No. 25 Bison Host Utah Valley, Northern Colorado

The No. 25-ranked North Dakota State wrestling team (7-8, 2-0 WWC) hosts two Western Wrestling Conference duals in the Bison Sports Arena this weekend. The Bison host Utah Valley on Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. and Northern Colorado on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. Sunday’s dual will serve as Senior Day for the Bison.


Live video of the duals will be available on to NDSU All-Access subscribers.

NDSU Senior Day

North Dakota State will honor its seniors prior to Sunday’s dual with Northern Colorado.

Trent Sprenkle (Billings, Mont.) is a two-time NCAA Championships qualifier who owns 97 career victories for the Bison. He won 32 matches as a sophomore, 33 as a junior, and stands at 22-4 this season. Sprenkle took first place at the NCAA West Regional last season, and this year he has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation – the highest ranking ever achieved by a Bison wrestler. Off the mat, Sprenkle is a two-time NWCA All-Academic honoree and a three-time selection to the Western Wrestling Conference All-Academic Team.

Mark Erickson (Roseau, Minn.) is a three-year starter for NDSU at 141 and 149 pounds, posting 65 career wins for the Bison. He placed third at 149 pounds at the 2012 NCAA West Regional to earn third-team All-Western Wrestling Conference honors. Erickson has started every dual for the Bison this season.

Joe Garner (San Leandro, Calif.) is a two-year starter for NDSU after transferring from Sacramento City College prior to the 2010-11 season. He started 12 duals at 174 and 165 pounds last season before starting every dual for the Bison at 149 pounds this season. Garner won a Bison Open championship in November at 149 pounds.

Mac Stoll (Dent, Minn.) was an NCAA Championships qualifier at 184 pounds in 2012. He owns 61 career wins for the Bison, including 24 last season when he earned third-team All-WWC honors with a third-place finish at the NCAA West Regional. Stoll has been ranked as high as No. 16 in the nation this season.

Kallen Kleinschmidt (Helena, Mont.) has started 14 of 15 duals for the Bison this season at 197 pounds. He has recorded six dual victories, including wins in dual meets with No. 9 Central Michigan, No. 20 Northern Iowa, No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Old Dominion.

About Utah Valley

The Wolverines (5-2, 2-1 WWC) will put their four-dual win streak on the line after defeating Arizona State (26-15), Northern Colorado (39-0), Stanford (18-15) and South Dakota State (22-18) in their last four duals.

Redshirt freshman Jade Rauser (125) leads the Wolverines on the season with an 18-6 overall record, while Monte Schmalhaus and Josh Wilson are right behind him with identical 18-7 clips.

Rauser and Wilson were both recently ranked 22nd in their respective weight classes in the first of three NCAA Coaches’ Panel rankings for the 2012-13 wrestling season.

Both of the Wolverines’ losses were to ranked opponents in Bloomsburg and Wyoming.

The Series with Utah Valley

North Dakota State leads the all-time series with Utah Valley, 6-1, with the only Bison loss coming in 2009.

About Northern Colorado

The Bears (1-7, 0-2 WWC) are in search of their first dual victory over a Division I program this season, with their only win coming against Colorado School of Mines on Jan. 13, 25-19.

Sophomore heavyweight Henry Chirino is 21-8 on the season to lead the Bears.

The Series with Northern Colorado

North Dakota State leads the all-time series with Northern Colorado, 30-5-1, but three of the five UNC victories have come since 2008.

Julson Named WWC Wrestler of the Week

Sophomore 174-pounder Kurtis Julson was named the WWC Wrestler of the Week on Feb. 5 after defeating No. 19 Cody Caldwell of Northern Iowa, 3-2.

Eighth Ranked Opponent

On Feb. 3, No. 20 Northern Iowa became the eighth ranked opponent that NDSU has faced this season. The Bison are 3-5 in duals against ranked teams this year, with wins over No. 14 Wyoming, No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Old Dominion. The Bison dropped duals versus No. 1 Minnesota, No. 7 Missouri, No. 9 Central Michigan, No. 15 Oregon State and No. 20 Northern Iowa.

Top 25

For the third time this season and the third time in the school’s Division I era, the North Dakota State wrestling team is ranked among the nation’s top 25 programs in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll. The Bison are ranked 25th in the latest poll released on Feb. 5.

Closing In

NDSU senior Trent Sprenkle is closing in on his 100th career victory. Sprenkle currently owns 97 career wins and is striving to become the eighth Bison wrestler to ever top the 100-win mark.

Dual Perfection

Bison junior Steven Monk is 15-0 in dual meets this season and has registered victories in 18 straight dual meets dating back to Feb. 5, 2012. Monk’s last defeat in a dual was a 3-2 decision by Northern Iowa’s David Bonin at 157 pounds.

Dynamic Duo

NDSU senior 125-pounder Trent Sprenkle and junior 165-pounder Steven Monk have combined to go 28-2 in duals this season.

Two Top 10’s

North Dakota State wrestlers Steven Monk and Trent Sprenkle are ranked No. 6 and No. 9, respectively, in the nation in the latest Amateur Wrestling News and Intermat individual rankings.

Monk (28-3, 15-0 duals) owns five wins this season over wrestlers ranked in the top 11 at 165 pounds – No. 7 Nick Sulzer (Virginia), No. 8 Conrad Polz (Illinois), No. 10 Cody Yohn (Minnesota), No. 10 Zach Toal (Missouri) and No. 11 Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo).

Monk is 45-6 in his last 51 matches and owns a record of 90-21 in his Bison career. His .811 career winning percentage is the ninth-best in NDSU history.

Sprenkle (22-4, 13-2 duals) is 4-2 against ranked opponents at 125 pounds this season, including wins over David Thorn of Minnesota and Christian Cullinan of Central Michigan, who were ranked No. 5 and No. 8 in the nation at the time of their meetings.

Sprenkle was ranked as high as No. 4 in December – the highest ranking ever achieved by a Bison wrestler in NDSU’s Division I era. He owns 97 career wins and is aiming to become the eighth wrestler in NDSU history with 100 or more victories.

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