Auggies win regional title, qualify all 10 to national tourney

MINNEAPOLIS — Qualifying individuals in all 10 weight classes to the national championships, the Augsburg College wrestling team claimed an NCAA regional title for the 13th straight year, winning the NCAA Division III West Regional crown on Saturday at Si Melby Hall.

Augsburg AuggiesHOW IT HAPPENED

Augsburg won the 11-team regional with 179 points, the fourth-most points Augsburg has scored in NCAA regional competition. Augsburg has won the team title in its NCAA regional every year since starting regional competition in the 2002-03 season.

It is the first time Augsburg has qualified wrestlers to the national tournament in all 10 weight classes since the 2006-07 season and fourth time the Auggies have had 10 qualifiers since the 2002-03 season (2002-03, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2014-15). Augsburg has had seven or more national tournament qualifiers in 12 of the last 13 seasons.

Augsburg, the No. 4-ranked team in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings, swept the post-tournament awards, as 125-pounder Mike Fuenffinger (SR, Hibbing, Minn.) was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler, head coach Jim Moulsoff was named the West Region Coach of the Year and assistant coach Tony Valek was named West Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

Augsburg had one of its best final rounds in its regional history, winning all 10 bouts — six championship matches and four third-place matches. The six regional titlists are the most for the Auggies since winning seven crowns in the 2009-10 season. Augsburg has earned six or more individual titlists in seven of its 13 regional competitions.

Fuenffinger, the defending national champion at 125 pounds, won all three of his matches by bonus-point margins, with two pins and a 15-4, major-decision win in the championship match, to improve to 29-1 on the season. The top-ranked wrestler at 125 in the NWCA Division III national rankings all season long, Fuenffinger has now won 26 straight matches. Of his 29 wins, 22 are bonus-point victories (eight pins, four technical falls, 10 major decisions).

A two-time All-American, Fuenffinger qualified for his fourth straight national tournament. In addition to his national title in 2014, he finished seventh nationally at 125 pounds in 2013. Fuenffinger is now 106-21 in his Auggie career.

Donny Longendyke (SO, Vadnais Heights, Minn./White Bear Lake HS), the No. 3-ranked heavyweight nationally, won all four of his matches by first-period pin on Saturday, including a 1:47 pin in the title match, to qualify for the national tournament.

A transfer from Division I Nebraska, Longendyke has an NCAA record of 27-0 entering the national tournament and a 39-2 overall record, having won 31 straight matches. He has recorded six straight pins and 21 on the season. Of his 39 wins, 30 are bonus-point victories (21 pins, two technical falls, eight major decisions). He is now 79-23 in his collegiate career with 44 pins.

Matt Hechsel (SR, Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 7 nationally at 197, claimed the regional title, winning all three of his matches on the day. He had two first-period pins to reach the finals, and in the championship match, he avenged an earlier loss to No. 9-ranked Ryan Michaelis of Saint John’s with a 7-3 triumph in the championship match.

Hechsel qualified for his third straight national tournament, after finishing seventh nationally at 197 last season. He is now 27-9 on the season, with 17 bonus-point victories (10 pins, two technical falls, five major decisions), and 113-46 in his Auggie career.

Will Keeter (SR, Twin Falls, Idaho) won all three of his matches by pin to claim the regional title at 149 pounds. He opened with a first-period pin, then claimed two third-period pins, including a 5:55 win in the championship match, to improve to 30-11 on the season. He now has eight pins on the season, part of his 15 bonus-point triumphs (eight pins, three technical falls, four major decisions).

Keeter has now qualified for three national tournaments, including a third-place finish at 141 pounds in the 2011-12 campaign. Keeter is 126-57 in his Auggie career.

Tommy Teigen (SR, Ham Lake, Minn./Meadow Creek Christian HS) stormed through his 184-pound weight class, with three pins and a technical fall, to claim the regional crown. He recorded a 3:49 pin in the championship match to improve to 26-9 on the season. He now has 13 pins, to go along with a technical fall and three major decisions, on the year.

Teigen qualified for his third national tournament in his career, having previously qualified in 2014 (184) and 2012 (165). He is now 89-47 on his career with 28 pins.

Tyrell Martin (SR, Eagan, Minn./Henry Sibley HS) qualified for his first NCAA national tournament with a sweep of his three matches to win the title at 174 pounds. In the championship match, Martin trailed 4-3 to Concordia-Moorhead’s No. 3-ranked Sebastian Gardner late, but scored a takedown in the final seconds to secure a 5-4 victory.

A two-time NJCAA national tournament qualifier when he was at Ridgewater Community College (2012 and 2013), Martin is now 18-4 on the season and 69-45 in his collegiate career.

At 133, Augsburg’s No. 10-ranked Chad Bartschenfeld (SR, Amery, Wis.) qualified for his second straight national tournament, finishing third. Bartschenfeld went 3-1 on the day, with two major decisions, to improve to 27-11 on the season and 72-45 in his career.

Marcus Hamer (SO, Kimball, Minn.) also qualified for his second straight national tournament at 141, ralling from an opening loss with four straight wins, including a pin and technical fall, to finish third. Hamer is now 28-18 on the season and 52-33 in his career.

Eric Hensel (JR, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville South HS) qualified for his first NCAA national tournament, rallying from an early deficit with three straight pins, including an 18-second pin in his second match, to finish third at 165. A transfer from Clackamas (Oregon) Community College, Hensel is now 18-12 on the season and 34-24 in his career.

Gable Frandsen (FY, Ellsworth, Wis.) earned his first trip to the national tournament with a third-place finish at 157, going 3-1 on the day with a pin. Frandsen is now 18-12 on the season with six pins.

UP NEXT

Winners of 11 national championships since 1991, Augsburg will compete at the NCAA Division III National Championships, which will be held March 13-14 at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

NCAA Division III West Regional results

View More College News

Would you like to receive the latest Minnesota wrestling news in your inbox?