Dec. 3, 2008

Courtesy of Augsburg Athletics

MINNEAPOLIS -- Claiming wins in six of 10 bouts, the St. John's University wrestling team snapped a 22-match losing streak to Augsburg College with an 18-13 dual-meet victory on Wednesday night at Augsburg's Si Melby Hall.

The Johnnies (5-0 overall), ranked No. 7 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings, won for the first time over the No. 2-ranked Auggies (0-1 overall) since the 1985-86 season. Augsburg is 28-2 in dual meets against St. John's since 1979. The St. John's victory also broke two other Augsburg winning streaks -- a streak of 70 straight victories over Minnesota Division II or III opponents since 1996, and a streak of 92 straight victories over Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foes stretching to the 1986-87 season.

Augsburg, winners of 10 of the last 18 Division III national titles, is now 228-20 against Divisions II and III teams since the 1989-90 season, losing just 15 matches to non-Division I opponents since the 1995-96 season. Against strictly Division III opponents, Augsburg is 235-23 since the 1979-80 season and 159-13 since the 1989-90 season.

The Johnnies built an 18-6 lead after eight bouts and withstood Augsburg wins in the final two bouts to secure the dual victory.

Meanwhile, Augsburg gained a major-decision, 14-5 victory from 197-pounder Jared Massey (JR, Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial HS) over the Johnnies' Tony Willaert (SO, North Mankato, Minn./Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial HS), ranked No. 3 nationally in the weight class. Massey, now 5-0 on the season, claimed six takedowns and built 1:46 of riding time in the win.

Two of Augsburg's three nationally-ranked wrestlers in action on Wednesday claimed victories, as top-ranked Travis Lang (SR, Bismarck, N.D.) built a 5-0 first-period lead and held off a rally by the Johnnies' Mogi Baatar (JR, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia/St. Benedict's Prep HS) in a 9-8 victory. No. 5-ranked Andy Witzel (JR, Fulda, Minn.) scored a 6-3 victory at heavyweight over the Johnnies' Cody Socher (FY, Delano, Minn.).

The Johnnies claimed three wins on riding-time bonus points -- a 4-3 win by Chad Henle (FY, Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer HS) over Augsburg's Josh Roberts (FY, Grand Forks, N.D./Central HS) at 125; a 3-2 win by Matt Baarson (SO, Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park HS) over Augsburg's No. 3-ranked Jason Adams (JR, Coon Rapids, Minn.) at 157; and a 4-3 win by Matt Schrupp (SR, Watertown, Minn./Watertown-Mayer HS) over Augsburg's Brandon Klukow (SR, Albert Lea, Minn.) at 165.

Augsburg's Lucas Murray (SO, Anoka, Minn.) used a takedown and three-point near-fall midway through the third period to claim an 11-8 win over No. 3-ranked Minga Batsukh (SO, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia/St. Benedict's Prep HS) at 141.

Dustin Baxter (SO, Fairbanks, Alaska/West Valley HS) of St. John's used a takedown with 14 seconds left to score a 12-10 win over Augsburg's Garrett Long (JR, Cedar, Minn./St. Francis HS) at 184. John Vaith (SO, Hastings, Minn.) used a reversal and three-point near-fall in the third period to rally for an 8-6 win over Augsburg's Tony Valek (FY, Belle Plaine, Minn./Scott West) at 149, and Grant Eustice (SR, Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View HS) scored a 6-3 win over Augsburg's Brandon Bahr (FY, Bemidji, Minn.) at 174.

Augsburg's White Team (junior varsity) won six of nine bouts to score a 25-6 win over the St. John's junior varsity in the preliminary match on Wednesday.

Augsburg returns to action after the Thanksgiving break on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 9 a.m., competing at the Minnesota State Moorhead Dragon Open. St. John's competes at the Wisconsin-La Crosse Duals on Dec. 6.