While most NDSU students were traveling or relaxing at home, the Bison wrestling squad kept active over the break, participating in the Midlands Championship in Evanston, Illinois, and hosting two dual meets.
Following a brief respite after the semester ended, the team took part in the Midlands Championship on Dec. 29 and 30. The Bison ended the first day of action ranked 23rd among teams, with 165-pound Andrew Fogarty and unattached 125-pound Paul Bianchi advancing through the consolation bracket.
Fogarty, ranked No. 19 in the nation, tallied his fourth pin of the campaign against Rodney Williams of Oregon State. In his next match, he scored a 10-2 major decision over David Kasper of Eastern Michigan.
Bianchi took three of four of his matches, highlighted by two pins. On the second day of the weekend, Fogarty placed eighth, and Bianchi fell just short of the medal round. Overall, the Herd finished in 25th place with 23 points.
To open the new year, the Bison returned home for two matches on Jan. 6 and 8. In the first match, the Herd played host to conference foe Northern Colorado. The Bison came out on top, winning by a final score of 29-16.
Senior Josh Rodriguez, ranked No. 4 in the nation in the 125-pound weight class, fashioned a 13-4 major decision to begin the match. Rodriguez is now 12-0 in the season, with a 9-0 record in duals. Following Rodriguez’s win, the Bison compiled a 16-4 lead, winning four of the first five matches.
The Bears fought back, bringing the score to 20-16 with two matches to play. Cordell Eaton, of the 197-pound class, squared off against Jamarcus Grant and recorded a 4-1 decision over Grant. Next, 285-pound Ben Tynan took the mat and closed out the match for the Bison by topping Jack Kuck.
Two days later, the Bison faced Boise State in a non-conference match. NDSU dominated the Broncos and came away victorious, winning by a final score of 36-7.
Tynan and redshirt sophomore Tyler McNutt both delivered the highlights of the match, pinning their respective opponents. McNutt’s pin moved his individual record to 8-6 on the season, and 5-4 in duals. Tynan’s pin was his fourth of the season, as the senior has proven to be a pivotal member of the team in the heavyweight class. NDSU built an unassailable 24-0 lead in the first five matches. Fred Green and Demetrius Romero had the only wins for Boise State.
The two wins extended the Bison’s winning streak in dual meets to seven matches. Currently, the grapplers are 8-1, and 2-1 in the Big 12. Their next match comes this weekend in Norfolk, Virginia, where NDSU will take part in the Virginia Duals and square off against The Citadel and No. 24 ranked Virginia on Friday, and compete in the duals Saturday. Their next Big 12 clash is Feb. 3 against Utah Valley at the Scheels Center.