Augsburg’s Hechsel, Johnson win titles at MSUM Dragon Open

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Matthew Hechsel (JR, Apple Valley, Minn.) and Chad Johnson (SR, Ferryville, Wis./De Soto HS) claimed weight-class titles for Augsburg College, part of 16 placewinners for the Auggies at the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragon Open, held on Saturday at Alex Nemzek Hall.

Augsburg AuggiesJohnson, the two-time defending NCAA Division III national champion at heavyweight and current top-ranked wrestler nationally, improved to 7-0 on the season to claim the title in his weight class. He opened with a 9-1, major-decision win, then topped Cody Kasprick of Concordia-Moorhead, the No. 6-ranked heavyweight in Division III, 7-1 in the semifinals. In the championship match, he scored a 3-2 win over Michael Kroells of the Division I University of Minnesota. Johnson is now 112-13 in his career.

Hechsel, ranked No. 3 nationally at 197 pounds, claimed two wins over Division II wrestlers en route to his weight class title, improving to 8-0 overall and 62-29 in his career in the process. After a first-period pin in his first match, he topped MSU Moorhead’s Tyler Schlosser 4-0 in the semifinals and St. Cloud State’s Chris Brassel 1-0 in the finals.

“This tournament served its purpose for us today. We sharpened many skills and had some weaknesses exposed at the same time,” said Augsburg coach Mark Matzek. “We competed hard today, and that is what I ask this team to do.”

Matzek noted that two varsity starters were missing from the tournament due to illness, but the rest of the squad were able to perform well at the meet.

Tommy Teigen (JR, Ham Lake, Minn./Meadow Creek Christian HS) finished third at 174 pounds, going 3-1 on the day with a technical-fall victory. He scored a 14-11 win over St. Cloud State’s Taylor Lewandowski in the third-place match.

Will Keeter (JR, Twin Falls, Idaho), ranked No. 5 nationally at 157 pounds, placed fourth in his weight class with a 2-2 day. Also plaing fourth in his weight class was Justin Bowland (SR, Foley, Minn.), who also went 2-2. Chad Bartschenfeld (JR, Amery, Wis.) went 3-1 on the day to finish fifth at 133 pounds, and Blong Kong (SO, St. Paul, Minn./Johnson HS) and Nicolas Grimley (SO, Monticello, Minn.) recorded sixth-place finishes at 125 and heavyweight, respectively.

Eight Auggie first-year wrestlers finished in the top six in their weight classes in the “White Division” of the tournament, led by 165-pounder Austin Boniface (FY, Forest Lake, Minn.) and 141-pounder Marcus Hamer (FY, Kimball, Minn.), who each placed second. Brandon Peters (FY, Faribault, Minn.) placed third at 133 pounds, while Miles Hammerlund (FY, Delano, Minn.) placed fourth at 184.

James Goman (FY, Lakeville, Minn./Trinity-River Ridge HS) placed fifth at 125, as did Quade Zupko (FY, Wyoming, Minn./Chisago Lakes HS) at 149 and Avery Sweeney (FY, Milton, Wis.) at 184. Logan Hortop (FY, Faribault, Minn.) placed sixth at heavyweight.

Augsburg returns to action on Wednesday (12/11) at 7 p.m., hosting Minnesota State Moorhead at Si Melby Hall.

Dragon Open Results

125 Red — Blong Kong 1-2, 6th place.
125 White — James Goman 2-1, 5th place.
133 Red — Chad Bartschenfeld 3-1, 5th place; Roarke Langer 0-2.
133 White — Brandon Peters 2-1, 3rd place.
141 Red — Ryan Cook 1-2; Tom Kuehn 0-1.
141 White — Marcus Hamer 3-1, 2nd place; Blake Miller 2-2; Tucker Sarbacker 0-2; Sidney Rodriguez 0-2.
149 Red — Rashad Kennedy 2-2; Mark Akpaka 0-2.
149 White — Quade Zupko 4-1, 5th place.
157 Red — Will Keeter 2-2, 4th place.
157 White — Grant Parker 0-2; Drew Randall 0-2.
165 Red — Justin Bowland 2-2, 4th place; Tyrell Martin 0-2.
165 White — Austin Boniface 2-1, 2nd place.
174 Red — Tommy Teigen 3-1, 3rd place.
174 White — Todd Fairbanks 0-2.
184 White — Miles Hammerlund 2-2, 4th place; Avery Sweeney 3-1, 5th place; Gregory Skon 1-2.
197 Red — Matt Hechsel 3-0, champion.
197 White — Justin Flores 1-2.
HWT Red — Chad Johnson 3-0, champion; Nicolas Grimley 0-2, 6th place.
HWT White — Logan Hortop 3-2, 6th place; Colten Pollock 0-2.

Would you like to receive the latest Minnesota wrestling news in your inbox?