EDMOND, Okla. – Four Augustana wrestlers advanced to the championship semifinals and two more remain in the consolation bracket on day one of the NCAA Super Region III Championships. TJ North, Bradyn Neises, Sean Derry, and Jayd Docken all went 2-0 to advance to the semifinals of the regional tournament on Friday.
With five of the top eight teams in the country heading to Hamilton Fieldhouse on the campus of Central Oklahoma, the Vikings knew they were in for several tough bouts, but Augustana’s big guns shown through and several other Vikings shone through with big wins.
Ranked No. 3 at 125 pounds, North cruised to two 10-2 major decision wins as the top seed in the bracket. North defeated wrestlers from Truman State and host Central Oklahoma to advance to the semifinals.
Bradyn Neises then stole the show in the 157-pound bracket. Winning with a 5-2 decision over regionally-ranked Zak Benitz of Upper Iowa, Neises then took down nationally-ranked No. 4 Chase White of Nebraska Kearney in the first overtime to advance to the semis with a 6-4 decision.
Derry’s unblemished record against Division II opponents finally warranted his reentry to the national rankings at No. 7 and the lone Augustana senior in the competition lived up to the Billing. At 184 pounds, Derry notched an 8-3 decision win in the first round then punched his ticket to the semifinals with a 7-6 decision over St. Cloud State’s Dylon Braun.
Docken was the fourth Viking to finish the day undefeated, earning a pair of victories over Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opponents. The junior 197-pounder won his first-round bout over Minnesota State’s Chris Zimmer by 10-3 decision and followed it up with an 8-3 decision win over St. Cloud State’s Chris Brassell.
Augustana had two more wrestlers suffer a defeat but bounce back with victories to move on to the consolation quarterfinals.
Morgan Engbrecht won his first-round bout in dominating fashion, defeating U-Mary’s 133-pound representative by 15-0 tech fall. Pitted against the top wrestler in his class Engbrecht was sent to the wrestleback by 11-0 major decision. Engbrecht stayed alive at the super region championships with a pin of Newman’s Kris Workman in 3:32.
Wrestling up a weight class, Parker Swanson suffered a tech fall loss in the first round to top-seeded Patrick Martinez of No. 2 Nebraska Kearney. Swanson then notched a 5-0 decision before pulling off an upset over national No. 4 and 2013 national runner-up Blake Sorensen of Upper Iowa by 6-2 decision.
The four remaining Vikings each earned a win on day one, but were undone by the top Division II region’s stiff competition.
Shawn Hatlestad defeated Truman State’s Ryan Maus at 149 pounds in the first round, but was upended by No. 2 Edwin Cooper of Upper Iowa. Facing Noah Killip of Fort Hays State, Hatlestad’s season came to an end with a loss by pinfall in 2:31.
Heavyweight Michael Lowman exorcised some demons with a 5-2 decision win over SMSU’s Cole Wilson in the first round — Wilson topped Lowman in the Vikings’ loss to the mustangs during the regular season. Lowman couldn’t replicate his first-round win one bout later, falling to fourth-ranked Steven Butler of Lindenwood by a third-period pin (5:21). Lowman’s season came to a close in the second round of the consolation bracket with a second pin (1:38) from No. 2 Austin Goergen of St. Cloud State.
Earning a spot in the first round, 165-pounder Ti m Weber pinned Minot State’s Donovan William’s in 3:31. In his first-round bout, Weber was dispatched by No. 2 Chris Watson of Central Oklahoma by 14-1 major decision. Weber then lost his consolation bracket bout to SCSU’s Gabe Fogarty in a 5-2 decision.
Jacob Anderson lost his 141-pound first round bout by a close 2-0 decision to Northern State’s Ian Muirhead, but the redshirt freshman rebounded nicely with a 17-2 tech fall win over Alec Lindsay of U-Mary. Anderson then fell victim to top-seeded Josh Myers of Ouachita Baptist in an 11-4 decision.
The Vikings will resume action at 9 a.m. tomorrow, beginning with the championship bracket semifinals and the consolation quarterfinals.