Tough Test In Eau Claire

The Cobber wrestling team competed in the Don Parker BluGold Open. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gravdahl)
The Cobber wrestling team competed in the Don Parker BluGold Open. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gravdahl)

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (2/02/19)---No.20-ranked Concordia traveled east and ran into a tough test at the Don Parker BluGold Open hosted by Wis.-Eau Claire. It was one of the final opportunities to prepare for the postseason tournaments. The Cobber athletes got to face off against top competition across all NCAA divisions and five Cobbers managed to grind their way to Top 6 finishes.

The Cobber lightweights were well-represented on the medal stand as 125-pounders Michael Miller and Jake Nohre found spots on the podium. Joining those two in receiving honors for his performance was freshman 141-pounder Bret Wilson, who tied for the team lead in wins on the day.

Miller earned two workmanlike, technically sound, victories to earn sixth place at 125 pounds. His fellow 125-pounder, Nohre, received a bye to the quarterfinals before stamping his ticket to the semis with a dominant 9-0 win. That hot start was good enough for Nohre to claim fourth place.

In addition to tying for the team lead in wins with four, Wilson also shared the honor of most pins among Cobbers on his way to a fifth-place finish. Wilson shouldered two of his foes before the 7-minute mark. Wilson was also undefeated against Division III opponents on the day.

Senior Ty Johnson matched Wilson's total for wins and pins. Johnson matched Wilson's fifth-place mark by winning four bouts and ending two of them by fall. Johnson's last pin of the day provided a much-needed late afternoon burst of energy for the Cobbers. The senior leader trailed against a tough University of Minnesota wrestler after the first period. The tide turned in period two when Johnson shocked the Division I wrestler with a big throw to earn the pin just before the clock expired.

Freshman Jacob Arends worked hard to make sure the Concordia upper weights would have a representative on the podium as he won three matches on his way to a fourth-place finish at 197. Most impressively, Arends trailed in each of his three victories but his tremendous pace and intensity helped spur the freshman's valiant comeback wins.

The BluGold Open marked the last competition of the year for many of the Cobber wrestlers. They were able to contribute greatly to the team's 25 match wins on the day. For those athletes, the season has been full of valuable match experience to carry forward as the young Cobber squad looks to build for big things to come. The Concordia starters still have plenty of work left on the mat as they close the year with one more dual meet which will be followed by the NCAA Regional and National tournament.

UP NEXT: Concordia will host its final dual meet of the year when they compete against Dickinson State on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium. The Cobbers are 7-3 in dual meets this season while the Blue Hawks are 0-3 in duals this year.