The first Division II wrestling dual ranking has finally arrived and no surprise, St Cloud State University was ranked first. Their reward for earning the top spot, a match against #15 Upper Iowa on Thursday night followed by a match against 10th ranked Minnesota State Mankato on Saturday. There are no weeks off in Division II when it comes to tough matches for the top teams. Just take a peek at the teams headed to Maryville this weekend.
St Cloud State may be looking ahead to the Super Regional or possibly farther to repeating as NCAA Division II Wrestling National Champions and who could blame them. They have a lineup with 10 wrestlers ranked in the top 12, a bevy of backups who could step in without missing a beat, four returning All-Americans, another wrestler who was a national qualifier, and a partridge in a pear tree. They are loaded, but against Mankato, they had better be loaded for a raging bull. The Mavericks are returning two All-Americans of their own in their lineup featuring three ranked wrestlers. They are sitting 10th and with a young team, this is a chance to turn them into believers in head coach James Makovsky’s plan. It is not possible to be a member of the St Cloud Huskies program and not believe in head coach Steve Costanzo. His results speak for themselves. He has won three titles while at the helm of this program and won another while coaching Dana College in the NAIA. He is building a monster powerhouse program that continually churns out All-Americans and is now gaining attention for winning titles. Makovsky has been a model of consistency for Mankato in his 26 years, even winning an NWCA National Duals title in 2008. The program is still looking for its first Division II national championship, but has had trophy finishes time and again under his tenure.
In a battle that features three matches between wrestlers currently ranked, it will be a tall task for the Mavericks to upset the Huskies, but let's take a look at what might happen.
As always with our Dual of the Week, we’ll break down each matchup, what each team needs to do to win, make our predictions, and have the WrestleStat take on the dual as well.
#10 Minnesota State Mankato vs. #1 St Cloud State University
125: Andrew McFall or Lucas Hagel (MSUM) vs. #2 Brett Velasquez (SCSU)
133: #7 George Farmah (MSUM) vs. #11 Garrett Vos or Brandon Briggs (SCSU)
141: Louie Sanders (MSUM) vs. #7 Garrett Aldrich or Travis Swanson (SCSU)
149: #3 Kyle Rathman (MSUM) vs. #2 James Pleski (SCSU)
157: Daniel Close or Brody Nielson (MSUM) vs. #6 Jake Barzowski (SCSU)
165: Logan Saltou (MSUM) vs. #11 Devin Fitzpatrick (SCSU)
174: #4 Zach Johnston (MSUM) vs. #2 Kolton Eischens (SCSU)
184: Trevor Turriff (MSUM) vs. #4 Chance Helmick (SCSU)
197: Dylan Butts (MSUM) vs. #1 Vince Dietz (SCSU)
Hwt: Max Villnow or Logan Linderbaum (MSUM) vs. #11 Zach Muller or Noah Ryan (SCSU)
Andrew McFall (MSUM) vs. #2 Brett Velasquez (SCSU)
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