OREM, Utah — North Dakota State University 165-pound junior Steven Monk (Wausau, Wis./Wausau West HS) has been named the Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week after leading his team to a ninth-place finish at the 50th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. The conference honor was announced Tuesday by the league.
Monk, who is currently ranked sixth at 165 pounds, placed fourth at the prestigious Midlands Championships over the weekend and registered two more wins over opponents ranked in the nation’s top 11.
Monk opened the tournament with two wins by fall, pinning Oklahoma’s Kyle Detmer and Columbia’s Josh Houldsworth. He then recorded a 9-2 decision over No. 8 Conrad Polz of Illinois in the quarterfinals. After falling to top-seeded and post-collegiate Bekzod Abdurakhmonov in the semifinals by 5-3 decision, Monk earned a 6-0 victory over No. 11 Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo. The Bison junior then came up short against No. 3 Peter Yates of Virginia Tech in the third-place match, falling 4-0.
Monk, along with fellow placewinners Trent Sprenkle and Hayden Zillmer, led NDSU to a ninth-place finish at Midlands, finishing ahead of seven schools currently ranked in the coaches’ poll.
Monk (19-3) owns four wins over opponents ranked in the nation’s top 11 this season. His only two losses against collegiate opponents are to the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3-ranked wrestlers.
The conference honor is Monk’s second of the season and fourth of his career.
The Western Wrestling Conference, which is in its seventh year of competition, is comprised of six schools including the Air Force Academy, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming. The WWC will begin its dual conference season this week as No. 16 Wyoming will travel to Orem, Utah, to take on Utah Valley on Jan. 4.
2012-13 WWC Wrestlers of the Week
Nov. 6 – Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming)
Nov. 13 – Josh Wilson (Utah Valley)
Nov. 20 – Cole VonOhlen (Air Force)
Nov. 27 – Trent Sprenkle (North Dakota State)
Dec. 4 – Steven Monk (North Dakota State)
Dec. 11 – Brandon Richardson (Wyoming)
Dec. 18 – Tyler Cox (Wyoming)
Jan. 1 – Steven Monk (North Dakota State)
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