MOORHEAD, Minn. — Concordia hosted 12 top regional college programs at the annual Finn Grinaker Cobber Open and came away with nine top 6 finishes in the two-division format at the invite.
The wrestlers were separated into an experienced bracket (Gold Division) and another for collegiate newcomers – or less experienced athletes (Maroon Division). Freshman Hunter SantAmour earned the only weight-class championship for the Cobbers. SantAmour claimed the title at 197 in the maroon division.
Jakob Stageberg and Joe Heinz had the top finishes in the gold bracket. Both athletes finished fourth in their weight classes.
SantAmour went 4-0 on the day and had three “bonus point results. He started his title trek with falls in the first two rounds over wrestlers from South Dakota State and Northland. He then posted a major decision in the semifinals before beating Caleb Ward from South Dakota State in the championship match. Ward was the Kansas state high school runner-up last year.
Alexi Bode was the runner-up in the 157-lb weight class in the maroon division. He went 4-1 and scored two pins and also a major decision.
Ben Baumgartner, Aaron Dick, Parker Jackson and Dane Ringquist claimed top 5 finishes in the maroon division. Baumgartner, one of the stars from CC’s dual-meet win at MSU Moorhead, went 4-2 and placed fourth at 149.
Dick was fifth at 125 while Jackson was fifth at 165 and Ringquist was fifth at 174.
Stageberg was 2-2 and placed fourth at 125 in the gold division. Both of his losses came against wrestlers from Division II powerhouse St. Cloud State. Stageberg now has a team-best 13 wins on the year.
Joe Heinz was the surprise standout of the day. He went 2-2 at 165 and finished fourth. Heinz’ biggest win came in his third match of the day when he posted a 4-3 decision over Matt Njos of Division I North Dakota State. Njos was the Minnesota state high school champ at 160-lbs last year. He went 39-3 in his final year of high school and is 4-6 this year for the Bison.
Ben Cousins was the final place winner for Concordia at the big home event. Cousins was 2-3 at 157 with all three losses coming at the hands of wrestlers from Division I or II programs. Cousins was one of the few CC athletes to post a victory over an athlete from Northern Iowa. He bettered Zach Witte 3-1 in the first round of the consolation bracket. Cousins then went on to beat Nick Mergen from NDSU. Witte was a two-time state high school champion in Iowa and is 28-13 in his career for the Panthers. Mergen is 7-6 for the Bison this year and went 43-2 in his senior year of high school last year.
Finn Grinaker Cobber Open results
WHAT’S NEXT: Concordia will have a short break for Thanksgiving and then return to action when they compete in the University of Mary triangular on Wednesday, Dec. 2.