Five Jackrabbits earn All-American honors

Sarah Passick

Sarah Passick

The South Dakota State Wrestling team brought home a third place finish at the NCAA Division II Championships held in Kenosha, Wis., March 8 and 9.

The team recorded its ninth consecutive top-five finish at the championships with a third-place effort in competition, which concluded Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

“This year, as a team we didn’t had a full team, but I think we came together at the end.” Jon Madsen said.

Central Oklahoma won the team championship with 128 team points. The Bronchos crowned four individual champions. North Dakota State was second with 116.5 points, followed by SDSU with 67.

Five of the six Jackrabbit wrestlers entered in the two-day tournament earned All-America honors, including national runners-up Tyler Bryant and Tyler Jones. Todd Paszek and Aaron Veskrna each finished third, while heavyweight Jon Madsen placed seventh.

Bryant, a junior from Pierre, advanced to the finals of the 165-pound weight class with a 5-4 decision over Todd Kirkpatrick of Augustana. In the finals, he dropped a one-point decision to Shawn Silvis of Central Oklahoma, which won the team championship.

Jones, a junior from Mitchell, won a 4-2 decision over Central Oklahoma’s Jeff Henning to advance to the 184-pound finals. In the championship match, Jones fell 5-3 to San Francisco State’s Mauricio Wright.

Paszek worked his way through the 197-pound wrestlebacks, recording a pin of North Dakota State’s Brian Kraemer in 6:59 in the consolation quarterfinals. He then went on to pin Wisconsin-Parkside’s Luke Goral in 4:12 to advance to the third-place match, where he won a 2-1 decision over Brian Scislo of Findlay (Ohio).

Veskrna won his opening match of the day 6-0 over Jared Novak of Central Washington, then took third place at 157 pounds with a 3-1 overtime win against Gary Skoch of Ashland (Ohio).

Madsen dropped his first match on Saturday by a 9-7 count in overtime to Josh Hendricks of Ashland, then defeated Cody Beguin of Chadron State (Neb.) in the seventh-place match.

“I wanted a different outcome, but it was best I could do for that day,” he said.