Auggies go 3-0 at Minnesota Duals

MINNEAPOLIS — The Augsburg College wrestling team claimed three victories on the day at the 2012 Minnesota Duals, the annual meeting of the four Minnesota-based NCAA Division III wrestling programs, on Saturday at Augsburg’s Si Melby Hall.

Augsburg, the No. 2-ranked team in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings, won eight of 10 bouts in a 35-9 triumph over St. Olaf in its opening match, then scored an 18-13 win over No. 18-ranked Concordia-Moorhead and a 23-16 win over No. 8-ranked St. John’s in the finale.

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St. John’s went 2-1 on the day, with a 23-18 win over Concordia and a 35-12 win over St. Olaf. Concordia topped St. Olaf 29-12 in the day’s other match.

Top-ranked heavyweight Chad Johnson (SO, Ferryville, Wis./DeSoto HS) went 3-0 on the day for the Auggies, claiming two third-period pins, including a pin with six seconds left in the match to clinch the Auggies’ win over St. John’s in the final bout of the day. Johnson is now 24-1 on the season.

Two Auggies remained unbeaten on the season with 3-0 efforts. Top-ranked 149-pounder Tony Valek (SR, Belle Plaine, Minn./Scott West) improved to 21-0 with a major decision, decision and a pin on the afternoon. Eighteen of his 21 wins this season are bonus-point (pin, technical fall, major decision) victories.

Orlando Ponce (SR, Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah-Miami Lakes HS), ranked No. 2 nationally at 165, moved down a weight class to 157 and scored three wins to improve to 14-0 on the season.

Will Keeter (SO, Twin Falls, Idaho), ranked No. 6 nationally at 141, collected three wins to improve to 23-3 on the season, including a 6-2 win over No. 7-ranked Ryan Timmerman of St. Olaf in the opening match. Mike Fuenffinger (FY, Hibbing, Minn.) improved to 7-4 on the season with three wins, including a 9-0, major-decision win in his final bout against St. John’s.

Augsburg went 19-11 in its three matches on the day to improve to 8-1 in dual meets this season.

St. John’s had three wrestlers go 3-0 — No. 5-ranked Mitch Hagen at 184, No. 8-ranked Matt Pfarr and 165-pounder Nick Schuler — and No. 2-ranked Dustin Baxter at 197 went 2-0 on the day.

Concordia’s Jake Kostik went 2-0 at 133, while Christian Harrison (184) and Kyle LeDuc (149) went 2-1 in their matches. Timmerman (141) and 174-pounder James Roach each went 2-1 on the day to lead St. Olaf.

Augsburg returns to action this Thursday (2/2) at 7 p.m. with a dual meet at top-ranked Wartburg (Iowa).

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