Wisconsin-La Crosse finished its brutal pre-Christmas schedule with a stellar 11-1 dual mark, the only loss coming to DII power St. Cloud State on Dec. 3.
Kevin Ward knows what a winning culture looks like, and the second-year coach at Ouachita Baptist is bringing it to the mats in Arkansas. Check out that and more in Roger Moore’s Division II roundup.
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Division III’s second-ranked Eagles own victories against No. 3 Coe, No. 6 Saint John’s, No. 13 Olivet, No. 15 Wisconsin-Whitewater, No. 20 Luther, and No. 23 Ohio Northern.
On Dec. 9 at the Duals in the Dells, head coach Dave Malacek’s squad beat Coe, 19-12, and Saint John’s, 20-15.
UW-L seniors Bebeto Yewah (12-0) and Mike Schmitz (15-0), both ranked No. 1, remained unbeaten for the season with Yewah picking up a major decision against No. 4 Chris LeClere of Coe. Adam Sheley, a junior, is off to a 13-3 start at 133 pounds. He is ranked No. 2 behind North Central College’s Nathan Fitzenreider.
UW-L, host of the 2012 DIII NCAA Championships, finished third in 2011.
No. 1 Wartburg improved to 4-1 this season — the only loss to DI Wisconsin — with an easy victory against Iowa Central on Dec. 1. It was the Knights’ 152nd consecutive dual victory against Iowa Athletic Conference opponents, but they showed a small chink in its armor with a runner-up finish to Coe at the Simpson Invite on Dec. 3.
On Dec. 10, Wartburg hosted the Dick Walker Invitational in Waverly and on Dec. 18 heads to the annual Desert Duals in Las Vegas where they host a dual tournament inside the Flamingo’s main ballroom. Also in Vegas will be Coe, No. 9 Concordia (Minn.) and Olivet.
Senior 125-pounder Gilberto Camacho, from Fresno, Calif., has raced out to a 17-1 start, losing for the first time on Dec. 10 at the Dick Walker Invitational.
Wilkes 125-pounder Michael Fleck and McDaniel College’s Brent Lowe, a 157-pounder, led all divisions with seven technical falls after the first release of leaders for the new NCAA results-based awards. Fleck, a freshman from Easton, Pa., entered the weekend at 16-3 before dropping a pair of matches against Delaware Valley and York (Pa.) on Dec. 10. SUNY-Cortland’s Adam Hulett, an unranked 141-pounder, recorded nine pins in his first 17 matches of the season.
Only two freshmen, both 125-pounders, found their way into the third set of the NWCA DIII rankings – Nigel McNeil (SUNY-Cortland), ranked fifth, and Nate Giorgio (US Coast Guard Academy), ranked seventh.
McNeil, who has five pins, five technical falls, and four major decisions in 17 wins this season, was named the Empire College Wrestling Conference’s Rookie of the Week for the week ending Dec. 4.
Giorgio, a native of Leesport, Pa., is 15-3, including top honors at the New Standard Invitational at York College, Dec. 3.