CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Augsburg College heavyweight Donny Longendyke (JR, Vadnais Heights, Minn./White Bear Lake HS) placed second in his weight class on Saturday night, as his Auggie wrestling team claimed their 34th top-five national tournament finish in school history, placing fifth at the NCAA Division III National Championships at the U.S. Cellular Center.
In a meeting of the top two seeds at heavyweight in the national championship match, top-seed Longendyke fell behind No. 2 seed Zachery Roseberry of Delaware Valley (Pa.) on a takedown with 32 seconds left in the first period. Longendyke tied the match with two escapes, but another takedown midway through the second period put Longendyke behind again. He converted an escape late in the second period and tied the match in the final seconds on a second stalling call against Roseberry, but Roseberry’s 1:04 riding-time advantage earned him the bonus point, the decider in a 5-4 victory over Longendyke.
Longendyke suffered his first loss against Division III competition, finishing 29-1 against his divisional foes. On the season, Longendyke finished 39-3, with 24 pins, a technical fall and five major decisions. Longendyke is now 83-5 in his two Augsburg seasons and 123-16 in his collegiate career.
Earlier in the day, Longendyke claimed his third straight pin of the tournament, a 5:16 match-ender over Trevor Maresh of Alma (Mich.) in the semifinals. Leading 3-0 going into the third period, Longendyke scored a reversal and quickly put Maresh to his back for the pin, just 16 seconds into the final frame.
As a team, Augsburg finished in fifth place with 46.5 points, marking the 34th time Augsburg has finished among the top five teams in wrestling national tournament competition — 29 times in NCAA Division III competition (1983-present) and five times in NAIA competition (1968-83). Augsburg has finished among the top five teams nationally in 27 of the last 28 seasons.
Earlier in the day, Augsburg crowned three other placewinners, bringing its total to four in the championships. Augsburg has recorded four or more All-Americans in 31 national tournament competitions since 1975, including 28 times since competing in its first NCAA Division III national tournament in 1983.
Augsburg has recorded at least two All-Americans in NCAA national championship competition every year since 1988, and has recorded at least one All-American in every national tournament it has competed in since 1977 — 40 straight years. Augsburg has now earned 232 wrestling All-Americans in program history (196 in NCAA competition, 36 in NAIA competition).
Eric Hensel (JR, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville South HS) repeated his fifth-place finish from a season ago at 165 pounds, earning his second All-America honor, scoring a 2-10 win over Jeff Hojnacki of Messiah (Pa.) in the fifth-place match. Hensel finished his junior campaign at 27-8, and is now 49-22 as an Auggie and 65-34 in his college career.
At 149, Rashad Kennedy (SR, Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley HS) finished in seventh place to complete his collegiate career with All-America honors, topping Joey Gaccione of Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 10-3 in the seventh-place match. Competing in his first national tournament, Kennedy finished 25-6 on the season and 91-54 in his Augsburg career.
At 157, Grant Parker (JR, Onalaska, Wis.) also finished in seventh place for the Auggies, scoring an 8-3 win over Nick Bova of Wabash (Ind.) in the seventh-place match. Parker finished his junior season at 34-13 and is 66-49 in his Augsburg career.
AUGSBURG’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PAGE
2016 NCAA Division III National Championships Results