MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University wrestling team picked up a Great Plains Athletic Conference dual win Tuesday night when it defeated Briar Cliff University 21-15 at the Christen Family Recreation/Wellness Center on the DWU campus.
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Gerlach, the Tigers’ sophomore 157-pounder was named the league’s wrestler-of-the-week. The Mount Vernon, S.D., native went 6-1 last week, including 5-1 with a third-place finish at the Tyler Plummer Classic hosted by Dickinson State University Saturday. He avenged his lone loss at the tournament by beating the same opponent by a 5-3 decision in the third-place match.
Tuesday night, Dakota Wesleyan picked up its sixth dual win of the year to improve to 6-4 overall. The Tigers started the dual with a 5-2 decision by Richard Rios at 133 pounds. He scored a takedown in the first and another in the third. The Chargers (3-2) tied the score with a 4-1 decision over Karl Bell at 141 pounds, and took a 6-3 lead when Skylar Weber won a 13-8 decision over Dusty Paulsen at 149 pounds.
Weber was up 11-0 after the first period after three nearfalls, but Paulsen got an escape and a takedown in the second and two more takedowns in the third to avoid giving up extra points. Gerlach improved to 19-11 on the year with a win at 157 pounds for the Tigers. He led 2-1 after one period and 4-2 after the second, but Briar Cliff tied the score at 4-4 with a takedown early in the third. Gerlach used a late reversal and a nearfall to pull away for the win.
Ryan Roach picked up a 7-2 decision at 165 pounds to push give the Tigers the lead again at 9-6, and Nick Hutcheson used a late takedown to secure a 7-4 decision at 174 pounds to make it 12-6. Tyler Sarringar gave the Tigers some breathing room with a pin in 3:59 at 184 pounds to put Dakota Wesleyan up 18-6 heading into the final two matches of the night.
Jordan Watkins beat Jade Hoisington by a 3-1 decision for Briar Cliff to cut the Tigers’ lead to nine, 18-9, heading into the heavyweight match. Since the dual started at 133 pounds, however, and Dakota Wesleyan was open at that weight, the Chargers were guaranteed six points tacked onto their score after the heavyweight bout.
Eric Gruis started the match with a takedown, but gave up an escape later in the first. He earned an escape in the second period to go up 3-1, and Abram Reynolds got a point for an escape in the third, but Gruis was able to stay on his feet and hold on for the win and secure the victory for Dakota Wesleyan.
The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, Jan. 29, when they travel to Fremont, Neb., for a GPAC triangular with Concordia University and Midland University. Dakota Wesleyan is at home once more this season when it hosts Jamestown College in a nonconference dual on Feb. 6.