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St. Cloud State athletics teams see success nationally

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The St. Cloud State Huskies have been climbing the national rankings recently, with three of their teams being ranked in the top three of their respective sports. The St. Cloud State wrestling, men’s hockey, and baseball teams are all viable competitors for their national titles this season.

The wrestling team, who are ranked 2nd nationally according to D2Wrestle.com, have found immediate success this season. With their confidence at an all-time high after winning the national championship last year, they have steamrolled every opponent, besides a loss to #1 Notre Dame (Ohio) in January. Junior Tim Prescott remains #1 nationally in his weight class of 125, as well as junior Clint Poster, who is ranked #1 in his weight class of 157. Sophomore Austin Goergen also is ranked #1 at his weight of 285, with senior Jay Hildreth and freshman Clayton Jennissen also being ranked in the top five of their weight classes.

The Huskies’ wrestling program will look to continue their success in their final two meets against Upper Iowa University and Augustana College before the 2015 NCAA DII Super Region 3 Championships on February 27-28th.

The men’s hockey program has also been on fire, ranking #3 nationally behind the University of North Dakota and Quinnipiac College. They have cruised to a 23-6-1 record this season, including a 13-4-1 record in conference play. The Huskies have been scoring at a high level, with their offense being ranked #1 in the country.

Goaltender and Lakeville, MN native Charlie Lindgren has also been seeing success, posting a 22-6-1 record and a .928% save percentage. Lindgren has also played 1,681 minutes, which is 2nd in the nation. Lindgren was also awarded the NCHC Player of the Month in November as he posted a 5-2-0 record, including four shutouts.

The defense in front of Lindgren has also been potent, as they rank 7th in the nation in goals allowed, only allowing 2.07 a game. Strong leadership from team captain and senior defenseman Ethan Prow have helped the four freshman defensemen develop.

The Huskies also recently won the North Star Cup, an annual tournament between four of Minnesota’s five Division I hockey programs, for in-state bragging rights. The Huskies beat the Bemidji State Beavers in the final, 5-2 to capture the trophy.

The St. Cloud State baseball team also has seen some praise in the rankings, coming into the season ranked first nationally in the 2016 Perfect Game Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. Last season, the Huskies found success by winning the 2015 NSIC regular season championship and finished the season with a school record of 54 wins. They lost in the NCAA Division II Central Region tournament finals, losing to Henderson St in a heartbreaking 8-7 defeat.

The team has already began their season with two wins in the Minute Maid Stadium Tournament in Houston’s Minute Maid Park, home to the professional major league baseball team Houston Astros. They will complete the tournament with a game against the University of Central Missouri Sunday, Feb. 7.

With all these teams vying for a national title this season, there may be some hardware added to the collection at the end of the year.

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