MOUNT VERNON, Iowa — Claiming two individual champions and 13 placewinners, the Augsburg University wrestling team won the championship at the Cornell College Matman Open, held on Saturday.
Nineteen Augsburg wrestlers combined to go 50-27 on Saturday, including 29 bonus-point wins — 19 pins, two technical falls, and eight major decisions. In addition to the two champions, the Auggies had three runners-up and two third-place finishers in the competitive field.
The Auggies, currently the top-ranked team in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings, scored 133 points to win the 17-team tournament, topping Wisconsin-Platteville with 106.5 points and No. 21-ranked Stevens Tech (N.J.) with 98.0 points.
Ryan Epps (SO, Cannon Falls, Minn./Cannon Falls HS) won five matches, including two by pin and one by technical-fall, to capture the title at 157 pounds. The No. 4-ranked wrestler nationally at 157, Epps scored a 5-2 win over No. 3-ranked Zach Wilhelm of Stevens Tech in the finals. Epps is now 21-1 on the season with six bonus-point wins (four pins, one technical fall, one major decision).
Brady McFarland (JR, Windlake, Wis./Muskego HS) scored his first tournament title of the season, capturing the crown at 165 pounds. McFarland claimed a first-period pin and two major decisions in improving to 20-7 on the season.
Sam Bennyhoff (JR, Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka HS), ranked No. 5 nationally at 133, finished second in his weight class, recording four wins, including a pin and two major decisions, before suffering only his second loss of the season, a 6-2 decision to No. 1-ranked Troy Stanich of Stevens Tech. Bennyhoff is now 21-2 on the season with 16 bonus-point wins (eight pins, four technical falls, three major decisions).
David Flynn (SO, Jordan, Minn./Jordan HS (Scott West)), ranked No. 7 nationally at 141, also finished second. He won his first three matches, including a pin and a 4-3 win over No. 2-ranked Brett Kaliner of Stevens Tech in the semifinals, before dropping a 13-4 major decision to top-ranked Josh Martin of Cornell (Iowa). Flynn is now 9-3 on the year.
Tanner Vassar (SO, Maple Lake, Minn./Maple Lake HS) finished second at 174 pounds with a 3-1 day. The No. 6-ranked wrestler nationally at 174, Vassar claimed an 18-0, technical fall win and a third-period pin en route to the finals. He dropped a 9-2 decision to No. 3-ranked Jon Goetz of Wisconsin-Platteville in the finals. Vassar is now 22-4 on the season with 14 bonus-point ins (eight pins, two technical falls, four major decisions).
Victor Gliva (SO, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS), ranked No. 10 nationally at 125, went 4-1 to finish third on the day. He claimed two major decisions and a pin among his four wins, improving to 18-3 on the season with 11 bonus-point wins (six pins, five major decisions).
Also placing third was Tone Fuenffinger (SR, Hibbing, Minn./Hibbing HS), who went 4-1 on the day with two pins to improve to 19-6 on the season. He has 11 bonus-point victories (nine pins, two major decisions) among his 19 wins.
Lucas Jeske (SO, St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS), the top-ranked wrestler in Division III at 165, scored two pins in his first two matches and finished fourth after a medical forfeit. Jeske is now 21-0 on the year with 13 pins, a technical fall, and four major decisions.
Solomon Nielsen (FY, Luverne, Minn./Luverne HS) and Jackson Graham (SR, Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley HS) shared fifth place at 174, each going 4-1 on the day.
Aaron Wilson (SO, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) finished sixth at 149, and Bryce Zdanovec (SR, Little Chute, Wis./Little Chute HS) and Jonny Zarnke (SO, Chaska, Minn./Chaska HS) each finished eighth, at 157 and 184 respectively.
UP NEXT: Augsburg travels to face Concordia-Moorhead in a dual meet on Thursday (1/18) at 7 p.m.
1. Augsburg (Minn.) 133.0, 2. Wisconsin-Platteville 106.5, 3. Stevens Tech (N.J.) 98.0, 4. Cornell (Iowa) 85.5, 5. Concordia-Moorhead 84.5, 6. Wartburg (Iowa) 68.0, 7. Wisconsin-La Crosse 65.5, 8. Loras (Iowa) 63.0, 9. Grand View (Iowa) 59.5, 10. Luther (Iowa) 55.0, 11. Augustana (Ill.) 39.5, 12. Iowa State Club 38.5, 13t. Coe (Iowa) 37.5, 13t. Dubuque (Iowa) 37., 15. Simpson (Iowa) 31.0), 16. Buena Vista (Iowa) 25.0, 17. Lakeland (Wis.) 4.0.
AUGSBURG RESULTS BY WEIGHT CLASS
• 125: Victor Gliva 4-1, 3rd place.
• 133: Sam Bennyhoff 4-1, 2nd place.
• 141: David Flynn 3-1, 2nd place.
• 149: Aaron Wilson 3-2, 6th place; Shawn Barth 1-2; Cruze Hulburt 0-2.
• 157: Ryan Epps 5-0, champion; Bryce Zdanovec 3-3, 8th place; Josh Verbeten 2-2.
• 165: Brady McFarland 4-0, champion; Lucas Jeske 2-0, 4th place; Luke Wilson 1-2.
• 174: Tanner Vassar 3-1, 2nd place; Tone Fuenffinger 4-1, 3rd place; Jackson Graham 4-1, co-5th place; Solomon Nielsen 4-1, co-5th place.
• 184: Jonny Zarnke 2-3, 8th place.
• 197: Brent Chambers 1-2.
• HWT: Ethan Hofacker 0-2.