Cobbers place 2nd at National Duals
DES MOINES, Iowa – It wasn’t quite heaven but Iowa was awfully good to No.6-ranked Concordia at the prestigious NWCA National Duals Meet. The Cobbers knocked off the No.2-ranked Augsburg in the national semifinals before falling to No.1-ranked Wartburg in the championship match.
Concordia finished their national breakout weekend by going 3-1 and beating teams ranked 11th, 3rd and 2nd in the latest NWCA national poll. The second-place finish is the highest ever by a Cobber team at the prestigious NWCA National Duals Meet. It was only the second time in the history of the meet that Wartburg didn’t face Augsburg in the title bout. CC is now 9-2 on the season.
Concordia’s biggest win of their “Mat of Dreams” weekend came in the first match on Sunday against No.2-ranked Augsburg. The Auggies entered the day unbeaten in dual meets on the year. That changed in the course of an hour as the Cobbers won four of the first five individual matches and sent a message that there is a new sheriff in town. Concordia went on to win seven of the 10 individual bouts against the Auggies. One of the losses came at 197 when CC forfeited due to an injury.
Once again it was the Cobber “Mighty Mites’ that set the tone for the semifinal dual. After falling behind 3-0 Concordia proceeded to seize control of the match by winning the next four individual bouts. Jacoby Bergeron stepped to the forefront and started the Cobber comeback by winning his ninth straight match at 133. He posted an 8-5 win over Kirk Anderson who was ranked fourth in the nation. It was Bergeron’s team-leading 18th win of the season.
After Bergeron tied the team score at 3-3, Yonas Gebreab followed suit with a 4-3 win at 141. Gebreab, one of the biggest surprises for the Cobbers this season, also claimed his 18th win of the year.
While Bergeron and Gebreab had the crowd reeling about the possibility of an upset, Jake Long proceeded to stun the arena with a pin at 6:27 of his bout at 149. The bonus-point win for the Cobbers put the team up 12-3 and would prove to be a pivotal point in the match.
Kyle LeDuc then capped Concordia’s four-match win streak by beating No.9-ranked Will Keeter 2-0 in the bout at 157.
An Augsburg win at 165 set the stage for a pair of gritty wins by wrestlers who were held off the win sheet on Saturday. Sebastian Gardner earned a huge 3-point win when he came up with a triple overtime victory at 174. It was Gardner’s fourth win in the last six matches and put Concordia on the doorstep of the semifinal win.
Needing three points in the final three matches to earn the team win, junior Chris Harrison decided to knock the door to the team win completely off its hinges by finishing the deal at 184. Harrison, who has been fighting through injuries the past month dug down deep to come away with a 6-2 win. The reward for Harrison’s patience and perseverance was the match-clinching victory.
Concordia dropped the final two matches but came away with the six-point win to advance to the championship match against seven-time meet winner Wartburg . The Knights have all 10 wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of the nation.
The Cobbers were able to come up with two individual wins against the Knights. Long put Concordia on the board at 149 and Harrison, fueled by his regained confidence won at 184.
Long earned a 4-1 victory over Brandon Welter who was ranked eighth in the nation heading into the meet.
Harrison capped an incredible weekend for the Cobbers by coming away with a 5-4 decision. He scored a reversal at the beginning of the third period and then finished off the match by not allowing his opponent to get an escape. The win came against the fifth-ranked wrestler in the country and gives Harrison 13 victories in his last 17 matches.
In a “you can’t ask for anything better” twist of scheduling fate, Concordia will host the same No.2-ranked Auggies in a dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium. The dual meet will feature a Cobber “Gold Rush” with all Concordia fans being asked to wear gold to the meet.
Date: January 12, 2014
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Arena: Iowa Events Center
#6 Concordia-Moorhead 21, #2 Augsburg 15
125 – Mike Fuenfifinger (AC) dec. Gabe Foltz (CC); TB-1 6-5 (Augsburg 3-0)
133 – Jacoby Bergeron (CC) dec. Kirk Anderson (AC); 8-5; (Tied 3-3)
141 – Yonas Gebreab (CC) dec. Tom Kuehn (AC); 4-3 (Concordia 6-3)
149 – Jake Long (CC) pin fall Rashad Kennedy (AC); 6:27 (Concordia 12-3)
157 – Kyle LeDuc (CC) dec. Will Keeter (AC); 2-0 (Concordia 15-3)
165 – Justin Bowland (AC) dec. Brandon Haluptzok (CC); 4-1 (Concordia 15-6)
174 – Sebastian Gardner (CC) dec. Tyrell Martin (AC); SV-1 7-5 (Concordia 18-6)
184 – Christian Harrison (CC) dec. Tom Teigen (AC); 6-2 (Concordia 21-6)
197 – Matthew Heschel (AC) wins by forfeit (Concordia 21-12)
285 – Chad Johnson (AC) dec. Cody Kasprick (CC); 8-2 (Concordia 21-15)
#1 Wartburg 29, #6 Concordia-Moorhead 6
125 – Gilberto Camacho (WC) dec. Gabe Foltz (CC); 6-2 (Wartburg 3-0)
133 – Kenny Anderson (WC) dec. Jacoby Bergeron (CC); 14-7 (Wartburg 6-0)
141 – Connor Campo (WC) dec. Yonas Gebreab (CC); 8-5 (Wartburg 9-0)
149 – Jake Long (CC) dec. Brandon Welter (WC); 4-1 (Wartburg 9-3)
157 – Drew Wagenhoffer (WC) dec. Kyle LeDuc (CC); 6-0 (Wartburg 12-3)
165 – Cole Welter (WC) dec. Brandon Haluptzok (CC); 5-3 (Wartburg 15-3)
174 – Landon Williams (WC) tech. fall Sebastian Gardner (CC); 16-0 (Wartburg 20-3)
184 – Christian Harrison (CC) dec. Sam Upah (WC); 5-4 (Wartburg 20-6)
197 – Punahele Soriano (WC) wins by forfeit (Wartburg 26-6)
285 – Ryan Fank (WC) dec. Cody Kasprick (CC); 2-0 (Wartburg 29-6)