Wrestlers earn first top-10 win

Skyler Jackson, Sports Editor (He/Him)

The South Dakota State wrestlers were back in action this weekend and went 2-1 in duals, including a signature win over No. 9 Missouri, giving the Jacks their first-ever dual win over a top-10 opponent.

“It was awesome,” coach Damion Hahn said about beating Missouri. “I couldn’t be more excited about this group of guys. Getting on the road with this group of guys is such a joy and pleasure to be around.”

The Jackrabbits competed in Columbia, Missouri Saturday and then traveled to Edwardsville, Illinois Sunday and split two duals.

SDSU 21, Missouri 12

Against Missouri, the No. 23 Jackrabbits swept their final five matchups to defeat the ninth-ranked Tigers 21-17.

At this point, the Jackrabbits won their ninth dual this season, including their eighth in a row, and are undefeated in Big 12 conference duals.

After trailing throughout the dual, Tanner Sloan ranked 27th at 165 pounds started SDSU’s five-match win streak in the event with a 5-2 decision over Mitchell Bohlken before Cade DeVoss, ranked No. 8 at 174 pounds, drew SDSU even with a 7-4 decision over Sean Harman.

Another crucial point in the event was when SDSU’s Cade King defeated Missouri’s 16th-ranked Jeremiah Kent in the 184-pound matchup. After the two were tied at 4-4 through regulation, King got the takedown in the first minute of the extra session and pulled off the 6-4 upset victory.

In the 197-pound matchup, 22nd-ranked Tanner Sloan walked away with the 5-2 decision over No. 5 Rocky Elam.

SDSU’s fifth-straight win to close out the event came at 285 pounds when 22nd-ranked A. J. Nevills had a 2-0 decision over No. 15 Zach Elam.

SDSU 39, SIU Edwardsville 3

The Jackrabbits’ second dual win of the weekend came in dominant fashion, a 39-3 win against SIU Edwardsville in Edwardsville, IL.

In the ten individual matchups they faced in the dual, SDSU won all but one of them, including three by fall. All three of their pins came in the second half of the dual.

The first was in the 165-pound matchup when 27th-ranked Tanner Cook got the pin on Cardeionte Wilson. The next two pins came in SDSU’s final two matchups.

At 197 pounds, Sloan defeated Ryan Yarnell by fall in 1:24. Then in the 285-pound matchup, Nevills defeated Colton McKiernan by fall in only 1:16.

Other notable decisions for the Jackrabbits were No. 6 Clay Carlson at 141 pounds earning the hard-fought 5-3 decision over 28th-ranked Saul Ervin. At 149 pounds, Daniel Kimball picked up a 4-2 overtime victory against Caleb Tyus.

Central Michigan 21, SDSU 17

In the Jackrabbits’ final dual of the weekend, it was one that wasn’t decided until the final matchup of the day.

Central Michigan got off to a hot start, winning four of their first five matches. The Jacks responded with three wins in their next four matchups before CMU picked up the dual-sealing win in the final bout.

A crucial win for the Chippewas came when 10th-ranked Dresden Simon at 141 pounds defeated Carlson with an 11-5 decision.

SDSU’s only win in those first five matchups was at 133 pounds when Gabriel Tagg defeated Ja’Kerion Merritt in 1 14-2 major decision. Their next win came four matches later at 165 pounds when Cook defeated Tracy Hubbard by fall.

The Jacks got their second pin of the dual in the 197-pound matchup when Sloan pinned Aaron Bolo in 1:09.

With the Jacks trailing 18-17, the final matchup was at 285 pounds between Nevills and ninth-ranked Matt Stencel. Stencel earned a 6-3 decision and gave the Chippewas the dual win.

“We’re able to provide our guys opportunities to compete,” Hahn said. “We were on the road, we traveled, and we made adjustments. It was nothing short of just craziness all around. But our guys competed.” 

This was SDSU’s first dual loss since Nov. 28 against Minnesota. Up next, they return home for a dual against West Virginia Friday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.