Patience Pays Off At Dragon Open

Senior Travis Deegan led Concordia at the MSU Moorhead Dragon Open as he finished second in the Red Division at 165. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gravdahl)
Senior Travis Deegan led Concordia at the MSU Moorhead Dragon Open as he finished second in the Red Division at 165. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gravdahl)

Concordia used the adage "good things come to those who wait" at the multi-team MSU Moorhead Dragon Open. Senior Travis Deegan set the pace with a runner-up finish and led a swarm of 14 Cobber place winners.

Deegan had to wait nearly six hours after weigh-ins for his first match. He then had to remain patient through a low scoring three periods of regulation before recording the only takedown in the first sudden victory overtime. This proved to be the crucial moment for Deegan as it cemented his place in the finals after an early round bye. Deegan would come up just short in a thriller in the championship bout—after another long break—but his runner-up finish proved to be the top performance by a Cobber on the day.

Unlike Deegan, freshmen Bret Wilson and Jacob Prunty got to wrestle their first matches early in the day as they began their runs to third place. Both showed tremendous stamina over the course of several matches to earn their place on the podium. Wilson suffered a first round loss to a DII opponent from the University of Mary but would avenge that loss before the day was through. He responded to the loss by dominating his next two opponents to earn a spot in the third place match. In his final opportunity of the day, Wilson resoundingly turned the tables on his first opponent, transforming a one point loss into a 16-point victory.

Prunty started his day strong with a win by technical fall and a solid 8-2 decision in rapid succession. Prunty would fall to a veteran from Saint John's in his next bout, but came back with a pin over his Northland opponent earning him a chance at third place - an honor he would share with teammate Benjamin Bogart, who won two matches on the day.

Coming home with fourth-place honors for the Cobbers was sophomore Jake Nohre, senior Ty Johnson, and the freshman trio of Michael Miller, Jacob Arends, and Kaden Spindler.

Like Deegan, Arends waited a long time for his first match, but it made the layoff pay off as he earned a measure of revenge over an MSUM opponent by recording a 10-1 victory - a win that set him on the path to his podium finish.

Johnson overcame an early loss by earning two solid victories in the wrestlebacks which put him in position for a chance at third place. Johnson would lose a heartbreaker due to riding time in that bout, giving him the fourth place ranking.

Miller and Spindler both used early wins to propel themselves to the semifinals in their respective weight classes. Both would come up short in those bouts but they came back with victories and grabbed fourth-place honors.

Rounding out the placers for Concordia were fifth-place honorees Travis Ostby, Bryce Kallenbach, and Aiden Jolley, as well as sixth-place finishes from Addisuone Harrington and Sam Henriksen.

For Jolley, Harrington, and Henriksen, who are all first-year athletes, it marked their first time on the podium as Cobbers. Ostby made his season debut with a podium finish. Sophomore Kallenbach also earned his first podium finish of the year, overcoming an early loss with a solid 6-1 win over a Minot State opponent on the road to fifth place. 

UP NEXT: The Cobbers will host the University of Mary on Wednesday, December 5 at 6 p.m. before traveling to Illinois for the North Central Invite on Saturday, December 8. The Marauders are 1-0 in dual meets this year as they beat Minot State 31-12 at the beginning of November.