, including a hard-fought 3-2 win over Southern Oregon's Jimmy Eggermeyer in the final. Weerheim, who is ranked second nationally, was voted the tournament's outstanding wrestler. Schaffroth, another former Cougar star, reached the heavyweight final where he had a double-forfeit and co-championship.
The road to the Clackamas title was a little more difficult for Hinebauch. The NAIA's second-ranked 184-pounder was seeded second and had to beat a pair of Oregon State stars for Saturday's title. Hinebauch took out former Great Falls High standout Ty Vincent with a major decision, and then beat OSU's Taylor Meeks 6-2 in the final. It was the third meeting between Hinebauch and Meeks this season, and Hinebauch has won twice.
With three championships on Saturday, the Lights added a pair of third-place finishes as well.
Freshman Max Payne finished third at 174 pounds, going 4-1 on the day. Payne's only loss came in the semifinals. And Brandon Leliefeld took third at 141 pounds, going 4-1 on the afternoon. Leliefeld's finish also qualified him for the NAIA national tournament in March, bringing Northern's total to 10 wrestlers who've now qualified.
Jared Miller also had a solid day for the Lights, going 3-2 at 164 pounds, while redshirt freshman Mickey Cheff and senior Tay Todd both went 2-2 at 157. Freshman Cameron Neiss also wrestled well, going 3-2 at 133 pounds.
"Things are really looking good heading into this portion of the season," Thivierge said.
The Lights will wrestle at home for the final time this year on Thursday night. MSU-N's hosts Northwest College at 7 p.m.
Clackamas 22, Lights 20
125 — MSU-N forfeited
133 — Cameron Neiss lost 4-6 to Martin gonzalez
141 — Brandon Leliefeld lost by md 1-9 to Jordan O'neal
149 — Anthony Weerheim won by md 11-2 against Billy Goldsberry
157 — Tay todd won in ot 7-6 against Matt Melendez
165 — Jared Miller won by md 9-0 against Dan Nelson
174 — Max Payne wb fall 3:47 against Justin Martin
184 — Evan Hinebauch won by decision 4-0 against Brett Sanchez
197 — Kody Reed lost by fall 4:51 to Jordan Krich
285 — Rudy Schaffroth lost by decision 4-7 to Tyrell Fortune.