Strong Showing For SDSU At Daktronics Invite

11 Placewinners and Two Champions For Jackrabbit Wrestling

Seth Gross and Nate Rotert won titles and two other Jackrabbit wrestlers reached the finals of their respective weight classes during competition Sunday at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open at Frost Arena.

Gross, the sixth-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, recorded a 6-2 decision over Mitch McKee of Minnesota in the championship match. The Apple Valley, Minnesota, native cruised into the title bout with a pin of Zak Hensley of Iowa Central and consecutive technical falls over two other Minnesota wrestlers, Steven Polakowski and Sam Brancale.

Rotert won an overtime battle against Aaron Studebaker of Nebraska in a battle of top-10 wrestlers at 197 pounds. Rotert, ranked ninth, notched a takedown of fifth-ranked Studebaker with two seconds remaining in the first overtime period for a 3-1 sudden victory. A Spearfish native, Rotert posted a 16-1 technical fall over Ben Goodwin of Augustana and a 7-5 decision of Northern State’s Joe Gomez to advance to the final.

The other Jackrabbits to reach the finals, David Kocer and Martin Mueller, lost to nationally ranked wrestlers. Kocer fell in a 17-6 major decision to Arizona State’s Zahid Valencia at 174 pounds, while Mueller was defeated by fourth-ranked T.J. Dudley of Nebraska by technical fall early in the second period in their 184-pound title tilt.

Kocer won his first two matches by technical fall before downing Micah Barnes of Nebraska, 3-1, to reach the finals. Mueller scored a pair of decisions over Anthony Anderson of Arizona State (7-2) and Taylor Venz of Nebraska (4-2) to advance to the championship.

Three Jackrabbit wrestlers posted third-place finishes, including 149-pounder Alex Kocer. A senior from Wagner, he won two matches by technical fall and one by major decision before pinning Fredy Stroker of Minnesota in the third-place bout. Alex Kocer’s lone loss on the day came at the hands of Joshua Maruca of Arizona State, 12-10, in the semifinals.

Junior Luke Zilverberg at 165 pounds and 184-pounder Brady Ayers also turned in third-place finishes. Zilverberg capped a 4-1 day on the mat with an 8-2 decision over Brandon Krone of Minnesota in the third-place match.

Ayers defeated Chris Pfarr of Minnesota, 4-2, in the third-place match to also finish with a 4-1 mark.

In all, 11 different Jackrabbit wrestlers placed in the top six of their weight classes. Henry Pohlmeyer at 141 pounds and 157-pounder Colin Holler were each fourth-place finishers, while Logan Peterson (157 pounds) and Ben Gillette (125 pounds) each took sixth.

SDSU resumes tournament action Saturday (Nov. 12) at the Bison Open in Fargo, North Dakota.

125: Etahn Lizak, Minnesota, dec. Tim Lambert, Nebraska, 3-2
133: Seth Gross, SDSU, dec. Mitch McKee, Minnesota, 6-2
141: Chad Red, Nebraska, dec. Collin Purinton, Nebraska, 5-3
149: Joshua Maruca, Arizona State, dec. Gene “Oliver” Pierce, Arizona State, 9-4
157: Tyler Berger, Nebraska, dec. Jake Short, Minnesota, 3-2
165: Anthony Valencia, Arizona State, and Jacen Peterson, Arizona State, co-champions (no title match contested)
174: Zahid Valencia, Arizona state, major dec. David Kocer, SDSU, 17-6
184: T.J. Dudley, Nebraska, tech. fall over Martin Mueller, SDSU, 16-0
197: Nate Rotert, SDSU, dec. Aaron Studebaker, Nebraska, 3-1 (SV-1)
285: Tanner Hall, Arizona State, dec. Michael Kroells, Minnesota, 2-1 (TB-1)

-CORRECTION-During the first match in the highlight the anchor identified the competitors as SDSU’s Collin Holler and Nebraska’s Tyler Berger.  This was a mistake.  The highlight actually features the match between SDSU’s Alex Pohlmeyer and Nebraska’s Chad Red.