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Wolves place five wrestlers at NCAA Super Regions

Northern State University’s Caden Moore, left, ties up with MSU Moorhead’s Tell Ward, right, during their 157 pound match Saturday at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships at Wachs Arena. Moore led the Wolves with a second place finish at 156 pounds. Photo by John Davis taken 2/27/2021

The Northern State University wrestling team placed five wrestlers in the top-4 and finished fifth as a team at the 2021 NCAA Super Region Five Championships from Wachs Arena.

Caden Moore (156) led the Wolves on the afternoon with his second-place finish, earning him an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Kolton Roth (141) and Ali’i Loyola (285) placed third in their brackets while Wyatt Turnquist (149) and James Burks (165) rounded out NSU’s spots on the podium with their fourth-place finishes.

The tournament began with four Wolves advancing to the semifinals in their weight class, headlined by Turnquist who won two bouts early in the afternoon on 6-2 and 5-1 decisions. Dayne Morton (133), Roth, Moore and Burks each won their first match after receiving byes to the quarterfinals.

After losing his quarterfinal match, Loyola entered the consolation bracket and won his first matchup by fall, his consolation semifinal bout by a 7-4 decision and avenged his quarterfinal loss to Southwest Minnesota State’s Jacob Dykes by fall to place third in the 285 bracket.

Kolton Roth, the No. 12-ranked wrestler at 141 in the nation, advanced to the finals by fall but lost to No. 4 Joey Bianchini of St. Cloud State on a 5-1 decision. Roth dropped his true-second match to Upper Iowa’s Tate Murty.

No. 11 Caden Moore also advanced to the championship round for another ranked matchup with No. 5 Chase Luensman of Upper Iowa. Moore lost to Luensman in the first dual of the season and could not pull off the upset to claim the region championship.

As third-place finishers, Kolton Roth and Ali’i Loyola may accompany Moore as at-large bids to the NCAA National Championships March 12-13 from America’s Convention Center Complex in St Louis. The NCAA Division II wrestling selections will be announced Monday afternoon.

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