Steven Monk and Josh Rodriguez highlighted 12 place-winners for the North Dakota State Bison wrestling team Saturday, Nov. 9, at the 43rd Bison Open inside the Bison Sports Arena.
Monk claimed the individual title at 165 pounds while Rodriguez, wrestling unattached, finished first at 125 pounds. It's the eighth-consecutive year NDSU has claimed at least one individual champion in the open and the second-straight individual titles for both Monk and Rodriguez.
Monk posted a 4-0 record, winning two of his four matches by fall. The Wausau, Wis. native pinned the Minnesota Golden Gophers' Christopher Pfarr in 3:51 in the second-round, after receiving a first-round bye, to advance to the quarterfinals against Mary's Brock Krumm. Monk picked up his second win and advanced to the semifinals after pinning Krumm in 2:20. He faced Concordia-Moorhead's Jake Krostad and rolled to a 21-1 tech fall victory to earn a spot in the title match. Monk faced Minnesota's Daniel Zilverberg and came away with a hard-fought 4-2 decision to seal his second straight Bison Open individual title.
Rodriguez also finished 4-0, wrestling unattached. He received a first-round bye and wrestled Gabe Foltz of Concordia-Moorhead in round two, earning a 5-2 decision to book a spot in the quarterfinals against the Golden Gophers' Judson Preskitt. Rodriguez came away with a 14-5 major decision to advance to the semis and face-off with another Golden Gopher in Jordan Kingsley. He posted an 11-2 major decision over Kingsley, earning a spot in the title match. The Guadalupe, Calif. native claimed his second consecutive title and first title at 125-pounds after defeating Minnesota's Samuel Brancale via a 5-1 decision. Rodriguez's title last season was at 133 pounds.
Other place-winners for the Bison were Hunter Weber (3rd at 125 pounds), Clay Cathey (3rd at 133 pounds), Justin Scherkenbach (6th at 133 pounds), Justin LaValle (4th at 141 pounds), Mitch Bengtson (2nd, wrestling unattached at 141 pounds), Joe Carpenter (5th, wrestling unattached at 157 pounds), Hayden Zillmer (2nd at 174 pounds), Tommy Petersen(4th, wrestling unattached at 197 pounds), Evan Knutson (5th at 285 pounds) and John Gusewelle (4th at 285 pounds).
The Bison return to the mats Saturday, Nov. 23, when they travel to DeKalb, Ill. to face Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois in a double dual.