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Eyes on the prize for Loper wrestling

Calvin Ochs wins the 165 lb. MIAA Championship in 2017 (NTV News)

UNK wrestling winning the MIAA Tournament last weekend.

Technically, it only gains the Blue and Gold some temporary bragging rights.

"I know there are some people who aren't really for that conference tournament because it is so small, just six schools come to it," head coach Dalton Jensen said.

But in practice, the success garners valuable experience for the stretch run as well. UNK is hoping to spin their MIAA success into much bigger things.

"For that time of the year that six team tournament is really kind of perfect," says Jensen. "It gets our guys two, three matches in before the regional tournament."

Regionals are on tap this weekend, and unlike conference, there's more than pride at stake.

Victors go to nationals. Losers are finished.

"Getting back in that tournament mindset really kind of helps focus those guys in getting into this regional tournament," laments Jensen.

Regional competition opens Friday in Golden, Colorado and UNK is sending ten wrestlers.

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