The Wolves were the aggressor in nearly every match on the way to recording a 27-12 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory in their final home action of the season.
“Coach has been changing the way we drill our takedowns,” said Northern freshman Grant Steen. “He has this thing called ‘push-pull-pound.’ We just go after each other for 30 seconds and hit shots after we’ve been hitting each other in the head and moving each other and all that stuff.”
The strategy worked to perfection, as the Wolves were able to dictate the pace in most of the matches against the Marauders.
“I really thought the team wrestled very well,” said Northern coach Pat Timm, emphasizing the word team. “We wrestled well enough to win that dual. We knew that everybody had to do their part and they all did. Just up and down the line, I can say the effort was continuous and that’s how we can beat a team like Mary tonight.”
It all started when Anthony Bruno recorded a pin at 125 pounds in the first match of the night.
A couple of matches later, Steen produced a 10-6 win at 149 pounds that drew the praise of his coach.
“I thought Grant Steen had a really nice match at 149,” Timm said. “He probably beat a kid that on paper maybe he wasn’t suppose to, so that’s a great win for him.”
Steen said even though his opponent had beaten a couple of wrestlers that he had lost to, he was confident heading into the match.
“On paper, I probably was (the underdog),” Steen said, “but I felt like I should have beat him from the get-go.”
Northern’s Anthony Navarro then added a wild win at 174 pounds. The freshman trailed 5-2 at one stage, nearly got pinned at another time and then recorded an escape in the closing seconds to give him a lead he did not even realize he had.
“I didn’t know I actually had him in the end until the buzzer finally rang,” Navarro said. “I thought I was down by a point when we came up to our feet. That’s why I went in for a shot. It was pretty exciting.”
Chad Gibson then moved up a weight class and gave up 13 pounds, but still pulled out a 4-2 decision at 197. Matt Meuleners capped the evening with another stellar effort at heavyweight, pinning his foe in the opening period.
The Wolves have one last dual remaining on Friday at Mankato, Minn., before heading to the Super Regionals Feb. 24 in Waterloo, Iowa.
“We’re still working hard and hopefully we’re going to peak at the right time and that’s at the regional tournament,” Timm said. “That’s what we’re looking forward to.”
125 — Anthony Bruno, N, pinned Jordan Eckholm, 1:07.
133 — Hunter Menendez, M, def. Tyler Frost, 1-0.
141 — Ian Muirhead, N, won by forfeit.
149 — Grant Steen, N, def. Landon DellaSilva, 10-6.
157 — Collin Engelhardt, M, def. Gavin Larsen, 5-3.
165 — Brock Krumm, M, def. Blake Lundgren, 8-4.
174 — Anthony Navarro, N, def. Riley Nagel, 8-7.
184 — Brady Anderson, M, def. Jeb Clay, 11-4.
197 — Chad Gibson, N, def. Kriss McCleary, 4-2.
Hwt. — Matt Meuleners, N, pinned Levi Roemmich, 1:52.
Official: Jason Hill.