The St. Cloud State wrestling team is the 2016 NCAA Division II national champion for the second consecutive season.
Huskies Wrestling defeated 30 teams March 11-12 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, including runner-up Notre Dame College, South Euclid, Ohio, (82 points) and third-place finisher University of Nebraska-Kearney (78.5 points). Minnesota State University Mankato finished ninth with 42 points.
Each of the seven Huskies in the tournament earned All-American honors, led by frosh redshirt Brett Velasquez, who is the individual national champion at 125-pounds. The Bennington, Nebraska native recorded a 5-0 win over Willy Bohince of Mercyhurst in the title match.
Velasquez finished the tournament with a 4-0 record. He is the sixth St. Cloud State wrestler to win an NCAA Division II individual national crown and the 16th to win an individual national title in NCAA and NAIA competition, combined.
For his work this season, Coach Steve Costanzo was named the 2016 Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
The Huskies have finished among the NCAA top 10 eight times since 2009. Under Costanzo, St. Cloud State won the NCAA title in 2015 and placed second in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Senior Clint Poster, Pierz, placed third at 165-pounds to earn his fourth All-America award. Senior Austin Goergen, Caledonia, placed third at 285-pounds to gain his third All-America nod.
At 149-pounds, Jay Hildreth placed fourth to earn his second All-America award. He is a senior from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Big Lake senior Matt Nelson placed fifth at 141-pounds to earn his second All-America award.
First time All-America award winners were Cambridge junior Clayton Jennissen, who placed seventh at 174-pounds, and St. Paul junior Uthman Rabiu, who placed eighth at 184-pounds.
The Huskies charted a 16-1 dual match record and claimed their fifth consecutive NSIC championship with an 8-0 record. St. Cloud State placed second at the 2016 NCAA Division II Super 3 Regional and saw four of its athletes gain championships at the regional meet. In the final Division II national poll of the season, the Huskies gained a #2 ranking.
March 12 results
125: #3 Brett Velasquez (SCSU) dec. #6 Ronzel Darling (UWP) 2-0
141: #6 Joseph Alessandro (Seton Hill) dec. Matt Nelson (SCSU) 13-10
149: #4 Issac Dulgarian (Notre Dame) dec. #3 Jay Hildreth (SCSU) 12-5
285: #5 Joseph Fagiano (Calif. Baptist) pin #2 Austin Goergen (SCSU) 1:15
165: #1 Clint Poster (SCSU) pin Kade Kitchens (Shorter) 5:44
174: Austin Harris (Western State) dec. #7 Clayton Jennissen (SCSU) 6-2
165: #1 Clint Poster (SCSU) major dec. #2 Francis Mizia (Mercyhurst)13-2
184: Nick Burghardt (Maryville) dec. #8 Uthman Rabiu (SCSU) 7-0
285: Austin Goergen (SCSU) pin Jacob Mitchell (CSU Pueblo) 5:25
5th Place Match at 141: Matt Nelson (SCSU) major dec. Sam Hanau (Pitt-Johnstown) 9-0
3rd Place Match at 149: #1 Nic Goebel (Findlay) dec. #3 Jay Hildreth (SCSU) 2-1 OT
3rd Place Match at 165: #1 Clint Poster (SCSU) major dec. Tyler Mclean (Simon Fraser) 13-0
7th Place Match at 174: #7 Clayton Jennissenn (SCSU) dec. Roberto Rivera (Notre Dame) 4-1
7th place Match at 184: #7 Huston Evans (Newberry) dec. #8 Uthman Rabiu (SCSU) 7-3
3rd Place Match at 285: #2 Austin Goergen (SCSU) tech fall Austin Aikins (Coker) 15-0 (5:43)
1st place Match at 125: #3 Brett Velasquez (SCSU) dec. Willy Bohince (Mercyhurst) 5-0
WOW …………. GOOD JOB GUYS AND COACH COSTANZO.
NATIONAL CHAMPS AND COACH OF THE YEAR!!
CONGRATS AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
WE ARE PULLING FOR YOU!
DAVE & JIM HAZEWINKEL
WE are so proud to be part of the Husky nation in Texas. Great season SCSU!