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Shorthanded St. Cloud State seizes title

2015 Division II wrestling

St. Cloud State University wrestling coach Steve Costanzo knew his team needed a flawless performance for a shot at the national title. The team, after all, brought only six qualifiers to the national championships event.

“We left some pretty big hitters at home that didn’t make it through the regional tournament,” Costanzo said. “Coming in, I don’t even know if winning a national championship was a reality for some of our guys.”

Indeed, it became a reality. The Huskies accumulated 84.5 points, edging the University of Nebraska at Kearney by eight to capture the Division II title. It marked St. Cloud State’s first NCAA team championship.

 “Our motto all season long was ‘above and beyond,’ and our guys knew they would have to duplicate the performance from day one (of the tournament) on day two,” Costanzo said. “And that’s exactly what they did and what had to happen if we were going to be in the mix to win it.”

The Huskies went undefeated in the event’s second session, including a major upset by freshman 149-pounder Larry Bomstad over No. 2 seed Keenan Hagerty of Maryville University.

“That was a pivotal point for us,” Costanzo said. “It just brought our excitement level up another notch.”

Junior Tim Prescott’s takedown in the final period to beat T.J. North of Augustana College in the 125-pound title match secured the team championship for St. Cloud State. 

The Results

2015 Division II Wrestling

St. Cloud State, 84.5
Nebraska-Kearney, 76.5
Maryville, 61 

Most Outstanding Wrestler
Chris Watson, Central Oklahoma

Elite 89 Honoree
Corbin Bennetts, Western State

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