NAPERVILLE, Ill. (12/07/19)---Bonus-point victories and come-from-behind wins highlighted Concordia's trip to Naperville, Ill. to compete at the North Central Invite.
The Cobbers won by bonus points in nearly three-fourths of their victories and placed fourth in the final team standings despite being shorthanded due to injuries and sickness.
Sophomore Jacob Prunty led the way for the Cobbers by finishing second in the 133-pound weight class. Prunty dominated his first opponent by securing a first-period pin. He faced a far stiffer test in his quarterfinal bout as he trailed 2-0 until late in the second period. Undeterred by the late deficit, Prunty tied the match when he earned a two-point near fall, then earned the win with a late escape. Prunty followed up that comeback victory with an upset win over the No.7-ranked wrestler in Division III before dropping a hard-fought championship match to the country's top-ranked 133-pounder.
Freshman Gabe Zierden was the Cobbers' next highest finisher with a third-place at 197 pounds. Like Prunty, Zierden had to come from behind in the quarterfinals as he surrendered an early takedown and near fall. The Concordia freshman gamely avoided getting pinned and stormed back with a vengeance. Several late takedowns and a clutch ride out from the top position gave Zierden a 7-6 win. Zierden came up short in the semifinals but earned more than six minutes of riding time in winning a 10-0 major decision in the third-place match.
Arends placed fifth at 184 pounds and picked up three bonus point wins—one pin, one technical fall and one major decision. He too, had to come from behind, as he trailed in the consolation semifinals before mounting an offensive onslaught to win 15-4.
Lundeen led Concordia in wins on the day as he recorded five victories and placed sixth in the 141-pound weight class. Lundeen put on an impressive showing in the wrestlebacks after falling in his first match of the day. He added two pins and one technical fall to the team's bonus-point victory tally. Although the freshman would come up just short in his final, he looked strong in defeat as he kept his opponent down for the entire third period.
Concordia had several other athletes add bonus point-wins despite just missing the placing rounds.
Junior Cole Kubesh overcame a 3-point deficit to pin his first opponent at 125 pounds. He would add one more pin and a technical fall by day's end.
Freshman 149-pounder Tyler Bents picked up a pin and a major decision and won a total of three matches in the tournament.
Freshman 157-pounder Gabe Allen trailed by two points in his first bout before picking up a pin. He also nearly pinned his final opponent and just barely ran out of time.
Kaden Spindler picked up two wins by fall in the 165-pound weight class.
Ayden Friese, a freshman at 184 pounds, had a technical fall in one of his two victories.
The most dramatic moment of the day came at 285 where freshman Austin Ratliff picked up his very first collegiate pin.
UP NEXT: Concordia will stay on the road. The Cobbers head to Lincoln, Neb. To compete in the Prairie Wolf Duals hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Saturday recaps sponsored by Bufffalo Wild Wings: Grab your friends and get to B-Dubs on Sunday nights for College Nights at 9 p.m. 50% off 1 food item with ID and $3 apps at the Buffalo Wild Wings located on Hwy 10 in Moorhead.