Wrestlers hope hard work propels them in NCAA qualifiers

David Michaud

David Michaud

NCAA National Tournament qualifiers: the event that every team prepares all year for.

SDSU wrestlers have worked hard all year to prepare themselves for their upcoming tournament, the Western Wrestling Conference tournament. Every practice, every takedown, every sprint has all been for this.

On March 6, the wrestlers will get their chance to show off all their hard work. As an added bonus, they will get to show it off not in some random team’s gym, but right here in Brookings at Frost Arena.

The objective for the regional tournament is the same as it has been all year for the Jacks.

“Our goal is to qualify wrestlers for the National Tournament,” said head coach Jason Liles. “The NCAA has allocated 14 automatic bids to our regional tournament, and we plan on putting our guys in a position to earn some of those bids.”

SDSU’s top grappler, Tyler Sorenson, said that hosting the regional tournament in Brookings and the recent dual win over NDSU will help propel the Jacks through the tournament.

“As a team, we should have a big spark going into this after the big win over NDSU. That was the biggest dual win of my college career,” Sorenson said. “It’s also really nice to be wrestling my final regional tournament on my home mat. That will help us.”

The Jacks have been working hard all year, with an emphasis on improving everywhere. They have worked hard on the mat, in the weight room and most importantly in the classroom, said assistant coach Zach Schafer.

The emphasis on improvement was never more obvious than when SDSU defeated NDSU on Feb. 18, the first victory over NDSU in 13 years.

“The win over NDSU was huge,” said Schafer. “It definitely gives us a preview for the direction that our program is headed. It goes to show that hard work does will pay off if you keep at it.”

With the season so close to the finish, SDSU’s wrestlers are excited to see how their work will pay off.

“I think conference will be a great opportunity for us Jacks to display all the hard work and passion we put into this season,” said freshman Nick Hagar. “I feel that upon reaching the pinnacle of our season, the other wrestlers and I will get a sense of urgency being on our home mat with a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championship Tournament in Omaha, Neb.”

Things are looking good for the Jacks, heading into the regional tournament. They are coming off the biggest dual win they’ve had since moving to Division I, they are hosting the tournament on their home mat and most importantly, they have put in the hard work needed to improve throughout the year.

Now all they have to do is go out and use the advantages that they have to finish this year how they always wanted to: at the NCAA tournament.