Wartburg 28, Augsburg 5

MINNEAPOLIS — Orlando Ponce (JR, Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah-Miami Lakes HS) and Zach Molitor (SR, Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti HS) claimed wins for Augsburg College, but top-ranked Wartburg College scored a 28-5 win in a battle of NCAA Division III wrestling powers on Friday night at Si Melby Hall.

Wartburg (19-1 overall), the top-ranked team in the latest NCAA Division III national poll, claimed victories in eight of the 10 bouts over Augsburg (7-5 overall), the defending national champions and current No. 3-ranked team nationally. The Knights’ triumph broke a four-match winning streak for the Auggies in the all-time series between the schools, which Augsburg leads 15-10.

Ponce, ranked No. 5 at 165 pounds, used four takedowns and 1:16 of riding time to score a 9-3 win over Wartburg’s Adam Weber (SR, Waterloo, Iowa/Don Bosco HS), improving to 20-5 on the season.

Molitor, ranked No. 2 at 174 pounds, claimed an escape and takedown in the third period to break a scoreless tie with Wartburg’s Ben Scott (JR, Adel, Iowa/ADM HS), scoring a 3-0 win to improve to 20-2 on the campaign. The win was Molitor’s 101st in his collegiate career (101-29) and 83rd as an Auggie (83-16).

Wartburg claimed wins in the three meetings of ranked wrestlers on Friday. In the opening match of the evening, top-ranked and defending national champion Byron Tate (JR, Clinton, Iowa) scored a 6-3 win over Augsburg’s No. 2-ranked and 2009 national champion Jared Massey (SR, Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial HS).

At 125, Wartburg’s No. 3-ranked Mark Kist (SR, Eagle Grove, Iowa) used an early takedown and a 1:03 riding time advantage to score a 4-2 win over Augsburg’s No. 5-ranked Josh Roberts (SO, Grand Forks, N.D./Central HS).

At 149, Wartburg’s Jacob Groth (SR, Marshalltown, Iowa), ranked No. 10, overcame a 3-0 deficit with a reversal, takedown and 1:35 of riding time to score a 7-5 win over Augsburg’s No. 3-ranked Tony Valek (JR, Belle Plaine, Minn./Scott West).

Top-ranked John Helgerson (SR, West Union, Iowa/North Fayette HS) claimed the lone pin of the evening with a second-period triumph at heavyweight, and No. 3-ranked Carrington Banks (SR, Stockbridge, Ga.) scored a major-decision win at 157 for the Knights.

Augsburg returns to action on Sunday (2/6) at 2 p.m. with another matchup with a national power, as No. 2-ranked Wisconsin-La Crosse visits Si Melby Hall.

Friday, February 4, 2011 – Si Melby Hall, Minneapolis, Minn.
Action begins at 197 pounds. Time of match: 1:55.
Officials: Byron Olson, Dan Roff.

No. 1 Wartburg (Iowa, 19-1) 28, No. 3 Augsburg (Minn., 7-5) 5
197 — No. 1 Byron Tate (WAR, 35-1) dec. No. 2 Jared Massey (AUG, 7-1) 6-3 (Wartburg 3-0).
HWT — 
No. 1 John Helgerson (WAR, 35-4) pinned Pat Fletcher (AUG, 14-4) 4:10 (Wartburg 9-0).
125 — 
No. 3 Mark Kist (WAR, 26-5) dec. No. 5 Josh Roberts (AUG, 16-6) 4-2 (Wartburg 12-0).
133 —
 No. 6 Mike Kremer (WAR, 20-5) dec. Boyd Suparat (AUG, 17-10) 11-6 (Wartburg 15-0).
141 —
 No. 5 Matt Kelly (WAR, 7-3) dec. Will Keeter (AUG, 19-14) 7-5 (Wartburg 18-0).
149 —
 No. 10 Jacob Groth (WAR, 23-9) dec. No. 3 Tony Valek (AUG, 24-4) 5-4 (Wartburg 21-0).
157 —
 No. 3 Carrington Banks (WAR, 24-2) maj. dec. Jon Priess (AUG, 12-17) 12-3 (Wartburg 25-0).
165 —
 No. 5 Orlando Ponce (AUG, 20-5) dec. Adam Weber (WAR, 7-4) 9-3 (Wartburg 25-3).
174 —
 No. 2 Zach Molitor (AUG, 20-2) dec. Ben Scott (WAR, 20-10) 3-0 (Wartburg 25-6).
184 —
 Todd Becker (WAR, 10-1) dec. No. 6 Brad Baus (AUG, 22-7) 3-1 (Wartburg 28-6).
End of match – Augsburg deducted 1 team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.