MOORHEAD, Minn. — Chad Johnson (JR, Ferryville, Wis./De Soto HS) and Matt Hechsel (SO, Apple Valley, Minn.) claimed second-place finishes for Augsburg College, two of the Auggies’ six placewinners in the Red Division at the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragon Open wrestling tournament on Saturday.
The defending NCAA Division III national champion at heavyweight and current top-ranked wrestler in his weight class in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national poll, Johnson won his first three matches, claiming a first-period pin and 13-1 major-decision along the way, before being edged 3-2 in an overtime tiebreaker to Matt Meuleners of Northern State (S.D.), the two-time defending NCAA Division II national champion and current top-ranked Division II heavyweight. Johnson is now 8-1 on the season and 76-13 in his Auggie career. He is 44-2 in his sophomore and junior campaigns, with his only losses coming to the Division II national titlist and runner-up (St. Cloud State’s Jake Kahnke) from each of the last two seasons.
Hechsel claimed two victories to reach the finals at 197 pounds before falling 16-3 to Jayd Docken of Augustana (S.D.), currently ranked No. 4 in the Division II national rankings at 197. Hechsel is now 6-2 on the year.
Three Auggies placed third in their Red Division weight classes — No. 4-ranked 125-pounder Mike Fuenffinger (SO, Hibbing, Minn.), No. 5-ranked 133-pounder Tossaporn “Boyd” Suparat (SR, North Branch, Minn.) and No. 8-ranked 141-pounder Tom Kuehn (SO, Fargo, N.D./West Fargo HS). Will Keeter (JR, Twin Falls, Idaho), ranked No. 2 nationally at 149 pounds, finished fourth in his weight class on Saturday.
Suparat suffered his first loss of the year on Saturday — a 3-1, sudden-victory overtime loss to Justin Reinsma of Southwest Minnesota State, ranked No. 6 in Division II — but went 3-1 on the day to move to 8-1 on the season. Fuenffinger went 2-1 on the day to move to 6-2 on the season, and Kuehn went 2-1 to move to 5-2 on the year. Keeter faced three University of Minnesota wrestlers on Saturday, scoring a second-period pin of Josh Shupe in his opening match.
Augsburg also had four placewinners in the White Division, a division for first-year wrestlers, at the MSU Moorhead meet. Roarke Langer (FY, Ellsworth, Wis.) finished second at 133 pounds, while Nicolas Grimley (FY, Monticello, Minn.) finished third at heavyweight, Mark Akpaka (FY, Minneapolis, Minn./South HS) finished fourth at 149 and Quinten Strand (FY, Viroqua, Wis./De Soto HS) finished sixth at 174.
Augsburg returns to action next Saturday (12/8) at 9 a.m. with two meets, as the varsity competes at the St. Cloud State Husky Open and the White Team (junior varsity) competes at the Wartburg (Iowa) Dick Walker Invitational.
AUGSBURG INDIVIDUAL RESULTS – RED DIVISION:
125 — Mike Fuenffinger 2-1, 3rd place; Chad Bartschenfeld 1-2.
133 — Tossaporn “Boyd” Suparat 3-1, 3rd place; Ryan Cook 1-2.
141 — Tom Kuehn 2-1, 3rd place; Rashad Kennedy 1-2.
149 — Will Keeter 2-2, 4th place.
157 — Kurt Knutsen 0-2.
165 — Tommy Teigen 1-1.
174 — Josh Kohler 0-2, Justin Bowland 0-1.
197 — Matt Hechsel 2-1, 2nd place.
HWT — Chad Johnson 3-1, 2nd place.
AUGSBURG INDIVIDUAL RESULTS – WHITE DIVISION:
133 — Roarke Langer 3-1, 2nd place; Nick Dahlquist 1-2; Joshua Mora 0-2.
149 — Mark Akpaka 3-2, 4th place; Romar Daniel 1-2; Michael Keilen 0-2.
165 — Andrew Powers 2-2; Josh Chandler 1-2.
174 — Quinten Strand 3-2, 6th place.
HWT — Nicolas Grimley 2-1, 3rd place.