MINNEAPOLIS – Claiming seven individual champions/co-champions, the Augsburg College wrestling team opened its 2011-12 campaign with a strong performance at its Auggie-Brute-Adidas Open, held on Saturday at Si Melby Hall.
Auggies claimed titles in three classes in the Gold division, with Tony Valek (SR, Belle Plaine, Minn./Scott West) winning at 149 pounds, Chad Johnson (SO, Ferryville, Wis./De Soto HS) winning at heavyweight, and Will Keeter (SO, Twin Falls, Idaho) and Jake Saatzer (SR, Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka HS) sharing the title at 141. Augsburg had 28 placewinners on the day.
“It was a great total team effort today,” said Augsburg head coach Mark Matzek. “The Auggies wrestled the attack style of wrestling we have been training for all fall. We had a multiple champions on the day as well as co-champions. What is even more impressive to the coaching staff than the titles we earned was how intense each man wrestled. I cannot recall a moment today when I was disappointed with the effort or the attitude of anyone. This is a great testament to the diligent work of the athletes as well as the coaching staff.”
Valek, the top-ranked wrestler in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings at 149 pounds, scored three pins and a major-decision victory to earn the title. A two-time national runner-up, Valek claimed a 3:50 pin of Minnesota State Mankato’s Jesse Westphal in the championship match.
Johnson, who placed seventh nationally in his debut season last year at heavyweight, also went 4-0 to claim his weight-class crown. He opened with a pin and reached the semifinals with a major-decision win, then scored two overtime victories to earn the title, including a 4-2 win over Zach Rosol of Upper Iowa, the No. 5-ranked wrestler in the preseason Division II national rankings, in the finals. Johnson is ranked No. 4 nationally in the Division III heavyweight listing.
Saatzer had two major decisions and pin in his three victories to share the crown at 141. Keeter claimed a 4-3 win over Division III national tournament qualifier Ryan Timmerman of St. Olaf in the semifinals en route to sharing the title with Saatzer.
In the Silver division, Chad Bartschenfeld (FY, Amery, Wis.) and Donny Rosenbloom (FY, Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center HS) made their collegiate debuts a successful one, sharing the title at 125. Rosenbloom had two pins en route to the crown, while Bartschenfeld had a pin and major decision. Noel Sweeney (SO, Grand Rapids, Minn.) won the Silver title at 165, going 3-0 with two pins.
In the Gold division, Brandon Bahr (SR, Bemidji, Minn.) placed third at 165, as did Brad Baus (SR, Mukwonago, Wis.) at 197 and Pat Fletcher (SR, Shelton, Neb.) at heavyweight. Placing fourth was Tom Kuehn (FY, Fargo, N.D./West Fargo HS) at 133, Nathan Lexvold (SR, Kenyon, Minn./Kenyon-Wanamingo HS) at 149 and Josh Kohler (SR, Monticello, Minn.) at 174. Placing fifth was Boyd Suparat (JR, North Branch, Minn.) at 133, Zach Enrico (SR, Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins HS) at 157, and Matt Hechsel (FY, Apple Valley, Minn.) and Alex Krautkremer (SR, Jordan, Minn./Scott West) at 184.
Augsburg returns to action on Tuesday (11/22), hosting Waldorf (Iowa) at Si Melby Hall. White Team (junior varsity) action begins at 6:30 p.m., with the varsity meet to follow.
“We can enjoy this day until tomorrow. We have a hungry Waldorf College ready to square off with us on Tuesday and that is what our focus will be on,” Matzek said.
Augsburg Individual Results:
125 Silver – Chad Bartschenfeld 3-0, co-champion; Donny Rosenbloom 3-0, co-champion.
133 Gold – Tom Kuehn 2-2, 4th place; Boyd Suparat 3-1, 5th place; Alex Johnson 1-2; Cody Madsen 1-2.
133 Silver – Jesse Hylton 3-1, 2nd place.
133 Bronze – Nick Dahlquist 0-2.
141 Gold – Will Keeter 3-0, co-champion; Jake Saatzer 3-0, co-champion.
141 Silver – Ryan Cook 3-1, 3rd place.
141 Bronze – Michael deJolsvay 2-1, 4th place.
149 Gold – Tony Valek 4-0, champion; Nathan Lexvold 2-1, 4th place.
149 Bronze – Rashad Kennedy 3-1, 2nd place.
157 Gold – Zach Enrico 3-1, 5th place.
157 Silver – Kurt Knutsen 2-2, 4th place.
157 Bronze — Dan Egesdal 2-1, 5th place.
165 Gold – Brandon Bahr 3-1, 3rd place.
165 Silver – Noel Sweeney 3-0, champion.
165 Bronze – Tim Hanlin 2-2, 6th place; Zach Riester 2-1, consolation champion.
174 Gold – Josh Kohler 2-2, 4th place.
174 Silver – Tony Castro 3-1, 5th place.
184 Gold – Matt Hechsel 2-1, co-5th place; Alex Krautkremer 2-1, co-5th place.
184 Silver – Joshua Vaughan 3-1, 3rd place; Caleb Davis 2-1, consolation champion.
197 Gold – Brad Baus 3-1, 3rd place.
HWT Gold – Chad Johnson 4-0, champion; Pat Fletcher 3-1, 3rd place.