Dec. 18, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

Top-ranked and defending NCAA Division III champion Wartburg, fresh off its 14th straight win at the Dick Walker Invitational Dec. 13, looks to keep up the torrid pace as the Knights host the sixth annual Vegas Duals Dec. 21 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Eight nationally-ranked teams will compete in the event, including No. 2 Coe College and No. 14 Cortland State.  The Knights enter the tournament riding a 32-dual winning streak after dominating then-No. 19 Loras, 44-0, on Dec. 3.  

Three Wartburg wrestlers claimed titles at the Dick Walker Invitational, including 157-pound Aaron Wernimont, who picked up his 100th career victory with a technical fall over Augsburg’s Beau Hansen in the tournament semifinals.  The native of Pocahontas, Iowa, has won 56 consecutive bouts and is the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class.

The Knights are 20-0 in the Desert Duals since it began in 2003.

CAUSING A BREW-HAHA:  Olivet College captured the Ohio Northern University Invitational team title behind the first-place finishes of seniors Jason Brew and Kyle Vanderhyde in a tournament that featured 19 schools.

Brew claimed the 157-title, capping off his four straight wins with a 7-0 victory against fifth-ranked Zach Mizer of Heidelberg. It was his third ONU Invitational championship, and the second time he has been named the ONU Most Outstanding Wrestler.  Brew’s victory in the final was also the 100th of his career.

Vanderhyde cruised to three wins, including a pin and major decision, as he won the 174-pound title.  Brew and Vanderhyde are the second and top-ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes.

Olivet returns to action Dec. 18, when it hosts Chicago.

BREAKING IN: UW-Whitewater’s Jon Schmidt garnered some deserving attention in wrestling circles last week as he posted a 5-0 record, which included a victory over defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Dan Laurent of UW-La Crosse.

The junior 285-pounder opened the week by upsetting Laurent in a 7-3 decision as he led the Warhawks to a 28-13 win over the Eagles. The Warhawks’ victory ended a 17-match losing streak to the Eagles.

Schmidt then returned to the mat and took home the 285-title at the Dick Walker Invitational, collecting a pin, major decision and two victories against nationally-ranked foes as he rolled through the bracket.  One of his wins was against teammate Sean Evans, who entered the tournament as the No. 7 wrestler in the nation.  Schmidt was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Wrestler of the Week for his performance.