Nord wins 165-pound title in returnPat Nord showed no rust in his return to the mat. The Jamestown College junior pinned his way to the 165-pound title at the North Qualifying Group Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday. Nord, an Enderlin native, pinned all three of his opponents in his return from a serious ankle injury he suffered in early January. He had not competed in a meet since.
Pat Nord showed no rust in his return to the mat.
The Jamestown College junior pinned his way to the 165-pound title at the North Qualifying Group Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday.
Nord, an Enderlin native, pinned all three of his opponents in his return from a serious ankle injury he suffered in early January. He had not competed in a meet since.
“He was dominant,” said JC coach C.J. Campbell. “He wrestled less than seven minutes combined in his three matches. He won handily.”
Nord was already qualified for the NAIA national tournament, which begins March 1 in Des Moines, Iowa.
“When he had the ankle injury we were worried it might be broken and he’d be lost for the year. He lost some weight during his rehab time,” Campbell said. “This was the first time he wrestled at 165 and he looked really good.”
Seven other Jimmies competed Saturday, but Marlon Branson and Jaykob Miller were the only other two that placed. Both had previously qualified for nationals, as had Sam Brown, and will join Nord in Iowa.
“We had a decent day. We were hoping we’d have some other guys qualify, specifically Daniel Taylor (133 pounds) and Zach Pickering (149). They’ve been hot and cold this season and we were hoping they’d be hot Saturday,” Campbell said.
Branson went 3-2 at 165. He started 2-0, including knocking off the No. 1 seed at 165, but dropped his last two contested matches. He earned the win over top-seeded Jared Wildeboer of Morningside (6-4) despite having his knee pop out of place during the match, which is not uncommon.
“It’s something he’s had to deal with, but he’s had a great year for us, very consistent. He got upset in his next two matches, but he’s definitely someone we look at as far as having All-American potential,” Campbell said.
In fact, the first-year coach thinks all four could challenge for the distinction.
“I could plausibly see all of our guys finish as All-Americans,” Campbell said. “It’s going to be tough when you get to that level, but our guys do have the potential to achieve that.”
Miller should be in the hunt at 157 despite an off day Saturday. He started fast with wins in his first two matches, before dropping his last three.
“He got off to a great start then just couldn’t get things to go his way,” Campbell said. “He wasn’t able to capitalize on his shot attempts, but he definitely has the tools to be an All-American.
“He’s been very consistent throughout the year.”
Johnathon Gonzalez had the only other win for the Jimmies, finishing 1-2 at 174.
Taylor, Brown, Pickering and Tyler Schnaubert went 0-2.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com