North wins region title, Docken takes third

EDMOND, Okla. – Augustana’s TJ North finished the weekend at the NCAA Super Region III Championships with a perfect 4-0 record, claiming the 125-pound title. Joining North will be Jayd Docken who rebounded from a semifinal loss to take third place at 197 pounds.

Augustana VikingsAs a team, the Vikings finished ninth with a53.5 points in the stacked super regional which features five of the top eight teams and seven ranked squads in the latest NCAA Division II Wrestling poll. Second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney won the team championship with 106.5 points.

North cruised to two 10-2 major decision wins on day one and picked up two decisions on the way to his first region title. North advanced to the finals to ensure a trip to the NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio with a 6-4 decision over Marco Tamayo of Lindenwood.

Keeping his record against Division II opponents unblemished, North recorded his 30th win of the season in eye-catching fashion. The redshirt sophomore from Elk Point, S.D. defeated No. 6 Garrett Evans of Ouachita Baptist by 5-2 decision to secure the 125-pound championship.

Docken’s title hopes were dashed in his first bout of the day when he suffered a 3-1 decision loss to runner-up Carl Broghammer of Upper Iowa. A 2013 All-American Docken, quickly responded with a 3-2 decision win over Northern State’s Joe Gomez to lock up a bid to the NCAA Championships and spot in the third-place match.

Pitted against Tanner Kriss of Fort Hays State, Docken grabbed the third-place title with another tight 3-2 decision win. Entering the NCAA Championships, Docken is 17-3 with his losses only coming against to-four-ranked Division II wrestlers.

Sean Derry qualified for last year’s national meet but was unable to compete due to injury and his bid for a return in his senior season was stopped one victory shy. The lone senior in the Vikings’ 10-man lineup opened the day with a 7-2 loss to Jon Inman of Fort Hays State then moved to the consolation bracket.

Derry’s competition only stiffened from there as he was slotted to take on No. 4 Dallas Smith of Ouachita Baptist. Smith forced Derry to the fifth-place bout, defeating the Vikings 184-pounder 7-0. Derry’s season was then ended in heart-breaking fashion, losing to Central Oklahoma’s Znick Ferrell in the second tiebreaker, 4-3.

Earning a spot in the 157-pound semifinals, Bradyn Neises took down the No. 4 wrestler yesterday, but the junior couldn’t replicate yesterday’s magic. Neises was pinned by eventual champion Clint Poster in 4:56 to send him to the consolation bracket.

Neises’ luck wouldn’t change there as he lost a narrow 7-4 decision to Derrick Weller of Lindenwood then fell in the fifth-place match by 10-2 major decision to Fort Hays State’s Mitchell Means.

Two more Vikings remained in the bracket after the first day of the competition, but they had one loss to their name entering the final day. Morgan Engbrecht lost his 133-pound bout to SMSU’s Justin Reinsma and Parker Swanson was pinned by Reinsma’s teammate Jacob Begin in 4:15.

North and Derry now prepare for the NCAA Championships on March 14 and 15 in Cleveland, Ohio.