Jackrabbits home for three duals
The South Dakota State University wrestling team will face a busy weekend of home action, hosting three duals over a three-day span at Frost Arena.
The Jackrabbits, 6-5 in duals overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 Conference, open action this week with two matches Friday as part of the SDSU Triangular. SDSU will square off against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (2-7 overall) at 5 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. matchup with CSU Bakersfield (7-2 overall). SIUE and CSU Bakersfield open the triangular with a dual at 3 p.m.
SDSU has won five consecutive dual meets, dating back to winning three duals in one day at the South Dakota Showcase Dec. 6 in Sioux Falls. The Jackrabbit winning streak reached five with a 34-3 Big 12 Conference win at Northern Colorado on Jan. 15.
On Sunday, SDSU returns to Big 12 Conference action with a date against Air Force, which enters its first weekend of league dual competition with a 5-2 overall record. Start time for the Military Appreciation match is 11:30 a.m. Active duty military personnel and veterans can claim two tickets free tickets to Sunday’s dual at the ticket table in the Frost Arena concourse starting at 10:30 a.m.
All three of the Jackrabbits’ duals will be available for viewing through FloWrestling.org.
THE SERIES: South Dakota State holds a combined 6-10-1 all-time record against its three-weekend opponents.
The Jackrabbits have a 3-1-1 record against SIU Edwardsville, in a series that began with a 23-23 tie during the 2009-10 season. SDSU has won each of the last three meetings, including a 29-9 victory on Dec. 19, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri.
Friday’s dual against CSU Bakersfield will mark the first meeting between the two squads.
In a series dating back to the 1992-93 season, Air Force holds a 9-3 advantage in dual competition. The Falcons and Jackrabbits have met each season since the 2004-05 campaign, when both became charter members of the Western Wrestling Conference. Air Force won seven consecutive matchups between the 2006-07 and 2012-13 seasons, but the Jackrabbits have won the last two meetings. SDSU scored a 23-9 road victory on Feb. 1, 2015, in the most recent dual between the two programs.
RANKINGS UPDATE: Three South Dakota State University wrestlers are ranked in the top 20 of their respective weight classes this week by a variety of publications and ranking services.
Wrestler,WIN Magazine,FloWrestling,Intermat,Amateur Wrestling News
Brance Simms (133),17th,NR,NR,NR
Cody Pack (157),6th,9th,8th,6th
Nate Rotert (197),14th,9th,12th,11th[/eztable]
As a team, the Jackrabbits are currently ranked 27th in the Tournament Power Index rankings compiled by WIN Magazine. SDSU was ranked 31st in the preseason TPI and rose to as high as No. 25 after its Dec. 13 dual win against North Dakota State.
NATIONAL MENTION: The South Dakota State University wrestling team reached a milestone in its Division I pursuits as the Jackrabbits received mention in the USA Today/ NWCA Division I Coaches Poll for the first time on Nov. 17.
The Jackrabbits were among six teams to receive votes in the poll but not crack the top 25. SDSU again received a vote in the Dec. 14 poll.
PACK REACHES 100-WIN MARK: Three-time NCAA qualifier Cody Pack became the first Jackrabbit wrestler to reach the 100-win mark for his career in the Division I era, hitting the milestone in dramatic fashion at the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Dec. 29.
After notching two decisive victories in the early runs to run his career win total to 99, Pack trailed ninth-seeded Markus Scheider of Columbia (N.Y.), 5-2, entering the third period of their quarterfinal match. Pack managed an escape seven seconds into the period and followed moments later with a takedown and pin to secure his 100th career win and a place in the tournament semifinals.
A senior from Quincy, California, Pack has compiled a 102-33 overall record, including a 17-2 mark so far during the 2015-16 campaign. Pack was granted an eligibility extension by the NCAA last spring after his first two seasons were cut short due to injury. His 37 wins last season tied for eighth-most in a single-season in program history.
Pack enters Friday’s home triangular tied for 10th place on the Jackrabbit career wins chart with Tyler Jones (102-17 from 2000-03) for 10th place. A four-time NCAA Division II All-American, Jones was the last Jackrabbit wrestler to reach the 100-win milestone.
Following are Pack’s year-by-year records:
2011-12: 5-1 (missed most of season due to injury)
2012-13: 15-16 (NCAA qualifier)
2013-14: 28-8 (NCAA qualifier)
2014-15: 37-6 (NCAA qualifier)
Career Totals: 102-33 (includes 47-12 dual record)
RACE TO 20: Four Jackrabbit wrestlers are in line to reach the 20-win mark for the season during competition this weekend.
Sophomores Luke Zilverberg and David Kocer enter the weekend as the team leaders in wins so far this season with 18. Zilverberg, a native of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, has posted an 18-7 record at 165 pounds, while Kocer, from Wagner, has compiled an 18-9 mark.
Two other Jackrabbits, 157-pounder Cody Pack and 197-pounder Nate Rotert each have 17 wins on the year. Both Pack (17-2) and Rotert (17-6) are returning national qualifiers.
BIG 12 TICKETS: Tickets for the 2016 Big 12 Wrestling Championship are now on sale. This season’s championship, which will take place March 5-6 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, marks the first neutral-site conference championship for the sport.
Tickets can be purchased at Big12Sports.com/buytickets, SprintCenter.com; charged by phone at 888-929-7849 and Price Chopper Box Office at Sprint Center.
Tickets start at $40, with premium seating priced at $60 and VIP seats available for $100. The two-day event will feature four sessions of action, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Each ticket purchased gains access to all four sessions. Special group rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For information on group tickets, call 816-949-7175, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One hundred student-athletes will compete across 10 weight classes for a chance to be a Big 12 Champion and for automatic berths into the NCAA National Championship tournament. Big 12 programs have a rich history of wrestling success garnering 49 NCAA team titles and crowning 277 individual national champions.
South Dakota State will be competing at the Big 12 Wrestling Championship for the first time. SDSU was accepted as an affiliate member in July.
COACH BONO: Chris Bono has engineered a successful rebuilding process during his tenure as head coach of the South Dakota State University wrestling program.
Now in his fourth season, Bono has helped mentor Jackrabbit wrestlers to qualify for the NCAA Championships seven times and has posted a 28-33 dual record.
During the 2014-15 season, the Jackrabbits posted their first winning dual record in nine seasons with an 11-8 mark, and three SDSU wrestlers — Cody Pack, Nate Rotert and J.J. Everard — qualified for the NCAA Championships. Pack reached the national tournament for the third consecutive year at 157 pounds and was one win away from All-America status.
SDSU also had three national qualifiers during the 2013-14 season as Pack, Joe Brewster and Alex Kocer all qualified out of the NCAA West Regional/Western Wrestling Conference Championships.
While leading the Jackrabbits, Bono was also tabbed as coach for the U.S. Men’s Freestyle team at the 2013 Pan American Championships. In the world event, Coach Bono led Team USA to a 13-point victory.
Overall, Bono has a 66-50 dual record in six-plus seasons as a collegiate head coach. He previously served three seasons at Chattanooga (Tenn.), where he led the Mocs to three Southern Conference titles and coached two All-Americans and 19 NCAA qualifiers from 2006-09.
Bono also served nine seasons as an assistant coach at Iowa State after a standout career for the Cyclones. He lettered from 1994-97, finishing his career with 130 victories. A four-time NCAA qualifier, Bono won a national championship at 150 pounds as a junior, adding a runner-up finish as a senior and fifth-place showing as a sophomore.
THE ROSTER: The 2015-16 SDSU wrestling roster features 30 student-athletes from eight different states. Of the 30 wrestlers, 10 are from South Dakota, six are from Minnesota and five are from Iowa. California and Illinois are each represented by three wrestlers, while Kansas, Nebraska and Washington each have one wrestler.
By class, four are seniors, four are juniors, seven are sophomores, four are redshirt freshmen and 11 are true freshmen.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits continue home dual action with a Jan. 29 matchup against Wyoming. Start time is 7 p.m. at Frost Arena.
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