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South Dakota State wrestler Seth Gross wrestles in the 133 lb. Championship at today's NCAA tournament
SDSU Athletics

SDSU wrestler to wrestle for National Title, Wagner kid, Kocer earns All-American
Mar 18, 2017

By Rich Winter

Well, well, well, look who still has wrestlers going as the NCAA wrestling championships move into the championship placing rounds. It has been a terrific season for the South Dakota State program and yesterday, the Jacks kicked the All-American door down, twice, with two wrestlers remaining alive at the NCAA Tournament.

One of them, Seth Gross, a sophomore from Apple Valley Minnesota will wrestle for a National Title tonight against a former teammate (Iowa), Cory Clark, in the SHIP.

 

Been an interesting journey for Gross, who at one point in his career got booted from the Iowa program only to land a double-leg life-changing turnaround on the streets of Brookings, landing at SDSU and vaulting the program forward with the school's first-ever appearance in a national title bout. 

 

Gross, 34-1 on the season has absolutley been crushing the field at the NCAA championships. 

 

Gross defeated Oklahoma State's Kaid Brock by major decision, 12-3, in 133-pound semifinal action at Scottrade Center. Gross recorded a takedown in the opening minute, then added a four-point near-fall for a 6-0 lead. In the second period, Gross worked from the top and was awarded two points for stalling by Brock for an 8-0 advantage
 
Brock, whose all three losses this season have come at the hands of Gross, mounted a bit of a comeback in the third period with an escape and takedown, but Gross prevented Brock from further closing the gap.
 

Gross has outscored his four opponents at the NCAA Championships by a 43-4 margin.

 

And so, Gross, the former Iowa Hawkeye, kicked off the team only to land on his feet and kicks some ass squares off against his former PROGRAM - OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH, yes please. 

 

No matter how he fares, this is one of those matches that really lifts the SDSU program and puts them on the map. There will be millions of youth wrestlers paying attention tonight and more than a few of them are going to see Jackrabbit wrestling for the first time. 

 

Big moment for the SDSU program and if you are going to kick the door down with All-American, why not do it in style. Not only did Gross advance to the ship, former Wagner prep star, Alec Kocer will wrestle for 7th place in the 149 lb. division. 

 

A senior from Wagner, Kocer joined the list of All-Americans with a 4-2 victory over 14th-seeded Steve Bleise of Northern Illinois. Bleise recorded a first-period takedown and led 2-1 heading into the third period. Kocer, who rode out the entire second period to build up a riding-time advantage, scored on a reversal in the first 40 seconds of the third period and held off a Bleise challenge at the end.
 
Wrestling later in the evening, Kocer was defeated by fourth-seeded Micah Jordan of Ohio State, 19-4. Kocer, 30-10 overall, will wrestle 15th-seeded Kenny Theobald of Rutgers, 25-11 overall, in the seventh-place match Saturday morning in what will be Kocer's final collegiate match.
 
Kocer was sent to the 149-pound consolation bracket after losing by technical fall, 19-2, to top-seeded and defending national champion Zain Retherford of Penn State in action Friday morning. 

Two other Jackrabbit wrestlers previously earned All-America honors at the Division I national championships after qualifying out of the College Division/Division II championships. Greg Schmidt earned a fifth-place finish at 115 pounds in 1970, with Pat Dorn placing eighth at 134 pounds in 1988. SDSU first began competing at the Division I level during the 2004-05 season.

 
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
133: #2 Seth Gross, Jr., Apple Valley, Minn. [4-0 record, All-American]
• dec. Billy Rappo (Maryland), 5-0
• tech. fall Joseph Palmer (Oregon State), 15-0 [7:00]
• major dec. #7 Eric Montoya (Nebraska), 11-1
• major dec. #3 Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State), 12-3
• Championship: vs. #4 Cory Clark (Iowa)
 
149: Alex Kocer, Sr., Wagner, S.D. [3-2 record, All-American]
• dec. #8 Patricio Lugo (Edinboro), 6-5
• dec. #9 Justin Oliver (Central Michigan), 5-4
• lost to #1 Zain Retherford (Penn State), by tech. fall, 19-2 [5:14]
• dec. #14 Steve Bleise (Northern Illinois), 4-2
• lost to #4 Micah Jordan (Ohio State), by tech. fall, 19-4 [7:00]
• Seventh Place: vs. #15 Kenny Theobald (Rutgers)
 
165: Luke Zilverberg, Jr., Belle Plaine, Minn. [2-2 record]
• dec. Tyrel White (Columbia), 6-5
• lost to Daniel Lewis (Missouri), by major dec., 8-0
• dec. Andrew Mendel (Army), 4-3
• lost to #12 Austin Matthews (Edinboro), by major dec., 10-1
Zilverberg ends season 26-10 overall
 
174: David Kocer, Jr., Wagner, S.D. [1-2 record]
• lost to #5 Mark Hall (Penn State), by dec., 8-2
• major dec. Matt Reed (Oklahoma), 8-0
• lost to #12 Casey Kent (Pennsylvania), 6-0
Kocer ends season 24-10 overall
 
197: #9 Nate Rotert, Jr., Spearfish, S.D. [1-2 record]
• lost to Daniel Chaid (North Carolina), by dec., 10-5
• dec. Jacob Holschlag (Northern Iowa), 4-1
• lost to #7 Aaron Studebaker (Nebraska), by dec., 2-0
Rotert ends season 22-9 overall


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