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Eric Peterson, Published January 27 2011

MSUM wrestling gives Sioux Falls an early intro into NSIC en route to victory

Minnesota State Moorhead senior Jon Swart won’t be around when the University of Sioux Falls joins the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

But Swart still wrestled with purpose Wednesday against the Cougars at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. Swart earned a 13-4 major decision at 285 pounds as MSUM breezed to a 45-4 dual win in nonconference college wrestling.

“It’s something you want to push the pace on and you want to set a precedent with them coming into the conference,” Swart said.

Sioux Falls, which is still competing in NAIA this season, is scheduled to join the NSIC in 2012-13 as it makes its transition to NCAA Division II.

“I think for our whole school it’s an important step. We have to step up as a wrestling program to meet the competition,” said Sioux Falls coach Tim Homan. “Most of these guys wrestling tonight will be stepping in, in two years. We have to have them realize where the next level is.”

The Dragons won nine of the 10 matches, including three by forfeit and one by injury default. MSUM senior Corey Ulmer set the tone at 125 pounds. He earned a technical fall in the first match of the dual.

Ulmer said it was good for MSUM to dual against a team that will eventually join the same conference and Division II region.

“It’s very good for the younger guys and the coaches to get used to their style and see what they have to offer,” Ulmer said. “It made us a little more motivated.”

The dual was delayed by a half hour as the Sioux Falls bus broke down on the way to Moorhead.

Sioux Falls had three weights open because of injuries and one wrestler didn’t weight. Another Sioux Falls wrestler had to take an injury default in his match.

“It was kind of hard to get our intensity going,” Dragons coach Kris Nelson said. “Their bus was a half hour late and we knew they were going to have three forfeits. … I was pretty happy with the way we wrestled. I thought we could have been a little more offensive and got after it more.”

Nelson said he is pleased that Sioux Falls and Minot State are joining the NSIC and Division II, which currently has 48 wrestling teams. That number will grow to more than 50 in 2012-13 when Sioux Falls and Minot State become official NSIC members.

“I think any time you add competition it’s a good thing,” Nelson said. “I’m sure they’re going to make progress by the time they are in our conference.”

Homan hopes his team is ready for that transition.

“My whole life I have been a competitor, and you don’t back down from challenges,” Homan added. “That’s what we have right now. We have a major challenge in front of us.

125: Ulmer, MSUM, tech. fall Goodwin 17-1.

133: Forde, MSUM, forfeit.

141: Goolsby, SF, major dec. Otterness 11-3.

149: Steinwand, MSUM, pinned Thompson 2:23.

157: Wald, MSUM, forfeit.

165: Kivel, MSUM, forfeit.

174: Sovde, MSUM, dec. Bakke 8-4.

184: Kalkbrenner, MSUM, def. Finnicum (injury default).

197: Woelfel, MSUM, dec. Klooster 10-4.

285: Swart, MSUM, dec. Skow 13-4.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com