MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (3/02/13) — Concordia came within an eye lash of pulling off one of the biggest upsets in college wrestling in the past several seasons. The Cobbers used six national-qualifying performances to battle No.20-ranked Augsburg all the way to the final two matches of the NCAA West Regional before finishing in second place by a mere 10.5 points.
Concordia, who led in the team standings after the semifinal round, finished with 133.0 points while Augsburg came away with 143.5 and third-place St. John’s had 127.0.
One of the deciding factors in the team title was the number of byes Concordia had in the opening round of the meet. Of the 10 Cobber wrestlers, seven had byes in the first round and therefore unable to score valuable team points. The Auggies had only three first-round byes while third-place St. John’s had six.
Concordia had six of its 10 wrestlers at the region meet compete in the title match of their respective weight classes. That is the most for the Cobbers at any region meet. CC also had those six athletes advance to the NCAA National Meet which is the most in school history. The previous best for national qualifiers was five which came in 2011.
The surprises at the NCAA West Regional meet held at Augsburg were plentiful for Concordia. The two region champion athletes produced by Clay and Matt Nagel’s were not the household names usually associated with the Cobbers. Jacoby Bergeron and Jake Long continued their steady climb towards the top of the region and came away with their first region titles. Bergeron won the championship at 133 while Long claimed the title at 149. Neither wrestler entered the meet with more than 15 wins on the year.
Bergeron was 9-2 before he posted four straight wins and punched his ticket for his first NCAA Meet. He has now won 12 of his last 13 matches since returning to the team in the middle of January. Bergeron started his day with an 11-5 decision in the first round and then had a pair of bonus-point wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals. He then beat Tossaporn Suparat of Augsburg in the finals with a 7-4 decision.
Long has always had the pedigree to be a top regional wrestler and entered the meet with a 14-8 record. He then claimed a pair of close decisions in the quarterfinals and semifinals before earning an injury-default win in the championship bout. Like Bergeron, he will be making his first appearance at the NCAA Meet.
The other four national meet qualifiers, and region title match participants, included freshman Will McCarthy, Kevin Fynboh, Nathan Schmitz and Tom Bouressa.
McCarthy, like Bergeron and Long, was another great surprise for the Cobbers. He was 12-9 in his first collegiate season before starting the regional meet with a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals and earning a pin fall in the semifinals at 125. McCarthy lost a narrow, back-and-forth battle with the No.5-ranked wrestler in the country in the championship match – falling 3-2.
Fynboh also earned his first trip to the national meet by going 2-1 at 157. After a first-round bye, he earned a 5-1 decision in the quarterfinals and then a 9-8 decision in the semifinals. The two wins pushes Fynboh’s season total to 20 on the year. He is now 20-13 entering the NCAA Meet.
Schmitz earned his third straight trip to the national meet by going 3-1 at 197. The returning All-American scored a pin fall in his first match of the day and then won by a decision in his next two matches. He also lost a one-point decision in the championship bout. Schmitz staged a late rally against Matt Heschel, who entered the regionals with a 32-8 mark, but wound up losing 5-4 at the final buzzer.
Like Schmitz, Bouressa punched his third consecutive trip the NCAA Meet. He eased his way through the quarterfinals and semifinals with a major decision and then a 10-3 decision. In perhaps the best match of the entire regional, he battled with No.1-ranked, and defending national champion, Chad Johnson of Augsburg and narrowly lost 2-1 in the region title bout. Bouressa and Johnson have now wrestled twice in 2013 with Johnson winning both times by a single point.
The sensational six will now have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA National Meet which will be held on Mar. 15-16 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Concordia NCAA National Meet Qualifiers
125 – Will McCarthy
133 – Jacoby Bergeron
149 – Jake Long
157 – Kevin Fynboh
197 – Nathan Schmitz
285 – Tom Bouressa
Final Team Results
1. Augsburg (Minn.) 143.5
2. Concordia-Moorhead 133.0
3. St. John’s (Minn.) 127.0
4. Wisconsin-Oshkosh 79.0
5. St. Olaf (Minn.) 72.0
6. Concordia-Wisconsin 63.0
7. Wisconsin-Platteville 47.0
8. Pacific (Ore.) 41.5
9. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 41.0
10. Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wis.) 37.5
11. Lakeland (Wis.) 23.0
12. Maranatha Baptist (Wis.) 3.0
Cobber Individual Results
125 – Will McCarthy went 2-1 and finished 2nd
133 – Jacoby Bergeron went 4-0 and won the championship
141 – Chase Austvold went 4-2 and finished 5th
149 – Jake Long went 3-0 and won the championship
157 – Kevin Fynboh went 2-1 and finished 2nd
165 – Josten Coleman went 2-2 and finished 5th
174 – Sebastian Gardner went 2-3 and finished 6th
184 – Christian Harrison went 3-2 and finished 5th
197 – Nathan Schmitz went 3-1 and finished 2nd
285 – Tom Bouressa went 2-1 and finished 2nd