Roger Moore, NCAA.com
The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has not sponsored wrestling since 2004. However, three former MIAC schools – Augsburg, St. John’s (Minn.) and Concordia-Moorhead – are ranked among Division III’s top 10 and will participate in the Perham MIAC Showcase in Perham, Minn., on Friday night. St. Olaf will also participate in the quadrangular meet held at Perham High School.
Among the participants is expected to be Perham native Philip Moenkedick, the Division III national champion at 184 pounds in 2010. The senior is currently ranked No. 1 with a 22-1 record.
Among third-ranked Augsburg’s eight ranked individuals is 197-pounder Jared Massey, who started his career at Wisconsin way back in 2003-04. After four years away from competition, Massey is 66-2 in three seasons for the Auggies, including winning the 2009 Division III championship.
Sixth-ranked St. John’s, which owns a win against top-ranked Wartburg earlier this season, also has a top-ranked wrestler in 165-pounder Matt Baarson (15-2). Two-time champion Minga Batsukh (12-1) is ranked fourth at 149 pounds.
Friday night is just a preview for Super Bowl weekend as Augsburg plays host to rival Wartburg on Friday, Feb. 4, then turns right around and welcomes No. 2 Wisconsin-La Crosse on Sunday, Feb. 6. UW-La Crosse beat Augsburg in the NWCA National Duals semifinals.
Since 1995, no team other than Wartburg or Augsburg has won the Division III national team title.
Wartburg will warm up this weekend with the Iowa Conference Duals on Saturday, which also includes No. 5 Coe, No. 13 Cornell (Iowa) and No. 25 Dubuque.
Need to Know
• Oklahoma State looks to join Iowa State as the only Division I programs with 1,000 dual meet victories this weekend. The Cyclones own 1,008 all-time victories and own a .784 winning percentage since the program was founded in 1916. Oklahoma State’s program was also founded in 1916, and entering Friday night’s match against Northern Colorado, the Pokes have 999 victories with an .890 winning percentage. Oregon State is third with 958 wins while reigning NCAA champion Iowa is fourth with 886.
• The College of New Jersey’s dual at Delaware Valley College on Wednesday was rescheduled for Feb. 7 due to the nasty weather on the East Coast. TCNJ, a Division III program, is coached by David Icenhower, who ranks No. 1 among active wrestling coaches (all divisions) with 529 dual victories, and will go for No. 530 on Saturday against Williams. Icenhower, a 1971 Lehigh graduate, is in his 33rd year. Drexel’s Jack Childs ranks second with 511 victories. The all-time wins leader? Oregon State’s Dale Thomas coached the Beavers to 616 dual victories from 1957-90.
• It won’t be easy for the University of Iowa to extend its 71-match unbeaten streak this weekend. The eighth-ranked Hawkeyes visit No. 18 Northwestern (15-1) on Friday night and top-ranked Penn State (13-0) on Sunday. The 125-pound bout on Friday could feature top-ranked and unbeaten Brandon Precin (25-0) of Northwestern facing 2010 NCAA champion Matt McDonough (14-1), whose one loss came against Precin. The Iowa-PSU dual will be held in the 6,500-seat Rec Hall and is a sell out.
• Ithaca’s Blaine Woszczak stretched his winning streak to 14 matches, recording a pin 1:18 into his bout on Thursday night. The pin was Woszczak’s sixth of the season. With a career record of 127-34, he’s two wins away from tying Bob Panariello (1981-85) atop Ithaca’s all-time victory list.
• Cornell will wrestle in honor of former student-athlete Adam Frey when it plays host to Iowa State on Sunday. Frey was diagnosed with testicular cancer following the 2008 NCAA Championships and eventually passed away. His well-documented struggle led to the formation of the Adam Frey Foundation. Unlike other cancer foundations that focus on providing funds to the research of possible cures for the disease, Frey’s vision included raising money to help comfort and provide enjoyment to the current victims of cancer.
• The first of three NCAA Coaches Panel Rankings were released earlier this month. In late February, a final set of rankings will be pooled with an RPI and a winning percentage to determine NCAA qualifier allocations. Going by last week’s initial rankings, the Big Ten Conference would lead the pack with 77 allocations followed by the EIWA (53), Big 12 (40), Pac-10 (36), ACC (26), EWL (25), MAC (22), CAA (21), WWC (16) and SoCon (14).
• The EIWA has four of the nation’s top-ranked wrestlers – Kyle Dake (Cornell, 149); Steve Fittery (American, 157); Cam Simaz (Cornell, 197) and Zach Rey (Lehigh, 285). The Big 12 has three, the Big Ten two and the Pac-10 one.
• After ending Nebraska-Omaha’s winning streak last week, third-ranked St. Cloud State fell to No. 2 Augustana (S.D.) 18-16 on Thursday night. Also on Thursday, No. 11 Nebraska-Kearney beat No. 5 Central Oklahoma 21-15. UNK challenges Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday.
• After upsetting Cornell last week, No. 12 Lehigh now travels to No. 6 Virginia Tech for a Friday dual. Tech made headlines with its performance at the National Duals. Rutgers (18-1) is now ranked ninth and stole some of that thunder by beating the Hokies last weekend. Sunday’s docket shows No. 10 Boise State and No. 20 Oregon State in Corvalis.
• The Division I individual rankings show nine of the 10 weights led by an undefeated wrestler. The only top-ranked individual with a loss this season is Cornell’s Cam Simaz (19-1), ranked No. 1 at 197 pounds. The other top dogs are Northwestern’s Brandon Precin (25-0 at 125), Oklahoma State’s Jordan Oliver (15-0 at 133), Michigan’s Kellen Russell (23-0 at 141), Cornell’s Kyle Dake (17-0 at 149), American’s Steve Fittery (17-0 at 157), Nebraska’s Jordan Burroughs (23-0 at 165), Iowa State’s Jon Reader (25-0 at 174), Boise State’s Kirk Smith (4-0 at 184) and Lehigh’s Zach Rey (20-0 at 285). Burroughs has won 65 of his last 66 matches.