Jackrabbits drop season-opening dual, compete at open meet

Jordon Shoenrock, Sports Reporter

This past weekend was a busy one for the South Dakota State wrestling team, which competed in two separate events in three days.

First, the team opened the dual season against Binghamton University (New York) Friday night at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. Then, they hosted Sunday’s Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex.

SDSU lost the dual by a score of 25-16, but it was a valuable experience for the young Jackrabbit wrestlers.

Six out of the 10 student-athletes who competed in the dual were competing in an SDSU singlet for the first time. Five out of those six are freshmen, with the lone exception being Laken Cook, a transfer from Appalachian State.

Three of the five freshmen earned victories.

SDSU senior Henry Pohlmeyer put the Jacks on the board first with an 8-0 major decision at 149 pounds, but Binghamton took the lead with a win by injury default in the 157-pound bout when Cook was injured and unable to continue.

Redshirt freshman Kenny O’Neil earned a 7-3 victory at 165 pounds as SDSU took back the lead.

Then Binghamton went a run, winning five out of seven to end the dual.

In the 174-pound bout, Binghamton’s Alex Melikian won 10-3 over Cade King. Then, at 184, SDSU senior Zach Carlson lost a 12-3 major decision to fourth-ranked Lou Deprez.

At 197 pounds, No. 6 Tanner Sloan made his SDSU debut. Sloan pinned Nunzio Crowley in 4:45. Binghamton would respond with a fall of their own at heavyweight when Joe Doyle pinned Blake Wolters at the 1:15 mark.

In the 125-pound match, Binghamton’s Audey Ashkar won an 8-2 decision over Kahlen Morris. The 133-pound match saw Zach Trampe earn a 12-9 decision over SDSU’s Zach Price.

The dual ended with some extra wrestling, as the 141-pound match went into overtime. SDSU’s Clay Carlson got the 7-5 overtime decision against Anthony Sparacio to close out the evening.

SDSU then turned their focus to Sunday. SDSU had 15 athletes place at the tournament, with six competing for first.

Sloan brought the 197-pound title home with a 16-3 major decision against Minnesota’s Dylan Anderson after winning his semifinal match with a pin in 2:41.

Five other Jackrabbits made the finals. Here’s how they fared:

  • Price dropped a 5-4 decision to Ridge Lovett (Nebraska).
  • Clay Carlson lost an 8-0 major decision to No. 4 Mitch McKee (Minnesota).
  • Pohlmeyer was pinned at the 2:24 mark by Kevon Davenport (unattached).
  • O’Neil dropped an 8-2 decision to Bailee O’Reilly (Minnesota).
  • Zach Carlson forfeited the championship match.

Nine other SDSU wrestlers placed.

Third-place finishers were Danny Vega (125), Daniel Kimball (133), Cade DeVos (157), Garrett Jordan (165) and King (174). Samuel Grove (174) and Wolters (285) finished fourth. Jacob Schoon finished fifth at 184 while Bowen McConville finished sixth at 285.

Next up for the Jackrabbits is their first Big 12 Conference dual of the young season. The dual is against Utah Valley and starts at noon Friday, Nov. 22, in Orem, Utah.