FARGO, N.D. — Concordia’s “next man up” theory was in full effect in the season opener as a pair of sophomores earned third-place finishes to lead the Cobbers at the Bison Open.
Justice Davis and Brandon Larson announced their presence to the Concordia lineup by posting third-place finishes in the season opener. Davis went 3-1 in the 285-lb bracket to pick up his third-place finish while Larson lost his opening match of the day but then won five straight to claim third place at 184.
Davis and Larson were a part of the crew of 28 Concordia athletes who competed at the Bison Open which featured top wrestlers from Division I powerhouses University of Minnesota and North Dakota State. The Gophers are currently ranked No.1 in the country. The Cobbers had 11 wrestlers win at least two matches at the extremely competitive tournament and had five athletes finish in the top 6 in their weight class.
Davis pinned Adam Freimund of NDSU in his first match but then lost to J.J. Everard of South Dakota State in the quarterfinals in 285. Everard went on to win the weight class and had 19 wins last season. Davis then beat Alex Macki of SDSU in the wrestlebacks and finished off his day with a 3-0 decision over Mitchell Eull of Minot State in the third-place match.
Larson faltered in his opening match but then went on a five-match tear. His loss came to Christopher Pfarr of the University of Minnesota in overtime. He then recorded three straight pins. He pinned David Murphy of Northern State, Craig Williams of Northland Tech and Hunter Weddington of South Dakota State before beating Trey Hable of SDSU to earn a spot in the third-place match. Larson capped his opener by coming away with a William Balow of the University of Minnesota. Larson finished sixth at the Bison Open last season.
The Cobbers had four familiar faces earn sixth-place finishes at the meet. All-American Jacoby Bergeron went 3-3 at 141 and placed sixth. Two of Bergeron’s three losses came to Tommy Thorn of the University of Minnesota who was Mr. Minnesota Wrestler of the Year in 2014. Bergeron posted wins over Gopher wrestlers Josh Shupe and Gannon Volk and Isiah Sedillos of South Dakota State.
Chase Austvold went 3-3 and placed sixth at 149. Ben Cousins was 2-3 at 157 and earned sixth-place honors while Delson Saintal was 2-3 at 197 and also finished sixth. Austvold’s best result was a pin-fall at the 29-second mark against NDSU wrestler Nathaniel Rykerd. Cousins earned a 7-5 victory over Brad Dolezal of the University of Minnesota who has 32 wins in the past two seasons and won the Bison Open in 2012. Saintal advanced to the semifinals at 197 by beating Tommy Petersen of NDSU 11-9 in the quarterfinals. Petersen went on to finish third at the meet and won 18 matches last year for the Bison.
Concordia will open their dual-meet season when they host MSU Moorhead on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
Bison Open results
Cobber Individual Records at Bison Open
Aaron Dick – 0-2
Richard Soto – 1-2
Gabe Foltz – 0-2
Nate Humann – 1-2
Jakob Stageberg – 2-2
Will McCarthy – 1-2
Dawit Gebreab – 0-2
Yonas Gebreab – 2-2
Jacoby Bergeron – 3-3 (6th place)
Adam Presler – 0-2
Gus McCarthy – 0-2
Jake Kostik – 0-2
Chase Austvold – 3-3 (6th place)
Joe Heinz – 2-2
Alexi Bode – 1-2
Ben Cousins – 2-3 (6th place)
Zach Barber – 1-2
Jake Krogstad – 2-2
Jake Berens – 0-2
Blake Bergeron – 1-2
Jackson Barber – 0-2
Dan Marquette – 1-2
Sebastian Gardner – 0-2
Jacob Johnson – 1-2
Brandon Larson – 5-1 (3rd place)
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Delson Saintal – 2-3 (6th place)
Justice Davis – 3-1 (3rd place)