Mankato, Minn. — The Maverick wrestling team will be back in action this weekend taking part in the NCAA Division II Super Regional 3 Tournament in St. Cloud, Minn., on Friday and Saturday.
The regional tournament will serve as a qualifier for the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships hosted by Upper Iowa in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 9-10. The top-four finishers from each weight class will advance to the national championships.
Minnesota State enters the regional tournament as the No. 11 rated team in the nation. The Mavericks are the third-highest rated Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference team in the rankings, following No. 1 St. Cloud and No. 6 Upper Iowa. Out of the 15 teams competing in St. Cloud over the weekend, six are ranked in the NWCA Top-25 poll, while four others are receiving votes in that poll.
A quartet of ranked Mavericks will lead the team into Halenbeck Hall over the weekend. Zach Johnston is the highest rated Minnesota State wrestler, ranked No. 4 at 174-pound. Johnston has recorded an 18-5 record this season including a team-high 14 decision victories.
Andrew McFall and All-American Corey Abernathy are ranked fifth and sixth in their respective weight classes. McFall has an overall record of 15-5 this season at the 125-pound weight class and is 7-3 in duals for the Mavericks. Abernathy is 15-4 at 184-pounds and will be looking to return to the National Championship tournament after finishing eighth a year ago.
Daniel Close is the ninth-rated wrestler at 157-pounds with a 17-4 overall record. Close has won his last four matches including an upset of then ranked No. 1 Larry Bomstad of St. Cloud State.
Matthew Blome and Kyle Rathman will enter the regional tournament holding team-highs for Minnesota State. Blome earned All-American status a season ago with an eight-place finish at the National Championships and leads the Mavericks with six falls this season. Rathman, a freshman from Apple Valley, Minn., holds a team high 19 wins this season contributing to his 19-4 record.
Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am on Friday and Saturday with the championship matches taking place at 4:00 pm on Saturday evening.
Super Region 3 Tournament Website
St. Cloud State
University of Mary
Southwest Minnesota State
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