Kearney, Neb. – MSU-Mankato Senior Ben Becker and junior Aaron Norgren both earned opening round wins Friday afternoon in the NCAA Division II National Championship in Kearney, Neb. All six of the Mavericks participating in nationals will compete in Session II of the tournament which will start at 6:00 pm Friday night.
In the 125-lb weight class senior Andy Forstner (No. 7) lost his first match against Shippensburg’s Christopher Kochinsky in a 5-2 decision. Forstner got down 2-0 in the first period before earning a one-point escape near the end of the first period. Forstner tied the match 2-2 in the second period but remained in a position to score as Kochinsky had earned over a minute of riding time. Forstner nearly had a takedown in the final period but Kochinsky was able to reverse rolls with Forstner and earn a two-point takedown. Kochinsky added one-point of riding time to seal the 5-2 decision.
Sophomore Jesse Westphal’s first national championship match didn’t last long as seventh-ranked John Paukovits from Kutztown pinned Westphal at the 36 second mark in the 149-lb weight class.
Also losing his first national championship match was 165-lb freshman Brendan Eichmann who dropped a 9-4 decision against No. 6 Joey Wilson from Nebraska-Kearney. Eichmann earned four points from escapes but could never gain control in the match.
Senior Ben Becker (No. 4, 174-lbs) earned the first win of the day for the Mavericks as he earned a 9-2 win by decision over Trevor Sanford of Anderson University. Becker took control immediately as he earned a takedown prior to earning over two minutes of riding time in the first period. Becker would record three more takedowns over the course of the match while earning a point of riding time sealing the 9-2 victory.
Junior Aaron Norgren (No. 5, 184-lbs) also earned a first round win as he recorded a 6-2 victory over Brandon Tressler of King University. Norgren opened the match with two takedowns in the first period before earning an escape in the second. Norgren would then control the remainder of the match as he compiled 2:30 of riding time sealing the 6-2 decision.
Falling to defeat No. 6 Luke McPeek (24-6) of Adams State was seventh-ranked junior Pat Mahan (No. 7, 197-lbs). Mahan controlled the match through the first period as he found himself with a 6-2 lead. However, despite earning a two-point reversal in the beginning of the second period, McPeek would record the matches next nine points as he came back to defeat Mahan by an 11-8 decision.
Session II of the NCAA Division II National Championship is slated to begin at 6:00 pm tonight. Live video streaming can be viewed athttp://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule.