St. John’s Preview

Saint John’s University Johnnies
Head Coach: Brandon Novak
Years at School as head coach: Eighth
Career Record at school: 64-50
Assistant Coaches: Scott Fernholz, Kevin Schiltz, Jacob Malone, Tony Willaert

2010-11 Dual Meet Record: 13-6 (2nd Great Lakes, 6th NCAA)
2010-11 National Qualifiers and All-Americans: Matt Baarson (4th, 165), Minga Batsukh (3x NCAA Champion at 141 and 149), Dustin Baxter (3rd, 184), Matt Pfarr (7th, 174), Chad Henle (7th, 133), Chris Sandy (141), Tony Willaert (197)
Returning Qualifiers and All-Americans: Baxter (2009, 2011: 184), Henle (2011: 133), Pfarr (2011: 174)

Top returning starters:
Dustin Baxter – 3x National Qualifier, 2x All-American (2009; 2011)
Chad Henle – 1x National Qualifier, 1x All-American (2011)
Matt Pfarr – 1x National Qualifier, 1x All-American (2011)

Season outlook:
With three All-Americans returning from last season’s sixth place team, the Johnnies are well positioned heading into 2011-2012, even if there will be some youth in the lineup. The loss of three time NCAA champion Minga Batsukh will hurt, but having All-Americans Baxter, Henle, and Pfarr around will help set the tone for the rest of the lineup. Now entering his 8th season, head coach Brandon Novak will take another shot at bringing down Augsburg in a very tough Great Lakes Regional, but he will do it with some new faces in the lineup. One of these new faces is Mitch Hagen, a junior who has spent time in the starting lineup, but was behind a pair of NCAA qualifiers in Baxter and Willaert. He had three wins over NCAA qualifiers in 2011. A team cannot really replace wrestler like Batsukh, but St. John’s will be able to rely on good depth and a tough schedule to help them make another run at the top ten in 2012.