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Ben Karkela, Published February 03 2011

Concordia tops MSUM in battle of ranked wrestling teams

Concordia seniors Phil Moenkedick and Justin Berns sparked the Cobbers to a 21-12 comeback win against Minnesota State Moorhead in nonconference college wrestling Wednesday at Memorial Auditorium.

Moenkedick and Berns, former teammates at Perham (Minn.) High School, extended their school-record career individual win totals to 126.

“You have to be kind of lucky to stay as healthy as we’ve been for the last four years and come in here and start as freshmen,” Moenkedick said.

The Cobbers (10-2) came into the match ranked No. 7 in NCAA Division III. The Dragons (4-7) are No. 20 in Division II.

The Cobbers stormed back from a 12-6 deficit by winning the final four matches of the dual.

At 174 pounds, No. 5-ranked Ross Dankers sparked Concordia’s comeback with an 8-2 decision over Trent Sovde.

At 184, No. 1-ranked Moenkedick’s pin over Jacob McLean in 5 minutes, 57 seconds gave the Cobbers a 15-12 lead over the Dragons, one they never relinquished.

Concordia’s Nathan Schmitz added a 3-1 overtime victory over Brian Woelfel, extending the lead to 18-12.

“We thought we wrestled just as we should have from 157 on up,” Concordia coach Clay Nagel said.

The victory was only the Cobbers’ second win over MSUM in the last 21 duals.

“They’ve had our number for awhile,” Moenkedick said. “So it’s nice to beat them here.”

The Dragons won three of the first four individual matches. At 141, Connor MacGregor earned a 9-4 decision over David Baker to give MSUM a 6-3 team lead.

“We knew they were tough up top and they’ve got great wrestlers down below, too,” Dragon coach Kris Nelson said. “We were counting on winning 4-5 matches down below.”

At 165, MSUM’s Tyler Kivel took down Matt Jeska for a dramatic 6-4 win in overtime. It was the final match win of the night for the Dragons.

For Concordia, the win avenges last season’s 22-18 loss to MSUM.

“This definitely isn’t what we train for, but it’s a nice win to get,” Moenkedick said.

125: Ulmer, MSUM, dec. Presler, 6-3

133: Hohbein, C, dec. Forde, 4-2

141: MacGregor, MSUM, dec. Baker, 9-4

149: Steinwand, MSUM, dec. Long, 5-2

157: Berns, C, dec. Wald, 8-2

165: Kivel, MSUM, dec. Jeska, 6-4 (OT)

174: Dankers, C, dec. Sovde, 8-2

184: Moenkedick, C, pin Kalkbrenner, 5:57

197: Schmitz, C, dec. Woelfel, 3-1 (OT)

Hwt: Bouressa, C, dec. Swart, 5-1


Readers can reach Forum reporter Ben Karkela at (701) 241-5549