Jan. 28, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin
NCAA.com

Second-ranked Wartburg College continued to dominate Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition as the Knights went 3-0 at the IIAC duals Jan. 24, including a 25-10 win over No. 4 Coe College.  The Knights have now won 130 consecutive dual meets against IIAC opponents.

Sophomore heavyweight John Helgerson turned in a 3-0 record on the day, and avenged an earlier season loss to No. 5 Mitch Sander of Coe with a 4-2 victory.  The native of West Union, Iowa, was selected IIAC Wrestler of the Week for his contributions.

Senior Aaron Wernimont, the top-ranked 157-pounder in Division III, also improved his winning streak to 70 as he posted two technical falls and a major decision on the day.

TOUGH COMPETITION: After fending off No. 11 UW-La Crosse with a 29-12 win on Jan. 25, top-ranked Augsburg College's schedule will not ease up over the next few weeks.  Nine of the 11 final dual meets on the Auggies' schedule this season are against nationally-ranked Division II and III opponents. 

Senior Travis Lang, the top-ranked 133-pound wrestler in Division III, plays a key role in the Knights' success as he remains unbeaten at 27-0 after notching a 21-10 major decision against UW-La Crosse's Pat Parrillo. 

The Auggies host No. 2 Wartburg Jan. 30 in a rematch of their 21-20 victory over the Knights in the final of the NWCA Division III Duals.  Augsburg then heads to No. 19 Minnesota State Moorhead of Division II Feb. 1, and ends the regular season against No. 8 UW-Stevens Point Feb. 13.

Augsburg is now 235-21 against Divisions II and III teams since the 1989-90 season, losing just 16 matches to non-Division I opponents since the 1995-96 season. Against strictly Division III opponents, Augsburg is 240-23 since the 1979-80 season and 164-13 since the 1989-90 season.

DOWN THE ROCKY ROAD: Delaware Valley College downed its' eighth nationally-ranked opponent of the season as the Aggies rolled over Division II's No. 16 Shippensburg University, 38-10, on Jan. 27.  The third-ranked Aggies are now 16-1-1 on the year.

Junior Rocky Mantella, No. 5 in the 174-pound weight class, began the match with a 20-5 technical fall victory as the Aggies won the first seven matches of the dual.  Mantella, a native of Newton, Pa., bettered his season record to 18-0 with the win.

The Aggies continue their slate against highly-touted foes as they face three top 15 squads during a road trip to Iowa this weekend.  They will take on Coe College and Luther College on Jan. 30, and then travel to No. 2 Wartburg College the following day.

`CATS POUNCE: No. 22 Johnson & Wales University upped their winning streak against Pilgrim League foes to 29, dating back to the 2004 season, after sweeping a quad match against Southern Main, Coast Guard and Wesleyan on Jan. 25.

Senior Bryan Lenhardt, an All-American 184-pounder from Gloucester, Va., posted a 3-0 mark at the match, while freshmen John Flegel (HWT) and Chris Giannios (157 pounds) each registered a 3-0 record and a pin on the day.

The Wildcats return to the mat against Rhode Island College on Jan. 30 for a league dual meet as they look to remain unbeaten in conference action.