Forstner, Becker and Norgren All Remain In Contention
Kearney, Neb. – After the first day of the NCAA Division II National Championship three Minnesota State Mavericks remain in contention. By making it this far in the tournament, the wrestlers that remain in contention have earned All-American honors.
The Mavericks currently sit tenth-place in the team portion of the tournament with 21.5 points. Currently leading the tournament is Nebraska-Omaha with 57.5 points followed by Augustana (54.5 points) and St. Cloud State (47.0 points).
After recording a win in his first match of the tournament, senior Ben Becker (No. 4, 174-lbs) dropped a 5-2 decision against Nebraska-Omaha’s top-ranked Ryan Pankoke. Becker came within one-point of Pankoke late in the third period before Pankoke recorded a takedown sealing the 5-2 win. Becker also lost a 10-4 decision to Pankoke earlier this season on Feb. 4. With a 1-1 record, Becker was matched up against Nebraska-Kearney’s Caleb Kociemba in an elimination match. However, Becker would waste little time in deciding if he would continue wrestling tomorrow or not as he pinned Kociemba at the 1:44 mark. The win also gives Becker All-American honors.
Junior Aaron Norgren (No. 5, 184-lbs), the only other Maverick to record a win in the opening session, was successful once again as he topped sixth-ranked Ryan Becerra of Grand Canyon University. Norgren earned an early takedown and never relinquished the lead as he went on to earn a 7-3 win by decision. The win is Norgren’s 12th consecutive win as he will match up against Nebraska-Omaha’s third-ranked Aaron Denson for a trip to the championship match tomorrow. Norgren’s performance has also earned him his second-straight All-American honors.
Senior Andy Forstner wasted little time getting revenge on his next opponent after losing in the opening round of the tournament. Forstner stretched his lead to 7-1 in the second period before pinning Belmont Abbey’s Shane Summerlin at the 3:31 mark. With the win, Forstner then faced an elimination match against Findlay’s Ben Sergent. Forstner recovered from an early 2-0 deficit against Sergent to earn a 7-3 win by decision giving Forstner All-American honors for three consecutive years.
After suffering a loss by fall within 36 seconds of his first National Championship match, sophomore Jesse Westphal (149-lbs) would see his first championship appearance come to an end as he lost a 12-1 major decision to Brandon Russow of Central Missouri. Westphal finished the season with a 16-19 overall record.
Despite dropping his opening match this morning, freshman Brendan Eichmann (165-lbs) won his first tournament match with a 4-0 win by decision against Ronald Tetreault of American International College. After a scoreless first period, Eichmann earned a one-point escape and a two-point near-fall before recording a point of riding time giving him the 4-0 victory. Eichmann was then matched up against the top-ranked Mike Williams of North Carolina-Pembroke where he surrendered a 2-1 lead with just eight-seconds left in the match giving Williams a 3-2 win by decision. Eichmann finished the season with a 23-20 overall record.
Junior Pat Mahan (No. 7, 197-lbs) nearly faced elimination in his second match of the day before recording a takedown late in the third period to tie the match at 4-4 against Central Oklahoma’s Jarrett Edison. Mahan would then earn a two-point near-fall as time expired to earn the 6-4 decision and advance to a do-or-die match against the fourth-ranked Matt Baker of Nebraska Omaha. Unfortunately for Mahan he came out on the wrong end of a 4-1 decision which ended his tournament after a 1-2 showing. Mahan finishes the season with an 11-9 overall record.
Action will resume tomorrow in Kearney, Neb., as Session III is schedule to start at 10 am. Live video streaming can be viewed athttp://www.ncaa.com/
Click here to view updated brackets.
Individual match-by-match results
125 pounds – Andy Forstner
L, dec. Christopher Kochinsky (Shippensburg), 3-2
W, fall Shane Summerlin (Belmont Abbey), 3:31
W, dec. Ben Sergent (Findlay), 7-3
149 pounds – Jesse Westphal
L, fall John Paukovits (Kutztown), :36
L, maj. dec. Brandon Russow (Central Missouri), 12-1
165 pounds – Brendan Eichmann
L, dec. Joey Wilson (Nebraska-Kearney), 9-4
W, dec. Ronald Tetreault (American International College), 4-0
L, dec. Mike Williams (North Carolina-Pembroke), 3-2
174 pounds – Ben Becker
W, dec. Trevor Sanford (Anderson), 9-2
L, dec. Ryan Pankoke (Nebraska-Omaha), 5-2
W, fall Caleb Kociemba (Nebraska-Kearney), 1:44
184 pounds – Aaron Norgren
W, dec. Brandon Tressler (King), 6-2
W, dec. Ryan Becerra (Grand Canyon), 7-3
197 pounds – Pat Mahan
L, dec. Luke McPeek (Adams State), 11-8
W, dec. Jarrett Edison (Central Oklahoma), 6-4
L, dec. Matt Baker (Nebraska-Omaha), 4-1