FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Claiming six individual weight-class titles and 20 placewinners, the Augsburg College wrestling team dominated in winning the team championship at the Citrus Open tournament, completed on Friday at Cardinal Gibbons High School.
Augsburg, ranked No. 8 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national poll, won the 12-team meet with 200.5 points, ahead of No. 21-ranked Cornell (Iowa) with 140.0 points and No. 4-ranked Wisconsin-La Crosse with 119.0. Oneonta State (N.Y.) finished fourth with 106.5 points in the open meet, which featured wrestlers from eight Division III teams, one Division II team (No. 21-ranked North Carolina-Pembroke) and three club programs.
Making his season debut for his final semester of collegiate wrestling, Donny Longendyke (SR, Vadnais Heights, Minn./White Bear Lake HS) claimed the title at heavyweight with a 4-0 performance. After scoring two sub-1:40 pins on Friday, he scored a 6-1 win in the semifinals on Saturday and a 7-2 triumph in the championship match over James Bethel of Oneonta State, ranked No. 3 nationally at heavyweight. Longendyke, an NCAA Division III national titlist and national runner-up in his two prior Auggie seasons, is now 87-5 with 48 pins in his Augsburg career, and 127-26 with 71 pins in his overall collegiate career.
Grant Parker (SR, Onalaska, Wis.), the No. 10-ranked 157-pounder nationally, scored an 11-3, major-decision win in the semifinals, then edged teammate Tone Fuenffinger (JR, Hibbing, Minn.) 3-2 in the championship bout, improving to 15-3 on the season. Fuenffinger, who had three pins on Thursday, is now 6-4 with four pins.
At 165, Lucas Jeske (FY, St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS) made his college debut by claiming the tournament title. After going 3-0 with a pin on Thursday, he scored a 4-0 win in the semifinals and a 13-1, major-decision win over Ben Hewson of Cornell in the finals.
At 184, Owen Webster (FY, Shakopee, Minn.) extended his winning streak to 12 straight matches with two wins and the weight-class crown on Friday, scoring a 10-6 win over Alex Friedman of UW-La Crosse, ranked No. 7 nationally, in the semifinals and an 11-5 win over Christopher Chorzepa of Williams (Mass.) in the finals. Including a 2-0 day with a pin on Thursday, Webster is now 15-1 on the season.
At 125, Victor Gliva (FY, Farmington, Minn.) improved to 12-4 on the season with his weight-class title. Opening the meet with a 17-2, technical-fall win on Thursday, he scored a 12-5 win in the semifinals and a 6-4 win over Chris Tan of Ursinus (Pa.) in the finals.
Austin Boniface (SR, Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake HS) won the title at 174 with three pins among his four victories, including a 5:00 pin in the semifinals and a 3:00 pin over Mike Maksimovic of Cornell (Iowa) in the finals. Boniface is now 11-5 with six pins on the season.
In addition to Fuenffinger at 157, two other Auggies finished as runners-up. In a weight class that featured three nationally-ranked wrestlers, Sam Bennyhoff (SO, Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka HS), ranked No. 4 at 133 reached the finals with a 14-2, major-decision win, but was pinned in the third period by No. 8-ranked Austin Sisco of Oneonta State. Bennyhoff is now 10-3 on the season.
David Flynn (FY, Jordan, Minn./Scott West), a transfer who competed as a redshirt last season and on the varsity in the first half of this season at Division I North Dakota State, made his Augsburg debut with a second-place effort at 141. After a pin and major decision win on Thursday, he scored a 2:20 pin to advance to the finals, where he lost 9-2 to No. 2-ranked Dustin Weinmann of UW-La Crosse. Flynn is now 12-4 this season (9-3 at NDSU) with six pins, and 31-15 in his collegiate career with nine pins.
Ryan Epps (FY, Cannon Falls, Minn.) went 5-1 with a technical fall and major decision at 149 pounds to finish third, moving to 11-1 on the season.
Sebastian Larson (JR, River Falls, Wis.) placed fifth at 197, while Brady McFarland (SO, Windlake, Wis./Muskego HS) placed sixth at 165, as did Jackson Graham (JR, Apple Valley, Minn.) at 174.
Placing eighth in their weight classes were Mike Hayes (SO, Oconomowoc, Wis./Kettle Moraine HS) at 141, Tanner Vassar (FY, Maple Lake, Minn.) at 149 and Ethan Hofacker (FY, Spring Valley, Wis.) at heavyweight.
In consolation (ninth-place) brackets, Alex Wilson (SO, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) went 7-2 in the tournament to place ninth at 149, Gable Frandsen (JR, Ellsworth, Wis.) went 6-2 to place ninth at 165, Brent Chambers (FY, Princeton, Minn.) went 2-2 to place ninth at 197, and Cameron Schmitz (FY, New Prague, Minn.) finished 10th at 174.
Augsburg returns to action next Thursday and Friday (1/5-6), competing at the NWCA Division III National Duals in Fort Wayne, Ind.
AUGSBURG RESULTS BY WEIGHT CLASS
- 125: Victor Gliva 3-0, 1st place.
- 133: Sam Bennyhoff 3-1, 2nd place; Monty Frederiksen 1-3.
- 141: David Flynn 3-1, 2nd place; Mike Hayes 2-3, 8th place; Bryon Simmons 1-3.
- 149: Ryan Epps 5-1, 3rd place; Tanner Vassar 2-3, 8th place; Alex Wilson 7-2, 9th place; Joshua Verbeten 0-3.
- 157: Grant Parker 4-0, 1st place; Tone Fuenffinger 4-1, 2nd place; Bryce Zdanovec 3-3, Boone Young 2-3.
- 165: Lucas Jeske 5-0, 1st place; Brady McFarland 3-3, 6th place; Gable Frandsen 6-2, 9th place.
- 174: Austin Boniface 4-0, 1st place; Jackson Graham 3-3, 6th place; Cameron Schmitz 2-3, 10th place; Julian Georgescu 0-2.
- 184: Owen Webster 4-0, 1st place; Niko Anderson 1-3, Jonny Zarnke 0-3.
- 197: Sebastian Larson 2-2, 5th place; Brent Chambers 2-2, 9th place.
- HWT: Donny Longendyke 4-0, 1st place; Ethan Hofacker 2-3, 8th place.