No. 13 Braves Topple No. 7 Minnesota State-Mankato
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Following a script that has it riding a wave of success this season, the 13th-ranked UNCP wrestling team added another victim to its meat pole on Sunday morning by vanquishing seventh-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato, 19-13, in the consolation semifinals at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals at Northern Iowa's UNI Dome.
The Braves (8-1) will now advance to Sunday's fifth place match where they will rematch with ninth-ranked Central Oklahoma (4-3) at 2 p.m. EST. The Black and Gold defeated the Bronchos, 24-13, on the strength of seven individual wins in Saturday's opening round.
Sunday's morning conquest started with a bang as all-American and second-ranked Russell Weakley continued his unbeaten campaign by ousting top-ranked Andy Forstner by a tight 3-2 decision. Despite another decision victory by Timdarius Thurston at 133 pounds, Minnesota State-Mankato would climb to within two team points, 9-7, on John Makabe's 8-3 win over newcomer Chris Foy at 157 pounds, but wins by all-American Mike Williams (165 pounds) and Dennis Fix (174) would give the Braves a more than comfortable 15-7 advantage.
Shane Nolan would put the finishing touches on UNCP's fifth win over a nationally ranked team this season with a 12-3 major decision over Brandon Ross at 197 pounds that effectively put the match out of reach for the Mavericks.
#13 UNCP 19, #7 Minnesota State-Mankato 13
125: No. 2 Russell Weakley (UNCP) dec. No. 1 Andy Forstner (MSU) D 3-2
133: Timdarius Thurston (UNCP) dec. Skyler Moore (MSU) D 10-3
141: Robby Fisher (MSU) maj. dec. Tyquan Easton (UNCP) M 11-3
149: Brendon Parker-Risk (UNCP) dec. Jesse Westphal (MSU) D 8-6, SV
157: John Makabe (MSU) dec. Chris Foy (UNCP) D 8-3
165: Mike Williams (UNCP) dec. Brendan Eichmann (MSU) D 7-2
174: Dennis Fix (UNCP) dec. Derek Hahn (MSU) D 3-2
184: No. 3 Aaron Norgren (MSU) dec. Shiheem Bryant (UNCP) D 8-3
197: Shane Nolan (UNCP) maj. dec. Brandon Ross (MSU) M 12-3
285: Nathan Haynes (MSU) dec. Seth Stewart (UNCP) D 7-1
Starting Weight: 125
Records: UNCP 8-1; MSU 3-2