Jackrabbits take down No. 22 UNI

Jordon Schoenrock, Reporter

The South Dakota State wrestling team opened its Big 12 conference schedule Sunday with a 27-13 win in a dual against 22nd-ranked Northern Iowa.

In what was initially scheduled to be a Triangular event along with Wyoming, they couldn’t field a complete team for the event due to COVID-19. But the Cowboys were still able to send some wrestlers for extra matches after the dual.

“You’ve got to roll with the punches because you never know,” said coach Damion Hahn. “Competing is a privilege and you don’t know when you’re going to compete again. But we had 10 matches and we battled.”

Despite the Panthers also having some COVID-19 complications, they still sent a full team to compete in a dual.

In that dual, the Jackrabbits would take 7 out of the 10 matches against the short-handed Panthers team.

Tanner Cook at 165 pounds recorded a pin in the first period and 11th-ranked Cade DeVos followed with a 10-6 decision in the 174-pound matchup. Then Cale King extended SDSU’s lead to 24-7 with an opening-period pin.

Also, 6th-ranked Clay Carlson at 141 pounds would pick up another big win for the Jacks in the only ranked matchup of the afternoon, an 11-4 decision over UNI’s 19th-ranked Cael Happel.

“Clay goes out there and does what Clay does and he controlled the whole match,” Hahn said. “(Happel) is a freshman and he’s going to be tough for the next three years. But Clay wrestled solid and picked up a nice win for us.”

Overall, SDSU would pick up wins at 125, 141, 149, 165, 174, 184 and 285, while UNI would take 133, 157 and 197.

Following the dual, SDSU would have 10 extra matches, nine against Wyoming and one more against UNI. The Jacks would go 5-5 in those extra matches.

The Jacks would get bonus-point wins at 133 and 165 in the extra matches. University of North Carolina Transfer Gabe Tagg would a 19-1 tech fall decision over Wyoming’s Darrick Stacey. Cook would then get his second pin on the day and his 10th pin of the season at 165 by pinning Cooper Voorhees in 2:40.

“I try and make it exciting for the crowd and help give them a reason to show up,” Cook said.

The Jackrabbits now improve to 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in the Big 12. Up next, they will now head out to Orem, Utah for another Big 12 Conference dual against the Utah Valley Wolverines (5-3, 0-2). The Dual is scheduled for Saturday, January 15 at 8 p.m.

In that dual, there is a potential for one ranked matchup at 197. With 24th-ranked Tanner Sloan of SDSU vs. 22nd-ranked Evan Bockman of Utah Valley.

Another potential match up to keep an eye on will be at heavyweight were SDSU’s 23rd-ranked A.J. Nevills against Jayden Woodruff, which would be their second time wrestling this season. Nevills got the best of Woodruff the first time with a pin in 6:14.