Augustana sends 10 wrestlers to the NCAA Super Region III Championships in Edmond, Okla. on Feb. 28 and March 1 to see who will earn a bid to the NCAA Championships.
The top five wrestlers of each weight class at the NCAA Super Region III Championships will earn a berth into the NCAA Championships held in Cleveland, Ohio on March 14 and 15.
The Vikings’ assigned super region includes five of the top eight teams in the latest NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches’ Poll and a total of seven teams are ranked with Augustana receiving votes. Of the 80 individual wrestlers ranked, 27 hail from Super Region III including five No. 1-ranked wrestlers in their class and three defending national champions.
Class-by-class, here is a breakdown of who will oppose Augustana this weekend:
125 Pounds: TJ North holds the top region ranking and is No. 3 in the country and his top competition will be from sixth-ranked Garrett Evans of Ouachita Baptist (Ark.). North has defeated the two Super Region III wrestlers he faced this season, both by decision.
133 Pounds: Morgan Engbrecht’s jump to 133 pounds will be tested in a stacked region field, led by top-ranked Andy Pokorny of St. Cloud State — four more wrestlers from the region are ranked in the top eight of Division II. Engbrecht is ranked No. 7 in the super region which also features defending national champion Daniel DeShazer of Nebraska-Kearney.
141 Pounds: Returning to the lineup, Jacob Anderson has a lighter field than the teammates flanking him, but Anderson will still have to compete with two top-five wrestlers in Fort Hays State and St. Cloud State’s 141-pounders.
149 Pounds: The 149-pound weight class in Super Region III is hands-down the toughest class in any region with the top-five nationally-ranked wrestlers all coming from Augustana’s region. Shawn Hatlestad will be tasked with top-ranked Frank Cagnina of Central Missouri and No. 2 Edwin Cooper of UIU.
157 Pounds: Defending national champion Cory Dauphin of Central Oklahoma headlines the class in which Bradyn Neises will try to earn a spot to the NCAA Championship — the class features four ranked wrestlers. Neises owns a 1-1 record against wrestlers ranked in the Super Region III top eight.
165 Pounds: While only two representatives from the Vikings’ super region are nationally ranked at 165 pounds, they are ranked first and second. Tim Weber is 1-2 against the current region top eight and owns a win over previous national No. 8 Dalton Westerlund.
174 Pounds: Wrestling up for the Vikings, Parker Swanson will be in a bracket that features two national top-five wrestlers from Nebraska-Kearney and Upper Iowa. Upper Iowa’s Blake Sorensen returns as last year’s national and regional runner-up .
184 Pounds: Joining two wrestlers from Super Region III, Sean Derry ranks No. 7 nationally and third in the region. Battling Derry will be national No. 4 Dallas Smith of Ouachita Baptist who finished as last year’s national runner-up. Derry is 2-0 against current top-eight region wrestlers and is 14-0 against Division II competition.
197 Pounds: Augustana’s lone returning All-American, No. 5 Jayd Docken, will likely face familiar foes at 197 pounds. 2013 national runner-up Romero Cotton (Nebraska-Kearney) and national third-place Carl Broghammer (Upper Iowa) defeated Docken at the NCAA Championships last season and rank above his No. 3 spot in the region rankings.
285 Pounds: Three of the top four nationally-ranked heavyweights hail from the Vikings’ region. Michael Lowman ranks eighth in the pre-regional region rankings but is 0-3 against the region’s top eight.