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Jurries earns big wrestling win for Minnesota West

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Minnesota West Bluejay wrestler Eliot Jurries slams Northern Iowa Area Community College wrestler Brock Luthens to the mat in the 141 weight class Thursday night. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- One of the top junior college wrestlers in the nation didn’t faze Eliot Jurries Thursday night. You see, Jurries has plans, too.

Jurries defeated Northern Iowa Area Community College’s Brock Luthens -- one of three nationally-ranked grapplers the Trojans threw against Minnesota West for a dual meet on Thursday -- by a 14-8 decision at 141 pounds. There in Worthington to see it were several family members, including the Bluejay's 2-month-old son, Elias.

The freshman, who won a state high school championship at Jackson County Central in his senior year under current West head coach Randy Baker, is competing this year for the first time since 2013 when he was with Minnesota State University-Mankato. It’s been a long and winding road back for Jurries, who has seen his wrestling comeback sidetracked by several non-wrestling reasons.

He estimates that he’s missed four tournaments this year, in part due to family events. Besides the birth of his son to distract him from the mat, he’s preparing to marry his fiancee, Mallory, on Feb. 15.

“If there’s one thing that comes before wrestling, it’s family,” Jurries said while holding his son after the meet ended in a 45-3 Northern Iowa win. The Trojans are ranked No. 2 nationally as a team. And Luthens is ranked No. 2 at 133 pounds.

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How big was Jurries’ win?

“Really big. I’m just trying to get back to where I was six years ago,” he said. “Honestly, I just wanted to go into the match not worrying if I was going to win or lose, just to go out there and compete. That’s when I’m at my best.”

Luthens, going in hard on a single-leg takedown, scored first. But with 38 seconds left in the first period, Jurries scored on an explosive shot to lead 4-3. In the second period the Bluejay scored again on a nifty counter move, rolling over on top of Luthens when it looked like he was in jeopardy of giving up two points. Down 8-6 with 17 seconds remaining in the period, the Trojan needed an injury time-out to recover his mojo. Upon returning, however, all the mojo remained with Jurries, who continued racking up points. Later in the third period, Jurries picked up his foe and threw him to the mat for a 14-7 lead -- putting an exclamation point on the victory.

“I wanted to keep wrestling. I didn’t want him to have a break, because I knew he was tired,” Jurries said.

The talented Minnesota West freshman hopes to be an All-American this year, and a national champion before he leaves the college. Thursday’s result gave him a good dose of confidence.

“He’s had his plate full,” said Baker afterward. “But he’s starting to come on. He’s got a lot of talent. He beat a good kid tonight.”

Minnesota West had four open weight classes against NIACC, but Baker said all six of his wrestlers who took the mat wrestled hard against strong opponents. Besides Luthens, the Trojans’ Tony Mendoza and Christian Minto are also nationally ranked.

NIACC 45, Minnesota West 3

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125: Clarence Lee-Green (NI) pinned Chris Romero (MW) in 4:32

133: open

141: Eliot Jurries (MW) decisioned Brock Luthens (NI) 14-8

149: Tony Mendoza (NI) pinned Chase Dorman (MW) in 4:34

157: Josh Barretta (NI) won by technical fall over Zachary Hamann (MW) 17-0, 5:00

165: Christian Minto (NI) won by major decision over Braydon Johnson (MW) 14-3

174: Coby Klettmeimer (NI) won by forfeit

184: Reldon Miller (NI) pinned Shane McGraw (MW) in 4:17

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197:Holt Truax (NI) won by forfeit

285: Brennen Davis (NI) won by forfeit

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Minnesota West's Bryce Bickerstaff (right) competes at 184 pounds against Northern Iowa's Reldon Miller. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

MN west vs NIACC Wrestling S3.jpg
Minnesota West's Bryce Bickerstaff (right) competes at 184 pounds against Northern Iowa's Reldon Miller. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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