SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Augustana wrestling team will hold its annual intrasquad dual on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Elmen Center. The Vikings will split into navy and gold teams in the public’s first chance to see the 2011-12 squad in action.
Augustana was picked third in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll and sixth in the nation by the Division II Wrestling Coaches Association earlier this week.
A year ago, Augustana won the NSIC championship for the first time, posting a perfect 7-0 dual record. The Vikings followed with a runner-up finish at the Super Regional Three tournament and third place at the national competition. Augustana was third in the final Division II rankings.
All-America senior Jason Jeremiason returns at 133 pounds. He was 25-5 last year following third-place finishes in region and national competition. He was chosen to the All-NSIC second team and was named NSIC Wrestler of the Week for Jan. 10 and Feb. 14.
Junior Nate Herda turned in an All-America performance at 149 pounds last year. He was third at nationals following a runner-up effort in regional action. He was selected to the All-NSIC first team after posting a 26-8 season’s record.
Senior All-America Marcus Edgington is solid at 157 pounds. He was chosen to the All-NSIC second team a year ago. He was 27-9 and finished third in the region and seventh at nationals.
Sophomore Tom Davies started at 184 pounds last year and is dropping down to 165 for 2011-12. He was 13-14 as a redshirt freshman and finished sixth at the Super Regional Three Championship.
Senior Carl Serck returns at 174 pounds. He posted a 28-7 record a year ago and claimed fifth place at the Super Regional Three Championship.
Redshirt freshman TJ North will likely inherit the spot at 125 pounds. His talent and work ethic were keys to a 30-11 record in open competition last year.
Senior Chism Fink drops from 149 pounds to fill the spot at 141 pounds. Fink, who will join the team at the end of the first semester, was 11-2 last year with three falls and two major decisions. Ryan Hartnett will also see time at 141 pounds.
Redshirt freshman Jayd Docken is the leading candidate for the starting nod at 184 pounds. Docken, a redshirt last season, was 4-2 competing at 197 pounds.
Leading the competition at 197 pounds are junior Brian Schultz and redshirt freshman Jeff Nielsen. Schultz was 10-8 at 184 pounds a year ago and won the title at the Worthington Open.
A two-man race is shaping up at 285 pounds between sophomore Mike Roberts and freshman Taylor Harris. Roberts was 21-8 a year ago and was the 285-pound champion at the Augsburg Open.
Senior Cody Lensing could alternate between 125 and 133 pounds, while redshirt freshman Parker Swanson will contend at 149 or 157 pounds. Lensing was 16-2 last year and named NSIC Wrestler of the Week for Nov. 29. Swanson was 26-8 with 14 pins and six major decisions. He earned titles at the Worthington and Dragon Opens.
Augustana opens the season Nov. 6 at the Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D.