CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Saint John’s finished 18th out of 64 teams at the 2013 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships on Saturday, March 16.
Wartburg (Iowa) won its third consecutive national title with a total of 103 points, followed by Elmhurst of Illinois (82), Wisconsin-Whitewater (78), Wisconsin-La Crosse (56) and Ithaca of N.Y. (47). SJU posted 19.5 points, only two points from the three-way tie at 13th.
The lone wrestler of six qualifiers still alive in the tournament, Mitch Hagen (Sunburg, Minn./Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg) ended his collegiate career with a pin of Colin Lenhardt, who was ranked ninth by D3wrestle.com, in 34 seconds to finish fifth at 184 pounds and end his senior season with a 20-6 record.
He started the day with a 9-1 major decision win over unranked Daniel Olsen of Wheaton (Ill.) to earn a rematch against Julian Meaney of Elizabethtown (Pa.). Meaney, however, recorded his second major decision of Hagen in as many days, 16-5 (14-6 on Friday).
Hagen defeated fifth-ranked (NWCA) Sam Upah of Wartburg 5-3 at 184 pounds to clinch his first All-America honor (top eight) Friday night. The Johnnies have now had at least one All-American each of the past eight seasons.
From Friday: Hagen Leads SJU at Day One of NCAA Wrestling Championships
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Saint John’s enters the final day of competition in a tie for 16th out of 64 teams at the 2013 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships following Sessions I and II on Friday, March 15.
The lone wrestler of six qualifiers still alive in the tournament, senior Mitch Hagen (Sunburg, Minn./Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg) defeated fifth-ranked (NWCA) Sam Upah of Wartburg 5-3 at 184 pounds to earn his first All-America honor (top eight). He is scheduled to wrestle unranked Daniel Olsen of Wheaton (Ill.) when Session III resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Ice Arena. The Johnnies have now recorded at least one All-America performance each of the past eight seasons.
Hagen, ranked fourth nationally, started the day with a medical forfeit of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Matt Rieckhoff in the first round, but was upset by unranked Julian Meaney of Elizabethtown (Pa.), 14-6. He retaliated with a 5-2 win over ninth-ranked (NWCA) Caleb Malychewski of Pacific (Ore.) in his first consolation match. Hagen pinned Malychewski to win the NCAA West Region title two weeks ago.
Senior Chris Stevermer (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake) avenged an early-season loss to Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Ben Strobel with a 10-5 win to start the tournament at 149 pounds. Strobel earned a 7-3 win Dec. 1 when both were wrestling at 157. The momentum carried Stevermer to a big 8-6 overtime upset of the Stevens Institute’s (N.J.) Michael Polizzi, the second-ranked wrestler in the nation, but the senior was bumped to the consolation bracket via a 4-2 overtime loss to Vinny Pisani of York (Pa.). Pisani, who is ranked as high as sixth (D3wrestle.com) in the country, turned a scramble into a takedown with 20 seconds left in overtime.
Stevermer allowed a late takedown in regulation to tie the match at 5-5 and lost 8-5 in triple overtime to unranked Jorge Lopez of Williams (Mass.), his third overtime match of the day. He looked to have escaped from Lopez and had his opponent on his back in the final 10 seconds of the second overtime, but neither an escape, reversal nor back points was awarded. Stevermer ends his senior season with a 19-8 record.
Junior Ryan Arne (Orono, Minn.) upset the fifth-ranked (D3wrestle.com) wrestler at 157 pounds, Troy Sterling of Cortland State (N.Y.), 6-3 in the first round before falling to Wilkes’ (Pa.) Kris Krawchuck, ranked as high as third (D3wrestle.com), 4-1. He fell to unranked Josh Etzel of Washington and Jefferson (Pa.) by a 6-0 score to end the season with a 10-6 record.
Junior John Scepaniak (Avon, Minn./Holdingford) suffered a tough 3-2 loss to sixth-ranked (NWCA) Ryan Fank of Wartburg (Iowa) in one of two pigtail matches at heavyweight. He bounced back with a pin of Luther’s Nick Pearch in 4:43 but lost in a bizarre 4-3 match to John Wilkinson of Brockport State (N.Y.), who is ranked eighth by D3wrestle.com. Ahead by a score of 3-1, Scepaniak was called for stalling and a point was awarded to Wilkinson, who chose down to start the third period and escaped to tie the match at 3-3. The match was decided with another stall call against Scepaniak with 20 seconds left. He ended the season with a 13-16 record.
Junior Nick Schuler (Roseville, Minn./Totino-Grace) lost his first match at 165 pounds to Roger Williams’ (R.I.) Collin Crowell, the ninth-ranked wrestler according to D3wrestle.com, by an 8-3 decision. He exited the tournament with a hard-fought 5-4 loss to Sam Guidi of Waynesburg (Pa.), ending the year with a 16-4 record.
Sophomore Ryan Michaelis (Monticello, Minn.) dropped his first match of the day at 197 pounds to Jeremy Burns of Springfield (Mass.) 7-2 and lost his first consolation match by major decision (8-0 to Delaware Valley’s (Pa.) Aaron Karns, the third-ranked wrestler in the country. Michaelis ended the season with a 10-6 record.