CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Claiming at least two All-Americans for the 27th straight season, the Augsburg College wrestling team has two competitors in the hunt for national titles after Friday’s action at the NCAA Division III National Championships, held on Friday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Center. Augsburg sits in seventh place after Friday’s action with 25.5 points.
Augsburg has had two wrestling All-Americans or more in every Division III national tournament since 1988 — a span that reached 27 straight years with its two All-Americans on Friday. Heavyweight Chad Johnson (SR, Ferryville, Wis./De Soto HS) and 125-pounder Mike Fuenffinger (JR, Hibbbing, Minn.) earned All-American honors for the Auggies on Friday.
Two-time defending national champion Johnson became the sixth wrestler in Augsburg history to earn four All-American honors, as he claimed victories in both his matches on Friday — a 6:37 pin of Lance Moore of Cortland State (N.Y.) in the opening match and a 3-2 triumph over Zachery Roseberry of Delaware Valley (Pa.) in Friday’s evening session.
Johnson surrendered early takedowns in both matches, but rallied for victories both times. Against Moore, he rallied to take a 6-3 lead before ending the match with a third-period pin, and against Roseberry, he scored escapes in both the first and second periods and eventually built 1:23 of riding time for the decisive bonus point.
With the win, Johnson improves to 33-1 on the season and 138-14 in his Augsburg career. A three-time All-American, Johnson has not lost to a Division III opponent during the past three seasons, and has a 106-3 record since the beginning of his sophomore campaign.
Johnson is aiming to become the 11th collegiate (all divisions and NAIA) heavyweight to win three or more national championships in their careers, and the third heavyweight in NCAA Division III history to accomplish the feat. Since the first Division III national tournament in 1974, 13 wrestlers in all weight classes have won three or more national titles.
Fuenffinger earned All-American honors for the second straight year, claiming two victories on Friday. In his opening match, he claimed a 13-3, major-decision win over Michael Mui of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (N.Y.) at 125, scoring back-to-back three-point near-falls in the closing minute of the third period to build a 10-1 lead.
On Friday evening, he took control in the third period of his match against Jesse Gunter of Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio), using an escape, takedown and two-point near-fall to build a 7-2 lead, en route to an 8-3 triumph. Fuenffinger, who finished seventh nationally last season, is now 32-3 on the season and 75-20 in his career.
At 197, Matt Hechsel (JR, Apple Valley, Minn.) was edged in his bid for earning All-American honors for the second time. He opened his tournament with a 6-4, overtime win over Jason Russell of Heidelberg (Ohio) in a “pigtail” match, but dropped a 7-3 decision to Austin Oneil of Wabash (Ind.) to fall into the wrestlebacks.
In the evening session, he scored a 16-0, third-period technical-fall victory over Jake Reuteler of Concordia-Wisconsin, but dropped a 4-2 decision to Aaron Karns of Delaware Valley (Pa.) in his second match. Hechsel finished his junior season at 32-8, and is 86-37 in his Augsburg career.
Justin Bowland (SR, Foley, Minn.) fell just short of earning All-American honors in his second trip to the national meet. After dropping a 3-1, overtime loss to Chris Burdge of Centenary (N.J.) in the opening session), Bowland rallied with a 4:29 pin of Farai Sewera of Coe (Iowa).
Bowland’s next match, against Stephen Aiello of Wheaton (Ill.), was a back-and-forth battle. Tied 5-5 after two periods, Bowland took the lead on a reversal with 1:24 remaining, but Aiello scored an escape with 1:03 left and the eventual match-winning takedown with 33 seconds left in an 8-7 decision.
A national tournament qualifier his junior and senior seasons, Bowland finished the 2013-14 campaign at 26-16, and ended his career at 71-60.
At 133, Chad Bartschenfeld (JR, Amery, Wis.) saw his season come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Jacoby Bergeron of Concordia-Moorhead in the wrestlebacks. Earlier in the day, he scored a 4-3 win over Jaydon Rice of Hunter (N.Y.) in a pigtail match, but he dropped to the wrestlebacks with a 7-1 loss to No. 3-seed Alex Gomez of Ithaca (N.Y.).
Competing in his first national tournament, Bartschenfeld finished his junior season at 23-15. He is now 45-34 in his Augsburg career.
Will Keeter (JR, Twin Falls, Idaho) returned to the national tournament after missing most of last season due to injury, but saw his season end with two losses at 149 on Friday. In his opener, he lost in a 10-5 decision to Daniel Mirman of John Carroll (Ohio), and in his wrestleback matrch against Joey Gaccione of Johnson & Wales (R.I.), Keeter surrendered a pair of near-falls in the final seconds of the first period, falling 8-4.
A 2012 All-American with a third-place national finish at 141, Keeter finished his junior campaign at 27-17, and is 96-46 in his Augsburg career.
Tommy Teigen (JR, Ham Lake, Minn./Meadow Creek Christian HS) also returned to the Augsburg lineup after missing most of last year due to injury, and competed in his second national tournament on Friday. He lost his opening match by an 11-2 major decision to Josh Thomson of Messiah (Pa.), then lost 7-3 to Ryan Sheldon of Coe (Iowa) in the wrestlebacks.
A 2012 and 2014 national tournament qualifier, Teigen finished his junior season at 20-14, and is 63-38 in his Augsburg career.
Marcus Hamer (FY, Kimball, Minn.) made his national tournament debut on Friday. In his opening match, he was edged 6-5 in the closing seconds by Justin Holm of Olivet (Mich.). In his wrestleback match, Hamer dropped a 5-0 decision to Brian Travis of Dubuque (Iowa). Hamer finished his first season as an Auggie with a 24-15 record.
Top 10 team scores after Friday’s action: 1. Wartburg (Iowa) 56.5; 2. Messiah (Pa.) 38.0; 3. Wisconsin-Whitewater 35.5; 4. Cortland State (N.Y.); 5. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 28.5; 6. Coe (28.0); 7. Augsburg (Minn.) 25.5; 8. Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) 24.0; 9. Wabash (Ind.) 21.5; 10t. Ithaca (N.Y.) 18.0; 10t. Wisconsin-Oshkosh 18.0. Other Minnesota schools: 51t. St. Olaf 1.5; 59t. Saint John’s 0.0.
Individual results from Minnesota college wrestlers:
125 — Mike Fuenffinger (Augsburg) maj. dec. Michael Mui (Merchant Marine) 13-3; Fuenffinger dec. Jesse Gunter (Baldwin-Wallace) 8-3.
133 — Chad Bartschenfeld (Augsburg) dec. Jaydon Rice (Hunter) 4-3; Alex Gomez (Ithaca) dec. Bartschenfeld 7-1; Jimmy Nehls (UW-Whitewater) dec. Jacoby Bergeron (Concordia-Moorhead) 7-4; Bergeron dec. Bartschenfeld 3-1 (Bartschenfeld eliminated); Bergeron dec. Evan Obert (Luther) 3-1 (OT-SV1).
141 — Justin Holm (Olivet) dec. Marcus Hamer (Augsburg) 6-5; Matt Holmes (Loras) dec. Ben Henle (Saint John’s) 9-2; Brian Travis (Dubuque) dec. Hamer 5-0 (Hamer eliminated); Dominick Giacolone (Ithaca) dec. Henle 5-3 (OT-SV1) (Henle eliminated).
149 — Daniel Mirman (John Carroll) dec. Will Keeter (Augsburg) 10-5; Jacob Long (Concordia-Moorhead) pinned Mark Pinero (Wartburg) 6:09; Mark Hartenstine (Wilkes) dec. Long 1-0; Joey Gaccione (Johnson & Wales) dec. Keeter 8-4 (Keeter eliminated); Long dec. Gaccione 4-1.
157 — Jorge Lopez (Williams) dec. Kyle LeDuc (Concordia-Moorhead 9-3; Mark Savenok (Wheaton-Ill.) dec. Carl Elmer (St. Olaf) 11-6; LeDuc pinned Steven DeWitt (Loras) 4:00; Everet Desilets (Johnson & Wales) maj. dec. Elmer 14-4 (Elmer eliminated); Jon Garrison (Mount Union) dec. LeDuc 8-2 (LeDuc eliminated).
165 — Chris Burdge (Centenary-N.J.) dec. Justin Bowland (Augsburg) 3-1 (OT-SV1); Dylan Foley (Springfield) dec. Jake Krogstad (Concordia-Moorhead) 5-3; Bowland pinned Farai Sewera (Coe) 4:29; Krogstad pinned Derek Mizaur (Dubuque) 6:58; Krogstad dec. David Shapiro (Baldwin-Wallace) 5-3; Stephen Aiello (Wheaton) dec. Bowland 8-7 (Bowland eliminated); Collin Crowell (Roger Williams) dec. Krogstad 7-5 (Krogstad eliminated).
174 — Sebastian Gardner (Concordia-Moorhead) dec. James Roach (St. Olaf) 10-5; Anthony Bonaventura (Waynesburg) dec. Gardner 8-3; Gardner dec. Joshua Sibblies (Centenary-N.J.) 2-0; Roach dec. Brent Hamm (Cornell) 8-3 (OT-TB2); Colin Lenhardt (Johnson & Wales) pinned Roach 3:18 (Roach eliminated); Zach Zotollo (College of New Jersey) maj. dec. Gardner 12-3 (Gardner eliminated).
184 — Josh Thomson (Messiah) maj. dec. Tommy Teigen (Augsburg) 11-2; Brian Broderick (College of New Jersey) dec. Christian Harrison (Concordia-Moorhead) 4-2; Ryan Sheldon (Coe) dec. Teigen 7-3 (Teigen eliminated); Harrison pinned Jayden DeVilbiss (Luther) 3:35; Josh Thomson (Messiah) dec. Harrison 4-1 (Harrison eliminated).
197 — Matt Hechsel (Augsburg) dec. Jason Russell (Heidelberg) 7-3 (OT-SV2); Austin Oneil (Wabash) dec. Hechsel 7-3; Paul Glover (Brockport State) dec. Ryan Michaelis (Saint John’s) 6-3; Hechsel tech. fall Jake Reuteler (Concordia-Wisconsin) 16-0 at 6:03; Glover dec. Michaelis 6-3 (Michaelis eliminated); Aaron Karns (Delaware Valley) dec. Hechsel 4-2 (Hechsel eliminated).
HWT — Chad Johnson (Augsburg) pinned Lance Moore (Cortland State) 6:37; Cody Kasprick (Concordia-Moorhead) dec. Mackenzie Green (Trine) 2-1; Kasprick pinned Matan Peleg (Ursinus) 4:37; Zack Gibson (St. Olaf) dec. William Fletcher (Wilkes) 4-0; James Buss (Loras) dec. Gibson 5-2; Johnson dec. Zachery Roseberry (Delaware Valley) 3-2; Jacob Minske (UW-La Crosse) dec. Kasprick 7-4; Cody Lovejoy (Ohio Northern) dec. Gibson 3-1 (Gibson eliminated); Cody Lovejoy (Ohio Northern) dec. Kasprick 11-4 (Kasprick eliminated).