Valek’s 100th win highlights 1st round

LA CROSSE, Wis. – With all five wrestlers winning their opening matches, including four by bonus-point margins, the Augsburg College wrestling team stood in third place after the first round of the NCAA Division III National Championships on Friday morning at the La Crosse Center.

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Augsburg’s four returning All-Americans all opened up with bonus-point wins – two pins and two major decisions – to give the Auggies 14 team points after the first round. Wartburg (Iowa) leads with 16 points, while Coe (Iowa) is in second with 14.5. Concordia-Moorhead and St. John’s are tied for fourth with 13.5 points, and host Wisconsin-La Crosse is in sixth with 13 points.

Friday’s second round, the “All-American Round,” begins at 6 p.m., when the field will be eliminated to the eight All-Americans in each weight class. All five Auggies will be competing in quarterfinal matches to open the second session.

Defending 149-pound national runner-up Tony Valek (JR, Belle Plaine, Minn./Scott West) earned his 100th career win in dominating fashion on Friday, getting the Auggies off to a strong start with a second-period pin of Jacob Schwebke of Cornell (Iowa). In his third trip to the national tournament, Valek is now 100-23 on his career and 35-5 this season.

Zach Molitor (SR, Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti HS), a two-time All-American, took a big step towards claiming his third All-American honor with a 4:28 pin of Stephen Birt of Loras (Iowa) in his opening match. Molitor built a 10-1 lead in the second period on three takedowns and a three-point near-fall before claiming the pin.
All-American Orlando Ponce (JR, Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah-Miami Lakes HS) used three takedowns, a three-point near-fall and 3:41 of riding time to secure an 11-1, major-decision win Ryan Warczynski of Dubuque (Iowa) in his opening match at 157. Last year’s national runner-up at 165, Valek is now 32-5 on the season and has won 15 matches in a row, including 12 in a row since moving to 157.
At 197, two-time All-American Jared Massey (SR, Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial HS) had a dominating opening match, using three takedowns and 4:58 of riding time to secure an 8-0, major-decision win over Brian Broll of Buena Vista (Iowa). The 2009 national champion and third-place finisher last year at 197, Massey is now 18-1 on the season and 77-3 in his three seasons at Augsburg (82-5 overall).
Chad Johnson (FY, Ferryville, Wis./DeSoto HS) made his national tournament debut an impressive one, as he improved to 30-9 on the season with an 8-3 win over James Zarate of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Johnson rallied from an early 2-0 deficit with a reversal just before the end of the first period, then scored two takedowns and 1:52 of riding time to collect the win.

2011 NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At La Crosse Center, La Crosse, Wis.

Team scores after Friday’s First Round:
1. Wartburg (Iowa) 16.0; 2. Coe (Iowa) 14.5; 3. Augsburg (Minn.) 14.0; 4t. Concordia-Moorhead 13.5; 4t. St. John’s 13.5; 6. Wisconsin-La Crosse 13.0; 7. Ithaca (N.Y.) 9.5; 8t. Centenary (N.J.) 9.0; 8t. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (N.Y.) 9.0; 10. Elmhurst (Ill.) 8.0. Other Minnesota school: 26t. St. Olaf 2.0.

Friday’s First Round Results — Minnesota College Wrestlers:
125 — 
Carl DeLuca (Wis.-Oshkosh) dec. Ben Presler (Concordia) 5-4.
133 — Chad Henle (St. John’s) dec. Thomas Mirocha (Wartburg) 10-8 (OT-SV1); Daron Hohbein (Concordia) pinned Dan Herr (College of New Jersey) 6:41.
141 — David Alsieux (Centenary) dec. Chris Sandy (St. John’s) 4-2; Ryan Timmerman (St. Olaf) dec. Matt Kelly (Wartburg) 4-3.
149 — Tony Valek (Augsburg) pinned Jacob Schwebke (Cornell) 4:03; Minga Batsukh (St. John’s) maj. dec. Zac Andrews (Delaware Valley) 17-6.
157 — Orlando Ponce (Augsburg) maj. dec. Ryan Warczynski (Dubuque) 11-1; Justin Berns (Concordia) maj. dec. Cade Sarbacker (Wis.-Whitewater) 16-6; Berns tech. fall Mike Willey (Plymouth State) 15-0 at 6:03.
165 — Matt Baarson (St. John’s) dec. Adam Weber (Wartburg) 5-4; Vincent Renaut (U.S. Merchant Marine Academy) maj. dec. Josef Waples (St. Olaf) 14-4.
174 — Zach Molitor (Augsburg) pinned Stephan Birt (Loras) 4:28; Mathew Pfarr (St. John’s) maj. dec. Kyle Roosa (Wesleyan) 10-2.
184 — Phil Moenkedick (Concordia) pinned Scott Lowe (U.S. Merchant Marine Academy) 6:14; Dustin Baxter (St. John’s) dec. Andy Jenkins (Mount Union) 8-3.
197 — Jared Massey (Augsburg) maj. dec. Brian Broll (Buena Vista) 8-0; Tony Willaert (St. John’s) maj. dec. Adam Latella (Wis.-Whitewater) 12-3; Ryan Malo (Williams) dec. Nathan Schmitz (Concordia) 7-5 (OT-SV1).
HWT — Chad Johnson (Augsburg) dec. James Zarate (Wis.-Whitewater) 8-3; Tom Bouressa (Concordia) dec. Corey James (Cortland State) 3-1.