NAPERVILLE, Ill. — No.9-ranked Concordia recorded top 5 finishes in eight of the 10 weight classes and came with a runner-up finish at the North Central Invite on Saturday. Junior Nathan Schmitz continued to tear through his opponents as he went 4-0 and was the only CC wrestler to win a weight class.
After starting the season with a pair of first-round losses in multiple-team events, Schmitz has shifted into overdrive and started to show signs o9f an All-American season. He was unbeaten in the 197-lb weight class on Saturday and posted a pair of pin falls to go along with two four-point decisions. He is now 17-3 on the season and ranked seventh in the nation in the latest Brute-Adidas NWCA DIII rankings.
Overall the Cobbers had 10 wrestlers capture top 5 finishes at the meet. Besides the championship from Schmitz, Concordia had three second-place finishes to go along with a trio of fourth-place winners and two fifth-place finishers.
Ben Presler, Daron Hohbein and Cody Kasprick accounted for the second-place finishes. Presler went 4-1 at 125 to up his season record to 9-5. He breezed through the first two rounds with a technical fall and a major decision. He followed that up with a pair of decisions before getting stuck in the title bout. Hohbein, seeded third at 133 heading into the meet, posted a pair of technical falls and then came away with one of the best wins of the tournament or the Cobbers when he battled his way to an 8-7 win in the semifinals over No.2-seed Timothy Wunnicke of UW-Platteville. He the lost by a 6-1 decision to Nathan Fitzenreider of North Central who is currently ranked No.1 in the nation. Kasprick was the final second-place finisher for CC. He went 4-1 at 285 and is now 14-6 on the year. Kasprick scored three of his four wins by pin fall before being edged in the final.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day for Concordia came from one of the fourth-place finishes. Sophomore Jake Long entered the meet with a 4-6 record but then matched his season win total by going 4-2 and claiming fourth at 157. The unseeded Long started the day with a 6-0 decision and then beat the No.4 seed in overtime in the round of 16. Long then beat the No.5 seed in the quarterfinals before losing a tight 2-1 decision to the No.1 seed in the semifinals. Long then won his first wrestleback match before running out of steam in the third-place bout.
Joining Long as fourth-place winners were Kyle LeDuc and Chandler Trout. LeDuc was 3-2 at 149. He lived up to his No.4 seed by recording a pair of decisions in his first two matches before falling in the semifinals toJake Strausbaugh of Wabash who is ranked sixth in the nation in the weight class. Trout posted the most impressive finish of his young collegiate career. He went 4-2 in the 184-lb weight class to double his season win total. Trout did his damage in the wrestlebacks where he won three straight matches before losing in the third-place bout.
Kevin Fynboh, Sebastian Gardner and Jake Kostik rounded out the top 5 finishers for CC. Fynboh and Gardner were seeded second heading into the invite and both stumbled in the semifinals and then again in the semifinals of the wrestlebacks. Fynboh posted a 3-2 record on the day while Gardner was 4-2. Kostik lost his opening match of the day but then came back to win four straight matches on his way to collecting a team-high five wins in the meet. All three wrestlers earned their 10th wins of the season at the invite. Concordia now has seven wrestlers with at least 10 wins on the year.
The Cobbers will continue their grueling pre-Christmas schedule when they fly to Las Vegas to compete in the Vegas Duals on Sunday, Dec. 18 beginning at 9 a.m.
Final Team Standings
1. Olivet – 189.0
2. Concordia – 160.5
3. Wabash – 123.0
4. Augustana – 114.0
5. North Central – 106.5
6. MSOE – 71.0
7. Mt St Joseph – 60.5
8. UW Platteville – 59.5
9. Lakeland – 47.0
10. Concordia (Wisc.) – 41.0
11. Wheaton – 33.5
12. Knox – 20.0
13. Maranatha – 4.0