Brancale Captures North Country Open Title

Ben Brancale won the 141-pound title at Saturday’s North Country Open in Collegeville, Minn., his second consecutive tournament title after winning the Worthington Open two weeks ago. Five other Gophers placed in the event, including Gresh Jones, Dalton Clark and Luke Destiche, who all finished fourth at their respective weights (133, 157 and 286).

Brancale reached the final match of a tournament for the third straight time, extending a streak that began with a runner-up finish at the Husky Open and continued with his Worthington Open title. He began his championship run with a major decision and a tech fall before earning a pair of two-point victories in the semifinals and finals. The 4-0 day extends his winning streak to seven straight matches. Going back to the second round of the Cobber Open, Brancale has now won 14 of his last 16 bouts.

Of the trio of fourth-place finishers for Minnesota, Destiche had the longest road, wrestling in five matches. After beginning his day with a pair of decisions, Destiche was pinned in the semifinals and sent to wrestlebacks, where he earned a three-point win to advance to the third-place match. The two other fourth-place finishers, Jones and Clark, each went 2-2 on the day. Jones has now finished fourth in three straight tournaments, while Clark has placed fourth in both collegiate tournaments in which he’s wrestled this season.

Both of Minnesota’s other placers came at 184 pounds, where Dalton Lunde defeated Faris Karaborni for fifth place.

Three other Gophers – Colin Carr, Tim Christianson and Chase O’Connor – competed in the event, but did not place. is your home for Gopher Wrestling news, including the latest on redshirting wrestlers and open tournament results. In addition to catching up with the program on the website, be sure follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

North Country Open Results

Gopher Match-by-Match Results:


Gresh Jones (2-2, 4th Place)
Champ Rnd 1: Bye
Quarters: Gresh Jones dec Brandon Briggs (St. Cloud State), 9-2
Semis: Tyler Pasvogel (St. Cloud State) dec Gresh Jones, 11-5
Cons Semis: Gresh Jones fall (0:29) Dakota Welsh (Minnesota State-Mankato)
3rd Place: Mike Pleski (St. John’s) dec Gresh Jones, 5-4


Ben Brancale (4-0, 1st Place)
Champ Rnd 1: Ben Brancale maj dec Albert Landeros (North Dakota State), 12-3
Quarters: Ben Brancale tech fall John Roddick (St. Cloud State), 20-5
Semis: Ben Brancale dec Ben Henle (St. John’s), 7-5
Finals: Ben Brancale dec Matt Nelson (St. Cloud State), 3-1


Dalton Clark (2-2, 4th Place)
Quarters: Dalton Clark maj dec Boone Young (Augsburg), 11-3
Semis: Grant Parker (Augsburg) dec Dalton Clark, 4-0
Cons Semis: Dalton Clark fall (2:34) Colton Stoddard (Southwest Minnesota State)
3rd Place: Nick Mergen (North Dakota State) maj dec Dalton Clark, 13-5


Colin Carr (0-1)
Champ Rnd 1: Alex Blaney (North Dakota State) fall (0:40) Colin Carr
Cons Rnd 1: Bye
Round of 12: Jack Barsody (St. John’s) med. forfeit Colin Carr


Dalton Lunde (3-2, 5th Place)
Champ Rnd 1: Dalton Lunde dec Glenn Castro (St. John’s), 6-0
Quarters: Dalton Lunde dec Charley Popp (North Dakota State), 6-5
Semis: Garret Miller (St. Cloud State) maj dec Dalton Lunde, 8-0
Cons Semis: Alexander Bleeker (North Dakota State) dec Dalton Lunde, 3-1
5th Place: Dalton Lunde maj dec Faris Karaborni, 12-0

Faris Karaborni (0-3, 6th Place)
Champ Rnd 1: Bye
Quarters: Garret Miller (St. Cloud State) fall (1:21) Faris Karaborni
Round of 12: Bye
Cons Semis: Cole Hennen (Southwest Minnesota State) fall (0:47) Faris Karaborni
5th Place: Dalton Lunde maj dec Faris Karaborni, 12-0

Tim Christianson (0-1)
Champ Rnd 1: Cory Flaata (St. Cloud State) dec Tim Christianson, 6-4
Cons Rnd 1: Bye
Round of 12: Charley Popp (North Dakota State) med. forfeit Tim Christianson

Luke Destiche (3-2, 4th Place)
Champ Rnd 1: Luke Destiche dec Lucas Damm (Southwest Minnesota State), 5-0
Quarters: Luke Destiche dec Logan Linderbaum (Minnesota State-Mankato), 3-2
Semis: Donald Longendyke (Augsburg) fall (2:30) Luke Destiche
Cons Semis: Luke Destiche dec Colin Fisher (St. John’s), 4-1
3rd Place: Daniel Stibral (North Dakota State) tech fall Luke Destiche, 15-0

Chase O’Connor (0-2)
Champ Rnd 1: Mike Hobbs fall (2:56) Chase O’Connor
Cons Rnd 1: Vincent Feola (North Dakota State) dec Chase O’Connor, 11-4

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