MINNEAPOLIS — Both teams claimed five individual victories, but two technical falls and a major decision for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse proved to be the difference in the match, as the Eagles topped host Augsburg College 20-16 in a wrestling dual meet on Thursday evening at Si Melby Hall.
Wisconsin-La Crosse (16-3 overall), ranked No. 5 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings, built a 10-3 lead after three bouts on Augsburg (5-6 overall), the No. 20-ranked team nationally. The Eagles led 20-9 after eight bouts, before the Auggies claimed wins in the final two bouts of the evening.
Augsburg’s Chad Johnson (JR, Ferryville, Wis./De Soto HS), the defending NCAA Division III national champion and current top-ranked heavyweight nationally, improved to 29-1 on the season with a 10-2 victory over Cody Endres (SO, Lodi, Wis.) in the final bout of the night. Johnson claimed four takedowns and 4:03 riding time en route to the win.
Of Johnson’s 29 wins this season, 22 are bonus-point victories (13 pins, eight major decisions, one technical fall). Johnson is now 97-13 in his three seasons at Augsburg.
#Tossaporn “Boyd” Suparat# (SR, North Branch, Minn.) improved to 24-11 on the season with a 7-0 win at 133 pounds for the Auggies, but his win was bracketed by two second-period technical-fall wins for the Eagles, a 20-5 triumph by Izzy Balsiger (FY, Chippewa Falls, Wis.) at 125 and a 15-0 win by No. 4-ranked Adam Sheley (SR, Geneseo, Ill.) at 141.
At 149, Rashad Kennedy (SO, Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley HS) claimed an 8-6 win for the Auggies, but No. 8-ranked JR Lewis (SR, Greenfield, Wis.) scored a 4-1 win over Kurt Knutsen (SO, Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley HS) at 157 to give the Eagles a 13-6 lead at the mid-match intermission.
Justin Bowland (JR, Foley, Minn.) cut the lead to 13-9 with a 10-3 triumph at 165 pounds, but the Eagles scored wins in the next two matches, as No. 10-ranked Kevin O’Brien (JR, Becker, Minn.) edged Josh Kohler (SR, Monticello, Minn.) at 174 and Eric Twohey (SO, Stewartville, Ill.) claimed a 9-1, major-decision win at 184.
Matt Hechsel (SO, Apple Valley, Minn.) built a 5-0 lead after two periods and claimed a 5-3 win over Tony Piechowski (JR, Maplewood, Minn./North St. Paul HS) at 197 pounds. Hechsel improved to 27-9 on the season.
The next scheduled event for the Auggies, the Augustana (S.D.) Open on Saturday (2/16), has been cancelled. Augsburg’s final dual meet of the regular season is next Thursday (2/21) at 7 p.m., as Augsburg travels to face No. 9-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Time of match: 1:38.
Official: Kurt Nathe.
#5 UW-La Crosse 20, #20 Augsburg 16
125 — Izzy Balsiger (UWL, 21-2) tech. fall Blong Kong (AUG, 2-5) 20-5 at 4:50 (UW-La Crosse 5-0).
133 — Tossaporn “Boyd” Suparat (AUG, 24-11) dec. James Bennett (UWL, 15-12) 7-0 (UW-La Crosse 5-3)
141 — No. 4 Adam Sheley (UWL, 17-1) tech. fall Tom Kuehn (AUG, 21-14) 15-0 at 3:13 (UW La Crosse 10-3)
149 — Rashad Kennedy (AUG, 18-14) dec. Keegan Einerson (UWL, 11-8) 8-6 (UW-La Crosse 10-6)
157 — No. 8 JR Lewis (UWL, 17-2) dec. Kurt Knutsen (AUG, 9-18) 4-1 (UW-La Crosse 13-6)
165 — Justin Bowland (AUG, 15-16) dec. Sean Huls (UWL, 5-7) 10-3 (UW-La Crosse 13-9)
174 — No. 10 Kevin O’Brien (UWL, 10-3) dec. Josh Kohler (AUG, 24-11) 3-1 (UW-La Crosse 16-9)
184 — Eric Twohey (UWL, 22-6) maj. dec. Noel Sweeney (AUG, 6-9) 9-1 (UW-La Crosse 20-9)
197 — Matt Hechsel (AUG, 27-9) dec. Tony Piechowski (UWL, 8-7) 5-3 (UW-La Crosse 20-12)
Hwt — No. 1 Chad Johnson (AUG, 29-1) maj. dec. Cody Endres (UWL, 14-14) 10-2 (UW-La Crosse 20-16)