Strong start in GPAC duals shows turnaround for DWU wrestling

Jan. 14—JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Dakota Wesleyan University men's wrestling is 4-0 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference in dual action after a 21-15 win over Jamestown on Friday night on the road.

Aric Williams won via pin at 149 pounds, while Tyson Johsnon earned a technical fall at 157 pounds for the Tigers, who also had decisions won by Tyson Durham at 141 pounds and Trevion Sample at 285 pounds, while Lane Miller had a major decision at 184 pounds for DWU, which is now 7-3 overall this season in dual matches.

With seven wins already for the season, it's the most DWU wrestling dual victories in 10 years, dating back to when DWU was 9-7 in the 2013-14 season. Over the previous nine seasons, DWU was 10-118 in duals, including going through three full seasons without a dual victory.

The GPAC regular-season title can be determined by the end of January. DWU is at Briar Cliff on Tuesday, Jan. 23 for a dual, followed by hosting No. 19 Morningside in the home dual finale on Wednesday, Jan. 24. DWU will wrestle No. 5 Doane and Midland on Jan. 27 in Sioux City to close out the GPAC regular season.

In the NAIA's most recent conference rankings issued on Jan. 9, Doane (215 points), Morningside (153) and Briar Cliff (129) are ranked ahead of Dakota Wesleyan (113) in the GPAC. Both DWU and Briar Cliff are among the teams receiving votes outside the national coaches' top-20 team rankings.

Individually, the Tigers have two nationally ranked wrestlers in the most recent NAIA coaches top-25 rankings. At 165 pounds, Kaleb Bigelow is ranked No. 9 nationally, while at 141 pounds, Zach Zitek is ranked No. 22 nationally. In The Open Mat's rankings, DWU's Trevion Sample is ranked No. 12. In the conference-only rankings from the NAIA, Bigelow is No. 1 in the conference at 165, with Zitek at 141 and Aric Williams both at No. 2 at 149 pounds.

Dakota Wesleyan 21, Jamestown 15

Friday at Jamestown

125: Elijah Barajas (UJ) over Will Farren (DWU) (MD 11-1)

133: Isaiah Miller (UJ) over Temuujin Natsagdorj (DWU) (TF 17-2 7:00)

141: Tyson Durham (DWU) over Jace Goebel (UJ) (Dec 8-1)

149: Aric Williams (DWU) over Tommy Beringer (UJ) (Fall 2:03)

157: Tyson Johnson (DWU) over Cutter Jones (UJ) (TF 23-8 7:00)

165: Degan Linne (UJ) over Elijah Isakson (DWU) (Dec 5-0)

174: Double Forfeit

184: Lane Miller (DWU) over Diante Taylor (UJ) (MD 11-3)

197: Jake Rau (UJ) over Colten Hink (DWU) (Dec 8-1)

285: Trevion Sample (DWU) over Chance Robinson (UJ) (Dec 8-1)