No. 5 Upper Iowa Takes Down Minot State in NSIC Opener

By Howie Thompson, UIU Athletic Information

Brock Benitz
Brock Benitz

The No. 5 Peacock wrestling team won seven of the ten matches in their opening NSIC dual and scored three wins by fall, a tech fall and a major decision on the way to a 33-11 victory over Minot State University. The dual was UIU's second of the season as they improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference.

Justin Folley opened the dual with a win by fall at the 2:32 mark of the first period. The 133-pounder used a hip toss to score four early points on a takedown and two nearfall points. After a few restarts, he worked into a cradle and got the turn for the pin. Folley is now 12-2 on the year with four falls.

Minot State equalized the score at 141 pounds when Liam Hayden scored a second-period fall over UIU's Ryan Schmalen. Schmalen had a great first period scoring a takedown in the first five seconds and the last ten seconds of the opening frame. Trailing 4-1, Hayden caught Schmalen for a takedown and pushed his position to get the fall.

Ryan Steffen battled Tanner Crissler at 149 pounds in a bout that went to the second period without a point. Crissler opened the scoring with an escape, but then a scramble ensued with Steffen grabbing a takedown only to be reversed by Crissler. The MiSU wrestler scored a pivotal four-point nearfall at the outset of the third period to push his lead to 7-2. A penalty for locked hands and then a reversal by Steffen gave the true freshman a chance. Unfortunately, Steffen couldn't get the the back points he needed on his tilt to finish the comeback and lost 7-5.

Mac Spotts came on 157 and gave Upper Iowa the lead for good with a 12-3 major decision. Spotts improved to 10-7 on the season with his third major decision. The redshirt sophomore posted three takedowns and a pair of two-point nearfalls.

Brock Benitz (No. 12 NCAA) made his season debut at 165 pounds and used a first period takedown and four nearfall points to fuel a 7-3 decision. A third period escape gave the redshirt sophomore his final point over Nathan Baca.

Jordan Gundrum (No. 12 NCAA) scored his seventh fall of the season in the second period of his match to improve to 13-3 on the year. Gundrum was ahead 10-2 in the match at the time of the fall thanks to a pair of takedowns, a four-point nearfall and a reversal.

Dalton Hahn (No. 5 NCAA) and Keegan Berry locked up in an overtime match at 184 pounds. Each wrestler scored an escape prior to overtime. In the first tiebreaker, Hahn escaped and then was able to hold Berry down for the 30 seconds to secure the 2-1 decision and improve to 15-2.

Nick Baumler (No. 3 NCAA) continued his strong junior season with a fall at the 2:13 mark. Baumler used a pair of takedowns to set up his third win by fall and is now 8-0. Minot State did lose a team point for coach misconduct after the match for arguing outside the designated box.

Minot State scored their final win of the night at heavyweight with Bodie Garnier wrestling up a weight class for UIU. Garnier competed at 197 this past weekend at Simpson College going 4-2, but dropped a 5-1 decision to the Beaver's Jordan Will.

Maleek Williams (No. 1 NCAA) closed out the dual with a 18-3 technical fall victory (5:57). Williams scored six takedowns in the bout and added a pair of four-point nearfalls to secure the big win and improve to 10-1 on the season with his fifth tech fall.

Upper Iowa claimed an 18-4 advantage in takedowns in the dual.

The Peacocks will take the weekend off and get ready for the Midwest Classic on Dec. 15-16 in Indianapolis, Ind.

#5 Upper Iowa 33 - Minot State 11
133: Justin Folley (UIU) over Dean Arevalo (MiSU) (Fall 2:32)
141: William Horton-Hayden (MiSU) over Ryan Schmalen (UIU) (Fall 3:47)
149: Tanner Crissler (MiSU) over Ryan Steffen (UIU) (Dec 7-5)
157: Mac Spotts (UIU) over Zachary Berry (MiSU) (MD 12-3)
165: Brock Benitz (UIU) over Nathan Baca (MiSU) (Dec 7-3)
174: Jordan Gundrum (UIU) over Anthony Raupp (MiSU) (Fall 4:35)
184: Dalton Hahn (UIU) over Keegan Berry (MiSU) (TB-1 2-1)
197: Nick Baumler (UIU) over Andrew Helfrich (MiSU) (Fall 2:13)
(MiSU Coaches misconduct -1.0 team point)
285: Jordan Will (MiSU) over Bodie Garnier (UIU) (Dec 5-1)
125: Maleek Williams (UIU) over Oscar Nellis (MiSU) (TF 20-3 5:57)