SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Augustana wrestling team will face its toughest dual test to date and it will be on the road no less. The Vikings will travel to Mankato, Minn. to take on No. 16 Minnesota State on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.
Augustana’s top dual record belongs to senior Oscar Ramirez Jr. who’s 9-1 in duals at 149 pounds and is 14-8 overall. Clayton Wahlstrom leads the team with 19 wins at 197 and is 19-8 on the year.
Senior Aero Amo is the lone Viking ranked in the NWCA DII Individual Rankings that came out on Jan. 18. Amo sits at No. 7 at 184 pounds with a record of 5-2 and a dual record of 5-1 (3-0 NSIC) on the season. As a team, Augustana is receiving votes in the NWCA DII Top-25 Poll.
Last Time Out
The Vikings earned a pair of NSIC dual victories last weekend to improve to 8-2 (3-0 NSIC) on the season. Augustana took down SMSU on Jan. 18 at home, 27-9, and concluded the weekend with a 30-12 win at MSU Moorhead on Jan. 20.
Lukas Poloncic picked up a pair of bonus point victories at 174 pounds last week with a major decision against SMSU and a fall against No. 10 Adam Blees of MSU Moorhead to lead the Vikings. Other Vikings that went 2-0 last week were Brayden Curry (133), Oscar Ramirez Jr. (149), Regan Bye (165) and Aero Amo (184). Bruce Lemon Jr. (157) went 1-0 last week with a pin against MSU Moorhead.
True Freshmen Curry and Keaten Schorr (141) each picked up their first collegiate dual victories last weekend in their first career dual action.
Projected Lineup for Augustana
125 – Brandon Carroll OR Ethan Cota
133 – Brayden Curry
141 – Keaten Schorr
149 – Oscar Ramirez Jr.
157 – Bailey Neises OR Bruce Lemon Jr.
165 – Regan Bye OR Ben Kelvington
174 – Lukas Poloncic
184 – Aero Amo
197 – Clayton Wahlstrom
285 – Luke Nohns
Scouting Minnesota State
Minnesota State brings a dual record of 5-2 (3-1 NSIC) into the matchup against Augustana. Last week, the Mavericks fell to No. 6 Upper Iowa 18-12. Minnesota State is ranked in a tie for 16th in the NWCA DII Top-25 Poll that was released on Jan. 18.
The Mavericks have four wrestlers ranked: Kyle Rathman, Zach Johnston, Corey Abernathy and Matthew Blome. Rathman a freshman at 149 pounds is 18-4 and 5-2 in duals on the year with four falls. Johnston is a sophomore at 174 pounds whose record is 14-5 and 6-1 in duals with three falls.
Senior Abernathy is 12-3 at 184 pounds with a dual record of 5-2 and three falls. Blome is a sophomore at 197 pounds and is 10-4 overall with a 5-2 dual record and four falls. Abernathy and Blome each earned All-American honors last season.
The Vikings return home next weekend to take on Minot State and U-Mary. Augustana will celebrate Senior Night on Friday, Feb. 2 against Minot State at 7 p.m. in the Elmen Center. Augustana will have its final home contest of the season against U-Mary on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.