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UND Wrestling sends four to the North Country Open at St. John’s University

02/05/2013 -

Grand Forks (2-3-2013) -The University of North Dakota’s wrestling team opened its abbreviated season this weekend and competed in the North Country Open at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN. This tournament featured wrestlers from highly competitive programs across NCAA and NAIA divisions including University of Minnesota, Augsburg, Dickinson State, Concorida-Moorhead, North Dakota State University, St John ’s, St. Cloud State, and Minnesota-State Moorhead.

UND wrestling sent four wrestlers to this highly competitive tournament. Competing for UND were Jared Meidl (133), Josstyn Richter (157), Justin Lee (165), and Jordan Dibich (165).

Josstyn Richter (157) opened UND’s season with a victory. He won his first match with a 10-8 decision over Jake Horn of St. Cloud State. He lost his second match to Pat Smith of University of Minnesota (pin 4:59) who ended up placing second in the tournament. Richter lost his last match of the day to Manny Reyes of Dickinson State University (12-4).

Jared Meidl (133) lost his first match to eventual tournament champion Austin Leibel of Minnesota State-Moorhead (pin 1:23). Meidl lost his second match to Robert Meador of Dickinson State University (pin 1:30).

Jordan Dibich (165) lost his first match to eventual tournament champion Dylan Reel of University of Minnesota (TF 24-6). Reel is a 6-time USA Wrestling Greco and freestyle All-American in high school, including two Greco national championships. Dibich lost a tight match to Race Heitkamp of Concordia-Moorhead (5-1). In that match, Dibich led 1-0 going into the third period, giving up a reversal mid-way through the third period and then a 3-point near fall.

Justin Lee (165) lost to Cody Tibbetts of Saint Cloud State University (pin 2:40) and to Alex Evan of Saint Olaf (pin 2:44).

Despite the outcome, this tournament allowed UND Wrestling to get much needed experience prior to competing in the Great Plains Conference tournament on March 2 at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. The UND Wrestling team is sanctioned by the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA).

The NCWA is comprised of over 150 teams from universities and colleges across the U.S. It is divided into nine conferences and the Great Plains Conference includes University of Minnesota Duluth, Wayne State (NE), University of Missouri, Northwest Missouri State, Kansas State, Wichita State, Colorado State, and University of Colorado amongst others.

Eric Murphy, UND Wrestling faculty advisor, noted that “our wrestlers are adjusting to the pace of intercollegiate wrestling and to the three minute first period. Overall, I would say it was great start to our first season. Our wrestlers came out aggressive, fought off of their backs, and kept competing. It was exciting that Josstyn opened our first action of this short season with a win. He faced some great competition and came away 1-2 on the day.”

Murphy noted that “Meidl really showed some great mat presence and wrestled well on his feet. He had two tough draws, opening with the eventual tournament champion. Dibich really gave it his all against a highly competitive wrestler in Reel. Again, a tough first collegiate match for Jordan, but he never backed down and was aggressive the entire match. His second match was truly winnable and really showed us that he can compete at this level.”

“Justin came out aggressive, but again had a couple of tough matches. Like the other guys, he is just getting back into wrestling after a five year absence from the mat. But like all of the wrestlers, it is great to see him competing and working out there, said Murphy.”

UND Wrestling is coached by Joshua Roberts, a former ND state champion from Central High School. Josh is a NCAA All-American and wrestled at Augsburg College, helping Augsburg win a national championship (DIII) in 2012. He is a USA Wrestling 2-time Greco All-American. “It is great to see the guys coming out together and wrestling for the first time. Win, lose or draw, it was great to see them stay and wrestle hard. This is a great sign for the future of UND Wrestling and I am truly honored and excited to coach this team”, said Roberts.

Our next action is scheduled for the 16th of February at University of Minnesota Duluth where UND wrestling will compete against Iowa State, University of Minnesota Duluth and Itasca Community College.