FREMONT, Neb. – Three members of the Dakota Wesleyan University wrestling team placed in the top four at the Viking-Warrior Open Saturday afternoon in Fremont, Neb. Karl Bell took third at 141 pounds and Dusty Paulsen (149) and Kyle Gerlach (157) both took fourth at the tournament, which was the first of 2013 for the Tigers.
Bell went 3-1 for Dakota Wesleyan at 141 pounds. After losing his first-round match to an Augustana College opponent, he won a 5-4 decision in the consolation round and pinned his Midland opponent in the consolation semifinals to earn a spot in the third-place match. In that match, Bell won a 7-1 decision over Oklahoma City University’s Michael Stamp.
At 149 pounds, Paulsen won his first-round match by an 8-5 decision against Midland’s Tyler Boyer before losing an 11-8 decision to Augustana’s Jacob Anderson. Paulsen pinned his Oklahoma City opponent in 3:00 in the consolation semifinals, but was pinned in the third-place match to finish in fourth.
Gerlach finished the day 4-2 at 157 pounds for Dakota Wesleyan. The sophomore won his first match of the day by a 7-0 decision, but was pinned in 3:58 in the championship quarterfinals. He came back and won his next three consolation matches –an 8-0 major decision, a 10-7 decision and a forfeit over teammate Trever DeVestern – before falling by a 4-1 decision in the third-place match.
DeVestern, Jacob Devine and Eric Gruis all went 2-2 for the Tigers Saturday. At 157 pounds, DeVestern won his first two matches of the day – the first by an 8-0 major decision and the second by a 4-1 decision – before losing a 6-0 decision in the championship semifinals. He forfeited to Gerlach in the consolation semifinals.
At 165 pounds, Devine lost his first match of the day by an 11-5 decision, but he came back to win the next two by pin. He pinned Midland’s Tyler Willis in 1:38 and Briar Cliff’s Curtis Bright in 5:43 before losing an 11-9 decision to BCU’s Dillon Freeman in the fourth round of the consolation bracket.
Gruis lost his first match of the day by an 8-4 decision at heavyweight, but came back to win the next two in the consolation round. He pinned an Oklahoma City opponent in 2:34 and a Briar Cliff opponent in 1:56 before falling 5-2 in the fifth round of the consolation bracket.
Mito Mendivil (157), Kyle Hoisington (184) and Ross Hoksbergen (197) all picked up a win for Dakota Wesleyan, and Caleb Heiberger (157) and Jade Hoisington (197) also competed for the Tigers.
Dakota Wesleyan returns home Wednesday, Jan. 9, when it hosts Buena Vista University in a nonconference dual at 7 p.m. at the Christen Family Recreation/Wellness Center on the DWU campus.