Dec. 10, 2009

By Amy Farnum

Behind the strength of five individual titles, Coe College captured the Simpson Invite championship by a three-point margin over defending NCAA Division III champion Wartburg on Dec. 5.

The Kohawks were led by junior Clayton Rush, the nation’s second-ranked wrestler at 125 pounds, who went 4-0 with three bonus point victories in the tournament as he improved to 9-1 on the year.  Also winning individual title were 165-pound sophomore Nick LeClere, senior 149-pounder Mark Carey, senior 184-pounder Tyler Burkle and senior heavyweight Mitch Sander, who won two of his four matches by fall.  Each of the Simpson Invite winners is currently listed in the latest NWCA/Brute Division III rankings except Carey.

The third-ranked Kohawks will face Wartburg once again as they travel to Waverly, Iowa, for the No. 5 Knights’ Dick Walker Invite on Dec. 12.  No. 12 Cornell College will also compete in the tournament, along with a group of NAIA and junior college programs.  

Wartburg is the 14-time defending tournament champion, but neither the Knights nor the Kohawks return any individual champions from the 2008 event.  However, like Coe, Wartburg also boasts several nationally-ranked competitors, including sophomore 197-pounder Byron Tate.  

The native of Clinton, Iowa, was recently named Iowa Conference Male Athlete of the Week after posting a 7-0 mark and earning Outstanding Wrestler honors at Simpson last weekend.  Tate started the week with three dual victories as the Knights stretched their IIAC winning streak to 135 dual matches.

SUNY Brockport freshman Tyler Morrow was selected Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference (ECWC) Rookie of the Week after winning the 125-pound title at the New Standard Spartan Invitational at York College last week.

The native of Palmyra, N.Y., pinned two of his first three foes, including the top-seeded Tyler Erdman of Elizabethtown, who is currently ranked third in the nation.  Morrow went on to defeat Elizabethtown’s Will Bentley, 7-5, in the championship match.

SUNY Brockport debuted at No. 17 in the latest NWCA/Brute Division III poll this week after a good showing at the Spartan Invitational.

POINT MADE: UW-Stevens Point junior Ben Engelland was named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Wrestler of the Week for his performance on the mat last week as he remained perfect on the season.

The 184-pound native of Neenah, Wis., went 4-0 last week to improve to 13-0 on the year, which including a trio of wins at the UW-La Crosse Duals on Dec. 5.  Highlighting the week for Engelland was a 2-1 overtime victory over North Central’s Gabe Youel, who was ranked second nationally at the time.  Engelland is currently ranked No. 3 in his weight class.

The Pointers return to WIAC action on Dec. 10 when they travel to UW-Platteville.  

  Second-ranked Augsburg College reeled off seven straight victories to overcome a 10-0 deficit as the Auggies claimed a 34-13 dual win over Division II’s Minnesota State Moorhead on Dec. 8.  Augsburg leads the series 13-0, and is 240-21 against Division II and III opponents since the 1989-90 season … Concordia-Moorhead’s Phil Moenkedick went 3-0 en route to his third straight Dragon Open championship, extending his winning streak to 54 straight non-NCAA regional or championship matches.  The last time the junior 184-pound Moenkedick lost in a non-NCAA postseason match was on Jan. 12, 2008 in his freshman season.