With the regular season in the rearview mirror of the Husky Wrestling team, the destination of the national tournament is closer than ever. The Huskies finished the regular season with an overall record of 17-1 and a perfect 8-0 conference record.
But before the Huskies can click their ticket to nationals in Birmingham, Alabama they have another city in their sights. The number one ranked Huskies headed into regionals in Moorhead, Minnesota this weekend with seven nationally ranked wrestlers, including 2016 125lb National Champion Brett Velasquez and number one ranked 285 lb Austin Goergen among others.
After the first day of wrestling the red and black sat in first with 79.5 points, nearly a 20 point lead ahead of their nearest opponent, McKendree. Nine wrestlers advanced into the semifinals including the familiar names of Brett Velasquez, Larry Bomstad, Austin Goergen, and several others. The only loss on the day came from 133 lb Mike Rhone in a close OT match. He, however, has continued to advance in the consolation bracket, continuing to earn points for his team.
With only about two weeks to go until the national tournament in Birmingham, Alabama 125 lb Brett Velasquez says the Huskies are a winning team.
“I think a winning team needs to have a strong team chemistry, a group of guys with tough mindsets, and coaches that are capable of tapping into the strengths of their wrestlers…we have all three of these characteristics,” Velasquez said.
If any doubts still remain as to whether this team has what it takes Velasquez says the leadership from last season has only grown. “We have a lot of seniors, and each of them plays a big role in keeping our team chemistry together and pushing one another in the room,” Velasquez said.
As back-to-back national champs, the Huskies made it a point to stay focused on the present, and continue to prepare for the future. Velasquez isn’t the only Husky who sees potential in his team. 157 lb Larry Bomstad said the team has constantly prepared for the post season.
“We’ve prepared by coming together, focusing on our team goals, and helping each other stay on track,” Bomstad said. Luckily for the Huskies, they are very experienced in post-season wrestling. And if their preparation is anything like the past two years, these Husky wrestlers already know what the components of a winning team are. Now all that’s left is putting the pieces together and going for the three-peat.
The Huskies will look to carry this momentum with them into Alabama for the National Tournament March 10-11.