Augsburg claims 3 champs, places 2nd at Citrus Invitational in Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Claiming three individual champions and 13 placewinners, the Augsburg College wrestling team placed second at the Citrus Invitational tournament, held Saturday and Sunday at Cardinal Gibbons High School.

Augsburg, ranked No. 2 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national polls, placed second in the 12-team meet with 144 points. Upper Iowa, ranked No. 4 in the latest Division II coaches association national poll, won the meet with 166 points.

Augsburg AuggiesOf the 10 varsity teams competing in the tournament, seven are currently ranked in national polls; in addition to Augsburg, Cornell (Iowa, No. 18), Delaware Valley (Pa., No. 30), New York University (No. 28) and Mount Union (Ohio, No. 23) are ranked nationally in Division III, while North Carolina-Pembroke (No. 20) joined Upper Iowa in the Division II rankings. In addition, Liberty (Va.), a club program, is ranked No. 4 in the latest club-level national rankings.

Defending national champion Chad Johnson (JR, Ferryville, Wis./De Soto HS), currently the top-ranked heavyweight in Division III, improved to 16-1 on the season with a dominating performance to win the Citrus Invitational title, opening with a first-period pin, then recording two major-decision triumphs before scoring a 7-1 win over James De La Riva of North Carolina-Pembroke in the championship match. Of Johnson’s 16 wins, 12 are bonus-point victories (seven pins, five major decisions). He has now won championships in three of the four tournaments he has competed in this season.

Mike Fuenffinger (SO, Hibbing, Minn.) claimed his second straight tournament title at 125 pounds. Fuenffinger, ranked No. 4 nationally in Division III, opened his tournament with two pins and a major-decision win before scoring a 12-5 win over Charlie Frankel of Delaware Valley in the finals. Fuenffinger is now 15-2 on the season.

Tossaporn “Boyd” Suparat (SR, North Branch, Minn.), ranked No. 6 nationally in Division III at 133 pounds, improved to 12-4 on the season with four victories to earn the Citrus Invitational title, his second tournament win of the season. He had a pin and two shutout wins to score the title, including a 5-0 win over Upper Iowa’s Tanner Schmidt in the finals.

Augsburg had three wrestlers place fourth in their weight classes – No. 8-ranked 141-pounder Tom Kuehn (SO, Fargo, N.D./West Fargo HS), No. 7-ranked 174-pounder Josh Kohler (SR, Monticello, Minn.) and 197-pounder Matt Hechsel (SO, Apple Valley, Minn.). Kuehn had a major-decision win and two shutout victories in going 3-2 at the tournament, while Kohler had a first-period pin in going 3-2. Hechsel had a pin and three shutouts, including a major-decision win, in going 5-2 to finish third at 197.

Top-ranked 149-pounder Will Keeter (JR, Twin Falls, Idaho) finished fifth at 149 pounds, going 3-2 at the tournament. Kurt Knutsen (SO, Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley HS) also went 3-2 to place fifth at 157. Justin Bowland (JR, Foley, Minn.) placed seventh at 174 pounds, as did Roarke Langer (FY, Ellsworth, Wis.) at 133. Chad Bartschenfeld (SO, Amery, Wis.) placed eighth at 125, as did Rashad Kennedy (SO, Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley HS) at 141 and Quinten Strand (FY, Viroqua, Wis./De Soto HS) at 165.

Citrus Invitational Results

Augsburg returns to action this Saturday (1/5) at the William Penn (Iowa) Open in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Team Scores: 1. Upper Iowa 166; 2. Augsburg (Minn.) 144; 3. Cornell (Iowa) 111.5; 4. Delaware Valley (Pa.) 111; 5. North Carolina-Pembroke 105; 6. New York University 92.5; 7. Ursinus (Pa.) 89; 8. John Carroll (Ohio) 83.5; 9. Mount Union (Ohio) 76.5; 10. Liberty (Va., club) 34; 11. Case Western Reserve (Ohio) 22; 12. Florida Gulf Coast (club) 6.

Augsburg Individual Results:
125 — Mike Fuenffinger 4-0, champion; Chad Bartschenfeld 3-3, 8th place.
133 — Tossaporn “Boyd” Suparat 4-0, champion; Roarke Langer 3-2, 7th place; Nick Dahlquist 0-3.
141 — Tom Kuehn 3-2, 4th place; Rashad Kennedy 2-3, 8th place; Romar Daniel 1-3; Ryan Cook 0-1.
149 — Will Keeter 3-2, 5th place; Michael Keilen 2-3; Mark Akpaka 1-3.
157 — Kurt Knutsen 3-2, 5th place; Andrew Powers 0-2.
165 — Quinten Strand 2-3, 8th place; Joshua Chandler 0-3.
174 — Josh Kohler 3-2, 4th place; Justin Bowland 3-2, 7th place.
197 — Matt Hechsel 5-2, 4th place.
HWT — Chad Johnson 4-0, champion; Nicolas Grimley 0-3.

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