Thursday night at Halenbeck Hall was a night of St. Cloud State wrestling dominance as the St. John Johnnies took a quick trip up the road to battle it out with their nearby nemesis, the Huskies.
The Huskies proved to be up to the task however, as they didn’t allow the Johnnies a single team point in the dual. Eight of the ten matches were won with extra points for the Huskies and along with a forfeit, only one match was won by decision.
An impressive night for the back-to-back champs started with reigning 125 lb National Champ Brett Velasquez. Velasquez’s 21-6 tech fall victory over Anthony Hennen set the pace early in the night, paving the way for his teammates.
Red shirt sophomore Velasquez was impressed with his team’s performance, “a lot of really exciting matches, a lot of guys going out there to put up big points…it’s fun to watch and it’s fun to be a part of,” he said.
As always, there’s no shortage of excitement when the Huskies step onto the mat. With Travis Swanson (141 lb), Utham Rabiu (184 lb), and Vince Dietz (197 lb) pinning their opponents, along with four tech falls from Brett Velasquez (125 lb), James Pleski (149 lb), Clayton Jennissen (174 lb), and Austin Goergen (285 lb) head coach Steve Costanzo liked what he saw.
“We kind of out-class St. John’s on paper but we never acted like it,” Costanzo said. “We came in and took care of business and we wrestled them like we’d wrestle any team”.
When asked who wrestled most impressively on the night, neither Velasquez or Costanzo could pick just one. Velasquez took a moment to think before saying, “that’s a tough one, Uthman’s always fun to watch, he’s just real explosive…Goergen just going turn after turn, I mean I cant pick one, there’s a lot of guys going out there trying to score points and that’s what was great about this dual.”
Costanzo responded in nearly the same way, “that’s a tough question, there was some pretty good ones out there,” he said, doting on 174 lb Clayton Jennissen and his ability to perform consistently night after night.
Jennissen improved his record to 20-5 on the season and marked his 104th win as a Husky. With a night that impressed both coaches and the many fans who came out to support the team, the Huskies now look ahead to what’s next.
It’s the #1 ranked Huskies’ turn now to head over to St. John’s as they will compete in the 2017 North Country Open on Sunday, January 29th. Wrestling will start at 9 am.