Bison wrestlers hit the NCAA Championships

Fleetwood just short of All-American honors

Brent Fleetwood was the most successful Bison at the NCAA Championships.

While most of the attention on North Dakota State athletics was centered on the men’s basketball team, another Bison team spent some time at the National Championships.

Four Bison wrestlers made their way to Pittsburgh for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. After successful seasons, Brent Fleetwood, Cam Skyora, Andrew Fogarty and Lorenzo De La Riva took part at the meet.

Fleetwood, 125 pounds, had the most successful meet of the Bison quartet. In his third NCAA appearance, the Central Michigan transfer had his best championship performance, but came up one match short of All-American honors.

Coming into the meet ranked No. 10 in the 125-pound class, the redshirt senior picked up a trio of wins. In the opener against Carmen Ferrante of Penn, Fleetwood gained an escape in the middle of the bout and held on for a 2-0 victory.

The competition rose quickly for the Smyrna, Delaware native. No. 7 Pat Glory of Princeton jumped out to an early lead that Fleetwood could not recover from. The Bison man was sent into the consolation bracket, dropping the 10-0 major decision.

Fleetwood reversed the score line the following day against Ohio State’s Malik Heinselman. After jumping out to an early 6-0 lead that included a near fall for four points, Fleetwood remained in control to stay alive.

Each of the last two matches needed extra time. The first came quickly in Fleetwood’s favor, registering a takedown of Devin Schroder from Purdue just 19 seconds into overtime. But Fleetwood’s career finished against Oregon State’s Ronnie Bresser, who scored the takedown in overtime.

At 165-pounds, Fogarty also found success, but failed to cope with a pair of Big Ten wrestlers. The Jordan, Minnesota native was dominant in his opener, dispatching Gardner-Webb’s Tyler Marinelli with a 17-2 tech fall. It was the fifth tech fall for Fogarty this season.

The following match with No. 4 Evan Wick of Wisconsin proved a step too far. The Badger claimed a 9-2 decision to send Fogarty into the consolation ladder.

It was the 21st victory of the season for Fogarty there, taking a 7-2 decision against Army’s Tanner Skidgel. The season for the redshirt junior came to an end against Ohio State’s Te’shan Campbell. Fogarty couldn’t muster the points and lost by a 7-2 decision.

Skyora made his third trip to nationals at 133 pounds. A tough draw put the Wheaton, Minnesota native against No. 12 Montorie Bridges of Wyoming. The NDSU wrestler hung in there with the ranked opponent, but came up just a point short, losing a 3-2 decision.

A quick rebound followed from Skyora. A big second period launched the redshirt junior to a 13-2 major decision victory over Kent State’s Tim Rooney.

But the third match would spell the end of the championships for Skyora. NC State’s Tariq Wilson claimed a 19-4 tech fall on Skyora to finish him off.

De La Riva’s second NCAA appearance was a short one. The 174-pound transfer from Cal State Fullerton dropped a pair of major decisions. In the opener, Minnesota’s Devin Skatzka took a 15-3 victory over the Folsom, California native before Wyoming’s Hayden Hastings defeated De La Riva 13-4.

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