MINNEAPOLIS — The Augsburg College wrestling team had the fifth-best team grade-point average in all of NCAA Division III wrestling, and three Auggies earned National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-America honors, with the awards presented this past weekend.
The Auggies, who finished second in the NCAA Division III National Championships this past weekend in La Crosse, Wis., ranked fifth in the NWCA Division III Scholar Team Awards listing with a 3.4947 team grade-point average. The GPA was Augsburg’s highest since the NWCA began awarding Scholar Team Awards in 1998, surpassing the 3.480 GPA of the 1998-99 team, which earned the scholar team national title that season.
Augsburg was the lone school to be ranked in the top 10 in both the national championship race and in the team scholar listing. Johnson and Wales (R.I.) earned top honors in the scholar listing with a team GPA of 3.608. In all, 26 teams had GPAs of better than 3.237.
The NWCA calculates team GPA based on an average of the top 10 student-athletes on each team. At least six of the 10 athletes chosen must have competed in the team’s NCAA qualifying tournament, and the other four must have competed in at least 50 percent of the team’s scheduled contests.
Three Auggies — 149-pound national runner-up Tony Valek (JR, Belle Plaine, Minn./Scott West), 141-pounder Cody Hansen (SO, Albert Lea, Minn.) and 184-pounder Brad Baus (JR, Mukwonago, Wis.) — earned NWCA Scholar All-American honors. Both Baus and Valek were honored for the second straight year.
An accounting major with a 3.9474 GPA, Valek reached the national finals for the second straight year at 149 pounds, finishing this season at 37-6 with 19 pins, seven major decisions and a technical fall. Valek earned the tournament’s most pins in least time award, with three pins in 11:30 in the tournament leading up to the national title match, including a dramatic third-period pin of the defending national titlist in the semifinals. A three-time national qualifier and two-time All-American, Valek is 102-24 in his career.
A sociology major with a 3.7838 GPA, Baus was Augsburg’s starter at 184 pounds. He finished his junior season with a 30-12 record, with 19 pins, a major decision and a technical fall. Baus finished fifth in his weight class at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional. Baus is 67-43 in his Auggie career.
An elementary education major with a 3.625 GPA, Hansen was Augsburg’s starter at 141 pounds until an injury ended his season in late January. Hansen finished the year with a 15-6 record with eight pins, three major decisions and a technical fall, and is 38-17 in his two Auggie seasons.
Over the past 26 seasons, Augsburg has produced 112 NWCA Scholar All-Americans. Augsburg has had 89 student-athletes honored since 1997, including nine under current head coach Mark Matzek — himself a three-time NWCA Scholar All-American during his Augsburg career (2001-05).
As a team, Augsburg finished second at the Division III National Championships, held in La Crosse, Wis., on Friday and Saturday, with 88.5 points. Winners of 11 national titles in the last 21 seasons, Augsburg finished second for the 10th time in school history. Augsburg has finished among the top four teams nationally in Division III competition every year since 1989 and in the top 20 nationally every year since 1971.
Augsburg’s 23-year top-four streak is the longest active streak among any NCAA wrestling program, regardless of division, and is the second-longest overall streak in NCAA wrestling history. Augsburg has placed in the top four in NCAA competition 25 times in school history, the most of any Division III program and the fifth-most of any NCAA wrestling program.
Augsburg claimed five All-Americans this season, marking the 23rd straight year that Augsburg has claimed five or more All-Americans in NCAA Division III competition. Augsburg has had at least one All-American in national competition every year since 1977 – now 35 straight years.