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DICKINSON, N.D. – Blue Hawk wrestling traveled to the two-day Missouri Valley Invite. The event hosted some of the NAIA's top talent with thirty teams attending. Two Blue Hawks, Gresh Jones (133 pounds) and Taner Stone (157 pounds), each reached the podium. As a team, the Blue Hawk wrestlers finished eighth.
Jones came into the tournament off his Tyler Plummer Invitational championship the week before. He continued his steady wrestling. Jones began the Missouri Valley Invite with a pair of wins by way of fall and tech fall. In the semifinals, Jones matched up against William Baptist's Tanner Irwin, nationally ranked fifth. Jones handled Irwin, winning the match 9-0. In the semifinals, Jones matched up against another ranked opponent, 11th ranked Brady Moser. And again, Jones cruised to a 7-1 decision. In the title match, 19th ranked Haidon Allen awaited Jones. Jones stayed locked in and took a 7-2 decision for the championship. Jones out scored his opponents 32-3 throughout the invite.
Stone started his tournament with a loss to Nicholas Drendel, the fifth ranked wrestler in the nation. From there, Stone battled back winning several matches in a row in the consolation match. A notable victory for Stone came over Grand View's Mason Miller, nationally ranked fifth. The 5-2 decision over Miller put Stone in the placing matches, where he ended seventh.
At 125 pounds, Matt Hruby continued his strong wrestling, coming of his Tyler Plummer championship. Hruby drew the 19th ranked wrestler, Montana Moon, for his first match. Hruby battled closely with the Oklahoma City product. Hruby pulled off a 5-4 decision moving him on in the bracket. Hruby fell in his second match and battled through the consolation bracket but fell short of the podium.
Jamie Mullins (141 pounds) was also able to get a win over a ranked opponent. In his second match Mullins faced off against fifth ranked Gaige Torres. Mullins fought for seven minutes, coming away with a 7-6 decision.
The Blue Hawks tallied 75 team points, finishing eighth amongst the field. Host school, Missouri Valley won the team title.
Blue Hawk wrestling will return home for their dual against the University of Providence Wednesday, January 24, at 6:00.