MSU wrestling

Minnesota State’s Travis Elg (center, in gray) is congratulated by teammate Tim Haneberg after winning his 157 pound match against Upper Iowa Wednesday at Bresnan Arena.

Travis Elg admitted his win was somewhat of an upset Wednesday night.

That makes sense because Elg won at weight two classes higher than what he’s wrestled at his whole career at Minnesota State. Plus, Elg was going against All-American Travis Eggers of Upper Iowa.

Elg sparked the No. 3 Mavericks with a 15-2 major decision against the No. 7–ranked Eggers as Minnesota State thumped No. 9 Upper Iowa 29-12 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference match at Bresnan Arena.

“It was really big to be ahead at the end of the first period so I knew I could hang with him,” said Elg, who has wrestled at 141 since his freshman season. “On paper, it was definitely an upset.”

As Minnesota State entered the dual part of the season after winter break, Elg said he struggled to make weight at 141. Wrestling at 149 was not an option since that’s where Tommy Abbott is ranked second.

“It was a thought, but it’s hard to take a potental national title away from a guy ‘cause he’s ranked No. 2,” said Elg, who is 3-0 since moving up to 157. “It’s a lot of change, I can’t get away with the sloppy stuff as much, it takes more crisp moves.”

So Elg was forced to move up two weight classes, and Mavericks coach Jim Makovsky thinks the move has went smooth.

“I believe in Travis Elg,” Makovsky said. “He can do it. It’s going to be a learning experience, but it’s going to make him a better wrestler.”

Minnesota State had few problems against the Peacocks, taking a 29-3 lead into the final two matches. No. 2 Tommy Abbott (149 pounds) started the dual with a 15-5 major decision over Derek Stolarzyk, and Tim Matheson (174) beat Brett Hakeman 9-4.

Pat Mahan (197) and No. 3 Brady Wilson (285) picked up pins for the Mavericks. Aaron Norgen (189) and Andy Forstner (125) won decisions.

“It’s fun to be back (at the Taylor Center), and the fans got an exciting dual meet,” Makovsky said.

The match with the most drama was at 189 pounds when Norgen, a former Maple River standout, gave up a 7-4 lead late in the third period only to pull out a win as he earned an escape as time expired.

Up next for the Mavericks (7-3, 4-0 in NSIC) is another conference dual against Southwest Minnesota State on Friday at Bresnan Arena. Minnesota State then takes a seven-day break to get ready for top-ranked Nebraska-Omaha.

UNO will present Elg with a lot tougher challenge next Friday in two-time national champion No. 1 Todd Meneely, who Makovsky said could be the most dominant wrestler in all of Division II.

“With Meneely, (Elg) has to go out there and wrestle smart and not give Meneely anything,” Makovsky said. “(Elg) has to focus on what he can do as a wrestler. Not Meneely, focus on Travis Elg.”

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