NDSU Claims Two Individual Titles at Bison Open Saturday

FARGO, N.D. – 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 Bison Open and the second-straight individual titles for both Monk and Rodriguez.

Monk, ranked third in the nation by Intermat, posted a 4-0 record, winning two of his four matches by fall. The Wausau, Wis., native pinned the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ unattached Christopher Pfarr in 3:51 in the second round, after receiving a first-round bye, to advance to the quarterfinals against the University of Mary’s Brock Krumm. Monk picked up his second win and advanced to the semifinals after pinning Krumm in 2:20.

Monk faced Concordia-Moorhead’s Jake Krogstad and rolled to a 21-1 tech fall victory to earn a spot in the title match, where he faced Minnesota’s Daniel Zilverberg — ranked No. 13 in the nation at 165 pounds — 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’ unattached 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. He improved his record to a perfect 9-0 this season.

Other place-winners for the Bison were Mitch Bengtson (2nd, unattached at 141 pounds), Hayden Zillmer (2nd at 174 pounds), Hunter Weber (3rd at 125 pounds), Clay Cathey (3rd at 133 pounds), Justin LaValle (4th at 141 pounds), Tommy Petersen (4th, unattached at 197 pounds), John Gusewelle (4th at 285 pounds), Joe Carpenter (5th, unattached at 157 pounds), Evan Knutson (5th at 285 pounds), and Justin Scherkenbach (6th at 133 pounds).

Bengtson, a true freshman from St. Cloud, Minn., wrestled his way into the championship match at 141 pounds before dropping an 11-5 decision to No. 6 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota. Zillmer lost a 4-1 decision to No. 5 Logan Storley of Minnesota in the 174-pound finals.

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The Bison return to the mats Saturday, Nov. 23, when they travel to DeKalb, Ill., to face Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois in a triangular.

Bison Open Results

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