Courtesy of Augsburg
MINNEAPOLIS — Qualifying nine individuals to compete at the national tournament, the top-ranked Augsburg College wrestling team won the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional for the eighth straight year on Saturday at Augsburg’s Si Melby Hall.
The Auggies won regional titles in seven of the 10 weight classes, had a regional runner-up and one at-large qualifier for the national championships, to be held March 5-6 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Augsburg (Minn.) won the tournament with 224 points, followed by second-place Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) with 142 points, Elmhurst (Ill.) with 133.5 points and St. John’s (Minn.) with 126.0 points.Winners of 10 of the last 19 national titles, Augsburg has won the Great Lakes Regional every year since joining the region in 2003.
Augsburg’s Josh Roberts (125), Jafari Vanier (141), Tony Valek (149), Jason Adams (157), Orlando Ponce (165), Zach Molitor (174) and Jared Massey (197) all won regional titles to qualify for the national tournament, while Paul Bjorkstrand was a runner-up at 133. He qualified along with at-large qualifier Andy Witzel at heavyweight.
Massey, the defending national titlist at 197 pounds, won all three of his matches, including one by fall, to improve to 25-0 on the season. In two years at Augsburg, Massey is now 55-1 in his two seasons at Augsburg. A competitor at Division I Wisconsin in the 2003-04 season, he returned to college wrestling last year after a four-season absence.
Adams won four matches, including two by pin, at 157 to return to the national tournament for the third straight year, improving to 39-4 in the process. Adams is a two-time All-American, finishing second at 141 in 2008 and third at 157 last season. Adams is now 129-24 in his career.
At 141, Vanier reached the Division III national tournament for the third time in his career with four victories, emerging from the No. 4 seed to win the regional title in a weight class that featured four of the top-five ranked wrestlers in the latest national poll. Vanier returned to the Auggie lineup this season after a two-season absence. He was a national runner-up in both 2006 and 2007 at 133 pounds.
Molitor claimed four wins at 174, including two major decisions, to improve to 27-3 and advance to the national tournament for the second straight year. Molitor scored a 10-1, major-decision win in the championship match.
Valek will return to the national tournament for the second year in a row after claiming his crown at 149. He won three matches, including a 6-0 decision in the finals, to improve to 30-4 on the season. Ponce, also a national tournament qualifier last year, won the regional title with four victories, including a 14-6, major-decision win in the finals, to improve to 27-10 on the season.
Roberts qualified for the national tournament for the first time in his career, scoring three wins, including an 8-7 win over top-ranked Jake Oster of Elmhurst in the finals. Roberts is now 24-8 on the season.
Bjorkstrand reached the national tournament for the first time in his career with a runner-up finish at 133, and will advance with a 36-7 record. Witzel, an All-American last year with a fifth-place finish at heavyweight, reached this year’s tourney as an at-large qualifier with a 27-9 record.
Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) qualified four individuals to the national tournament — 184-pound champion Phil Moenkedick, 174-pound runner-up Ross Dakners, 149-pound runner-up Justin Berns and at-large qualifier Ben Anderson at 141.
Also qualifying four individuals was North Central (Ill.) — 133-pound champion Nathan Fitzenreider, 184-pound runner-up Gabe Youel, 141-pound at-large qualifier John Starzyk and 174-pound at-large qualifier Cowan Brown.
St. John’s (Minn.) qualified three individuals to the national tournament — 141-pound true-second winner Minga Batsukh, 133-pound at-large qualifier Mogi Baatar and 165-pound at-large qualifier Matt Baarson.
Elmhurst (Ill.) qualified three individuals — heavyweight champion Mark Corsello, 125-pound runner-uip Jake Oster and 149-pound at-large qualifier Charlie Curran.
St. Olaf (Minn.) qualified two individuals — 156-pound true-second finisher Justin Skillings and 165-pound runner-up Josef Waples. Qualifying one individual each were Lakeland (Wis., heavyweight runner-up Adam Sutter), Chicago (Ill., 197-pound runner-up Troy Carlson) and Augustana (Ill., 125-pound at-large qualifier George Gogonas).
NATIONAL TOURNAMENT QUALIFIERS:
125 – Josh Roberts (Augsburg, 24-8), Champion
125 – Jake Oster (Elmhurst, 12-5), 2nd Place
133 – Nathan Fitzenreider (North Central, 37-3), Champion
133 – Paul Bjorkstrand (Augsburg, 36-7), 2nd Place
141 – Jafari Vanier (Augsburg, 16-4), Champion
141 – Minga Batsukh (St. John’s, 14-2), True Second Winner
149 – Tony Valek (Augsburg, 30-4), Champion
149 – Justin Berns (Concordia-Moorhead, 27-4), 2nd Place
157 – Jason Adams (Augsburg, 39-4), Champion
157 – Justin Skillings (St. Olaf), True Second Winner
165 – Orlando Ponce (Augsburg, 27-10), Champion
165 – Josef Waples (St. Olaf, 21-8), 2nd Place
174 – Zach Molitor (Augsburg, 27-3), Champion
174 – Ross Dankers (Concordia-Moorhead, 22-19), 2nd Place
184 – Phil Moenkedick (Concordia-Moorhead, 26-2), Champion
184 – Gabe Youel (North Central, 29-4), 2nd Place
197 – Jared Massey (Augsburg, 25-0), Champion
197 – Troy Carlson (Chicago, 31-4), 2nd Place
285 – Mark Corsello (Elmhurst, 32-0), Champion
285 – Adam Sutter (Lakeland, 24-3), 2nd Place
AT-LARGE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT QUALIFIERS:
125 – George Gogonas (Augustana)
133 – Mogi Baatar (St. John’s)
141 – John Starzyk (North Central)
141 – Ben Anderson (Concordia-Moorhead)
149 – Charlie Curran (Elmhurst)
165 – Matt Baarson (St. John’s)
174 – Cowan Brown (North Central)
285 – Andy Witzel (Augsburg)
ALTERNATE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT QUALIFIERS:
149 – Virgil Pope (Milwaukee School of Engineering)
184 – Mitchell Hagen (St. John’s)
285 – Ryan Hatten (Chicago)
1 — Augsburg (Minn.) (224.0)
2 — Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) (142.0)
3 — Elmhurst (Ill.) (133.5)
4 — St. John’s (Minn.) (126.0)
5 — North Central (Ill.) (125.5)
6 — Lakeland (Wis.) (87.0)
7 — St. Olaf (Minn.) (62.0)
8 — Chicago (Ill.) (58.0)
9 — Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wis.) (41.5)
10 — Augustana (Ill.) (29.0)
11 — Pacific (Ore.) (17.0)
11 — Wheaton (Ill.) (17.0)
13 — Knox (Ill.) (16.0)
14 — Concordia (Wis.) (3.5)
15 — Maranatha Baptist (Wis.) (0.0)
Championship Match — Josh Roberts (Augsburg, 24-8) dec. Jake Oster (Elmhurst, 12-5) 8-7
Third-Place Match — George Gogonas (Augustana) dec. Daron Hohbein (Concordia-Moorhead) 3-2
Fifth-Place Match — Jimmy Schoettle (Chicago) dec. Joseph Norton (North Central) 3-2
No true second match at 125.
Championship Match — Nathan Fitzenrider (North Central, 37-3) dec. Paul Bjorkstrand (Augsburg, 36-7) 10-6
Third-Place Match — Mogi Baatar (St. John’s) dec. Edel Vaca (Knox) 1-0
Fifth-Place Match — Ryan Timmerman (St. Olaf) pinned Jake Denhof (Elmhurst) 3:28
No true second match at 133
Championship Match — Jafari Vanier (Augsburg, 16-4) dec. John Starzyk (North Central, 18-3) 6-4
Third-Place Match — Minga Batsukh (St. John’s) dec. Ben Anderson (Concordia-Moorhead) 2-0
Fifth-Place Match — Alberto Quiros (Augustana) dec. Ryan Earley (Elmhurst) 3-2
True Second Match — Minga Batsukh (St. John’s) dec. John Starzyk (North Central) 13-3
Championship Match — Tony Valek (Augsburg, 30-4) dec. Justin Berns (Concordia-Moorhead, 27-4) 6-0
Third-Place Match — Charlie Curran (Elmhurst) dec. Virgil Pope (MSOE) 8-3
Fifth-Place Match — Drew Larson (St. John’s) dec. Isaac Roberson (Lakeland) 6-4
No true second match at 149
Championship Match — Jason Adams (Augsburg, 39-4) dec. Justin Skillings (St. Olaf, 22-6) 5-0
Third-Place Match — Dan Hamilton (Elmhurst) dec. John Vaith (St. John’s) 12-6
Fifth-Place Match — Kevin Fynboh (Concordia-Moorhead) dec. Timothy Gingerich (North Central) 5-1
True Second Match — Justin Skillings (St. Olaf) dec. Dan Hamilton (Elmhurst) 6-4
Championship Match — Orlando Ponce (Augsburg, 27-10) maj. dec. Josef Waples (St. Olaf, 21-8) 14-6
Third-Place Match — Matt Baarson (St. John’s) dec. Matt Jeska (Concordia-Moorhead) 10-7
Fifth-Place Match — Jacob Frias (Lakeland) inj. def. Jack Lewis (Elmhurst)
No true second match at 165
Championship Match — Zach Molitor (Augsburg, 27-3) maj. dec. Ross Dankers (Concordia-Moorhead, 22-19) 10-1
Third-Place Match — Cowan Brown (North Central) maj. dec. Ryan Renon (Lakeland) 16-6
Fifth-Place Match — Justin Marble (Wheaton) dec. Matthew Pfarr (St. John’s) 2-1
No true second match at 174
Championship Match — Phil Moenkedick (Concordia-Moorhead, 26-2) dec. Gabe Youel (North Central, 29-4) 2-1
Third-Place Match — Mitchell Hagen (St. John’s) dec. Matthew Olsen (MSOE) 10-2
Fifth-Place Match — Brad Baus (Augsburg) pinned Chris Weber (Lakeland) 2:11
No true second match at 184
Championship Match — Jared Massey (Augsburg, 25-0) dec. Troy Carlson (Chicago, 31-4) 6-5
Third-Place Match — Josef Rau (Elmhurst) dec. Nathan Schmitz (Concordia-Moorhead) 7-5
Fifth-Place Match –Vincent Sapienza (North Central) dec. James Carlson (St. John’s) 13-6
No true second match at 197
Championship Match — Mark Corsello (Elmhurst, 32-0) dec. Adam Sutter (Lakeland, 24-3) 4-1
Third-Place Match — Andrew Witzel (Augsburg) dec. Ryan Hatten (Chicago) 4-0
Fifth-Place Match — Tom Bouressa (Concordia-Moorhead) dec. Tony Willaert (St. John’s) 12-9
No true second match at heavyweight
TRUE SECOND MATCHES
141 – True Second Match — Minga Batsukh (St. John’s) dec. John Starzyk (North Central) 13-3
157 – True Second Match — Justin Skillings (St. Olaf) dec. Dan Hamilton (Elmhurst) 6-4