The MSU-Northern wrestling team is bringing its first trophy home from the NAIA national wrestling tournament since the Lights captured the 2004 national championship. Northern wrapped up a third-place finish Saturday night in Des Moines, Iowa, scoring 104 points and garnering seven All-Americans.
Northern's Cameron Neiss was the top finisher after he placed second at 133 pounds. Ethan Hinebauch (165) and Toby Cheff (184) finished third, while Max Payne (174) placed fourth. Aaron LaFarge (125), Duell Stadel (125) and Mickey Cheff (157) also placed for the Lights, who finished behind repeat champion Grand View with 159 points and Southern Oregon with 153 points. No other team in the field reached the 100-point plateau.
“I am so proud, I’m so excited, I’m really at a loss for words,” Tyson Thivierge said Saturday night. “From where we started to where we are now, it’s phenomenal. It’s a testament to these kids and their desire to be the best they can be. It’s a testament to all my assistant coaches. I have to say, what Dustyn Azure has brought to the table with his strength and conditioning program has really helped put us in this position. I’m just proud of everybody involved with this program, and we came here and took a big step this weekend. These guys really have gotten themselves to the next level.”
Havre's Myles Mazurkiewicz led UGF, which scored 67 points, but his bid for the 141-pound national championship came up short. For the second time in his career, Mazurkiewicz was beaten in the national championship match, earning a second-place finish.
For full coverage, see Monday's Havre Daily News.