Seven Vikings eye success at NCAA Championship

This week: No. 4-ranked Augustana will send seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championship on Friday and Saturday in Kearney, Neb.

NCAA DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP
2010-11 PRESS CLIPPINGS

Last time out: Augustana totaled 120 points to earn a second-place finish at the Super Regional Three Championship in Sioux Falls, S.D.  The Vikings qualified seven for the NCAA Championship.  Jay Sherer (141) and Ty Copsey (197) were winners in their weight respective weight classes. At 125 pounds Al Meger placed second, as did Nate Herda (149 pounds) and Gavin Nelson (165 pounds).  Jason Jeremiason (133 pounds) and Marcus Edgington (157 pounds) both finished third.

NCAA Championship:  This year’s NCAA Championship will be hosted by Nebraska-Kearney at the school’s Health and Sports Center.  To view the official tournament home page, click here.  For the unofficial brackets, click here.

Augustana’s qualifiers:  To learn more about each of Augustana’s seven qualifiers, click here.

Last year’s national tournament:  Augustana returns to the NCAA Championship as the defending national runner-up.  The Vikings racked up 72 team points to place second and had six wrestlers earn All-America status.  Five of those wrestlers are still on the Augustana roster.  Jay Sherer is the defending national champion at 141 pounds, while Ty Copsey captured a second-place finish at 197 pounds a year ago.  Marcus Edgington was fourth at 157 pounds, and Gavin Nelson took eighth at 165 pounds.   Nate Herda captured fourth-place honors at 149 pounds last season.  Al Meger(125 pounds) was also a national qualifier in 2009-10.

Viking history:  Augustana will make its 40th appearance in the NCAA Championship this weekend.  The Vikings have finished as national runners-up three times in the program’s history (1977, 2005 and 2010).  Only four teams have made more NCAA Championship appearances than Augustana.  Central Missouri (41), Minnesota State (47), San Fransisco State (44) and South Dakota State (41, now Division I) all have more appearances than the Vikings.

Dual record matched:  Augustana finished the 2010-11 campaign with an overall dual record of 14-2, matching the season record for victories in a season.  Augustana also reached 14 wins during the 2004-05 season–also under the guidance of head coach Jason Reitmeier.

Streak snapped: 
 Augustana’s loss to No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha last Wednesday was its first defeat in the Elmen Center since the 2008-09 season.  Heading into the contest with UNO, the last time Augustana had lost at home was on Feb. 6, 2009, when St. Cloud State topped the Vikings 17-16.

Conference title:  The conference crown picked up by the Vikings on Feb. 11 was their first in the NSIC and their third overall. Augustana finished 7-0 in NSIC competition. The Vikings won the North Central Conference in 1981 and 2005–the latter also under head coach Jason Reitmeier.

Northern Sun honors:  Augustana has had four athletes named NSIC Wrestler of the Week this season.

Date Wrestler
Nov. 29 Cody Lensing
Jan. 10 Jason Jeremiason
Jan. 31 Ty Copsey
Feb. 14 Jason Jeremiason

By the numbers:  Augustana’s 14-2 record for the 2010-11 season included its fair share of one-sided wins this season.  The Vikings pitched shutouts three times and held opponents to just six points six times.  Augustana has outscored its opponents 466-115 this season.

National news: Augustana fell two spots and is ranked No. 4 in the final NCAA Division II wrestling rankings of the season released last Wednesday by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The Vikings received 139 points. Nebraska-Omaha, which received all eight first-place votes, held on to its No. 1 position. The Mavericks have held the top spot all season.  To view the national poll, click here.

Date
Ranking
Oct. 21 3rd
Dec. 8 3rd
Jan. 4 3rd
Jan. 2 2nd
Feb. 3 2nd
Feb. 16 2nd
March 2 4th

Who’s ranked: The Vikings had seven individuals ranked in the final NCAA Division II rankings of the season released last Wednesday. Jay Sherer (141 pounds) and Ty Copsey (197 pounds) both checked in at No. 2 in their respective weight classes.  Nate Herda (149 pounds) and Gavin Nelson (165 pounds) were No. 4, and Jason Jeremiason (133 pounds) and Marcus Edgington (157 pounds) were both ranked fifth. Al Meger (125 pounds) earned a No. 6 ranking.  To view the latest rankings, click here.

According to the coaches: Augustana was been picked to finish second in the 200-11 NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Vikings received 64 points—just three behind St. Cloud State.

No. School Pts.
1. St. Cloud State 67
2. Augustana 64
3. Minnesota State 37
4. Upper Iowa 24
5. MSU Moorhead 14
Southwest Minnesota State
14
6. Northern State 12
7. U-Mary 8
first-place votes in ()

Take me to your leaders: Head coach Jason Reitmeier announced that Al MegerJay ShererGavin Nelson and Lance Peters will serve as his team’s captains for the 2010-11 season.

All-Americans:
 The Vikings welcome back five individuals who earned All-America status last season.  Jay Sherer, a two-time All-American who is the reigning Division II national champion at 141 pounds. Seniors Ty Copsey (197) and Gavin Nelson (165), along with sophomores Nate Herda(149) and Marcus Edgington (157) also earned All-America recognition a year ago.

Freshman phenoms:  Augustana’s incoming freshman class was ranked No. 4 nationally in the non-Division I category by Wrestling USA Magazine. The Vikings were the only NSIC team to be ranked.  The rankings were based on Dan Fickel’s final rankings of the Best 2010 High School Seniors that appeared on USA Wrestling Magazine’s web site. Augustana had four recruits appear in Fickel’s rankings, including Jayd Docken (No. 28 at 189 pounds), TJ North (No. 2 at 112 pounds), Jeremiah Peterson (special mention) and Jake Miller (special mention).

Roster breakdown:  The 2010-11 Vikings feature six seniors, six juniors, five sophomores, five redshirt freshmen and nine freshmen.  Team members hail from South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.

New Vikings: Augustana head coach Jason Reitmeier has announced the signing of five outstanding high school wrestlers, who will join the Viking program next season. They are Shawn Hatlestad (New London, Minn.), Garret Heiberger (Hartford, S.D.), JD Herst (St. Louis, Mo.), Taylor Harris (Harrisburg, S.D.) and Bret Johnson (Story City, Iowa).

2009-10 in review:  Augustana wrapped up the 2009-10 campaign with an overall record of 11-6 and an NSIC mark of 6-1.  The Vikings finished second in the conference, first in Super Region Three and second in the country.  Augustana placed six at the national tournament, including a national champion in Jay Sherer at 141 pounds.

Coaches’ corner:  Now in his eighth season, Jason Reitmeier has elevated Augustana to a national power.  The former Viking wrestler has been honored as a coach of the year at the conference, regional and national level.  Reitmemer is assisted by Tom Meester, Nate Buys, Mike Long, Brett Lutmer and Jeremie Degen.

Stay connected: 
Follow Augustana all season long at www.GoAugie.com. The Vikings are also on Facebook and Twitter; just log ontowww.facebook.com/GoAugie and www.twitter.com/GoAugie. To catch even more Viking action log onto Augustana’s official YouTube channel atwww.youtube.com/GoAugie.