South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Jacks place 13th at nationals, bring home four All-Americans

Dave Eggen/Inertia
Bennett Berge works to finish a deep shot against Jaden Bullock of Michigan in the dual between SDSU and Michigan at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls, SD Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. Berge won by major decision 14-5 in the Jacks’ 22-17 win over the Wolverines.

South Dakota State finished in 13th place in the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Kansas City over the weekend with notable performances from multiple different wrestlers.

The 48.5 total points scored by South Dakota State was the school’s most points scored in history, beating their 2018 national performance of 42 points where they placed 12th overall.

Freshman Bennett Berge was the highest finishing for the Jackrabbits throughout the whole tournament, earning fourth place.

The Minnesota native went 6-2 in the 184 lbs. weight class throughout the tournament. Berge lost his first match by major decision to Shane Liegel of Wisconsin before winning six consecutive matches to fight his way to the podium. However, No. 4th ranked Trey Munoz of Oregon State ended Berge’s run, the freshman still became an All-American.

In his final time in a Jackrabbit singlet, Tanner Sloan finished fifth in the 197- pound class and finished his career 113-23.

Sloan started off strong with three match wins before falling to Binghamton’s Lou Deprez and then to Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State. Sloan, ranked No. 3 of all 197 pounders hit the mat for a final time in a rematch with Rocky Elam of Missouri (Mizzou). The Iowa native won his final match against Elam 7-0 by decision.

Joining his teammate in fifth was Cade DeVos, who took fifth in the 174-pound weight class. DeVos went 5-2 throughout the tournament, losing to Lennox Wolak of Columbia and Shane Griffith of Michigan, a wrestler DeVos previously lost to in January. 

Tanner Jordan was the final podium finish for the Jacks as he took eighth place in the 125 pound weight class. Coming into the championships as the 23rd ranked wrestler in his weight class, Jordan lost his first match to Wisconsin’s Eric Barnett. 

The senior from Ohio then went on a four-win run, defeating three wrestlers ranked higher than him, most notable being Troy Spratley of Oklahoma State by decision 9-3, the sixth ranked wrestler in his class. 

Unfortunately for Jordan, his run came to an end losing his next two against Caleb Smith of Nebraska and Wyoming’s Jore Volk.

Four other South Dakota State wrestlers competed over the weekend but were unable to grab podium spots.

Derrick Cardinal of the 133 lbs. weight class went 1-2 with losses to the 15th and 16th ranked wrestlers in his class. Cardinal’s sole win came in a bout against Maximilian Leete of American University where he won by decision 8-2.

SDSU’s 141-pound wrestler Clay Carlson lost both his matches to the fourth ranked Ryan Jack of North Carolina State and a close battle against Jordan Titus of West Virginia.

Similar to Carlson, Alek Martin went 0-2 at nationals, Caleb Henson of Virginia Tech and Caleb Rathjen of Iowa. In his match with Rathjen, Martin had to take a loss due to an injury he sustained on the mat.

Wrapping up the performances from SDSU was Cael Swensen. The Minnesota native went back and fourth with wins and losses (2-2 over the course of the tournament) with a notable loss of 4-1 by decision with the second ranked wrestler in the 157 lbs. class. Swensen’s final match of the season ended in a one-point match, losing to Peyten Kellar of Ohio.

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About the Contributor
Marshall Minihan, Sports Editor
Sports Editor Marshall Minihan is a junior at South Dakota State University and is from Canton, South Dakota. He majors in journalism and minors in communication studies and recreation administration.

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