MOORHEAD - The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team placed nine individuals on the podium at the Finn Grinaker Open, hosted by Concordia College on Saturday.
The Mustang's overall performance was highlighted by Travis Peralta's second-place finish at 184 pounds. He went 2-1 and fell 9-4 to Christian Harrison (Concordia) in the championship match.
Other wrestlers who placed for SMSU were Antonio Meikel (fouth at 125), Justin Reinsma (sixth at 133), Ethan Hildebrandt (sixth at 141), Kyle Begin (fifth at 165), Jacob Begin (sixth at 174), Terrance Maier (fourth at 197), Jon Gorter (sixth at 197), Cole Wilson (fourth at 285).
Meikel opened the tournament by winning his first two matches before dropping a 13-2 major decision to Shane Novak (unattached) in the semifinals. Meikel rebounded with a win over Will McCarthy (Concordia) that sent him to the third-place match versus Blake Bosch (MSU-Moorhead). Meikel was pinned at the 5:38 mark in the third-place match to take fourth place - his best finish as a Mustang.
Reinsma advanced to the semifinal round before being pinned in 44 seconds by Northern Iowa's Levi Wolfensperger. Reinsma rebounded with a pin of Zach Matthys (Itasca Community College) at 6:15, but fell to Tyler Willers (Northern Iowa) to place him in the fifth place bout with Jacoby Bergeron (Concordia). For the second time this week, Reinsma was defeated by Bergeron, this time 3-2.
The 141-pound bracket saw two Mustangs in action - Cody Reed and Ethan Hildebrandt. Reed defeated Ben Rogers (Northland) by decision, 13-6 in the opening round but fell in the semifinals to Mitchell Bengston (North Dakota State) by fall at 1:39. Hildebrandt went 2-0 before being pinned at 6:52 by Angel Vega (unattached) in the semifinals. The loss pitted him in the loser's bracket only to fall once again to Yonas Gebreab (Concordia). The second loss gave him a chance for fifth place versus Frank Wilczek (Ridgewater).
Kyle Begin won four matches on the day - three of the four came via pin. Begin began the tournament with a pin at 1:41 of Shawn Porter (unattached), only to fall 7-3 in the next round to Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa). Two more Begin pins followed before the sophomore dropped another match to a Panther - this time to Curt Maas 5-2. Begin took the fifth place match over Jesse Punchochar (MSU-Moorhead) by medical forfeit.
Jacob Begin finished 2-2 for a sixth-place finish after falling 10-6 to Michael Joseph (MSU-Moorhead) in the fifth-place bout.
Peralta received an first-round bye before taking a 4-1 win over Brandon Larson (Concordia) to advance and battle Christian Harrison (Corcordia) in the championships.
Wilson began the day with a pin in 11 seconds of Joel Koch (Ridgewater). Following his impressive first-round performance, Wilson took down Jerrad Neiland 13-2 in the quarterfinals, before falling to Evan Knutson (North Dakota State ) in sudden victory. Wilson stayed aggressive and the wins kept coming as he defeated John Gusewllie (North Dakota State) before falling 2-0 in the third-place match to Cody Kasprick - an opponent who Wilson defeated on Wednesday.
SMSU will participate next at the University of Jamestown, N.D., Jimmie Open on Saturday with action starting at 9 a.m.