FARGO, N.D.–North Dakota State University junior Hayden Zillmer won the 184-pound division at the 44th annual Bison Open held Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Fargodome. Zillmer’s win at 184 gave NDSU at least one Bison Open champion for the ninth straight season. Redshirt freshman Mitch Bengtson was runner-up at 141-pounds as nine Bison wrestlers placed among the top six finishers at the all-day event.

No. 23-ranked North Dakota State opens the dual season on the road next weekend. The Bison wrestle at No. 11-ranked Virginia in Alexandria on Friday, Nov. 14, and at No. 12 Virginia Tech with Gardner-Webb on Sunday, Nov. 16, in Blacksburg.

Zillmer, who entered the tournament ranked No. 14, won all four matches to improve to 8-1 overall. The native of Crosby, Minn. (Crosby Ironton H.S.), won 6-4 in sudden victory over Minnesota’s No.16-ranked Brett Pfarr in the championship match. Zillmer posted a pair of pins and a tech fall to advance.

Bengtson dropped an 8-4 decision to Minnesota’s No. 4-ranked Nick Dardanes in the 141-pound championship match. Dardanes has now won four Bison Open individual titles in his career. Bengtson went 3-1 during the tournament including a pair of pins and one tech fall. The native of St. Cloud, Minn. (St. Cloud Apollo H.S.), is 8-1 on the season.

NDSU sophomore Justin Scherkenbach (Muskego, Wis./Muskego H.S.) bounced back from a 15-4 major decision to Minnesota’s No. 3-ranked Chris Dardanes in the semifinals to place third. Scherkenbach posted a 14-5 major decision over unattached Ben Gillette and also recorded a pin of unattached Ben Gordon. He went 5-1 during the tournament and improves to 10-3 overall.

At 197-pounds, redshirt freshman Tommy Petersen (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville South H.S.) placed third with a 12-4 major decision over University of Mary’s John Devito. Petersen went 4-1 during the tournament and improves to 6-3 overall.

Bison redshirt freshmen Clay Ream and Joe Umlauf finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 149-pound division, Sophomore Matthew Gray placed fifth and junior Anthony Caputo finished sixth at 165-pounds. Wrestling unattached, true freshman Kade Johnson recorded four straight pins and placed sixth at 174 pounds.

Bison Open results

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