MINNEAPOLIS — With eight wrestlers earning National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar All-America recognition, the Augsburg University wrestling team recorded the fourth-highest team grade-point average among Division III wrestling teams, it was announced recently.
Augsburg recorded a 3.628 team grade-point average, good for fourth place in the Division III national ranking. It’s the 15th time Augsburg has earned a top-10 national honor in the NWCA’s Scholar All-America team rankings since 1998. Combined with its second-place finish on the mat at the NCAA Division III National Championships, Augsburg was one of only three Division III programs to finish in the top 10 in both wrestling and academics this season, and its eight individual Scholar All-Americans were the most in Division III.
According to the NWCA, “The team GPA was calculated by averaging the GPAs of the 10 regional starters, plus as many as four other team members who competed in at least 50 percent of the team’s scheduled competitions.”
Eight Auggie wrestlers earned NWCA Division III Scholar All-America honors — Sam Bennyhoff (JR, Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka HS), David Flynn (SO, Jordan, Minn./Jordan HS (Scott West)), Victor Gliva (SO, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS), Jackson Graham (SR, Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley HS), Brady McFarland (JR, Wind Lake, Wis./Muskego HS), Aaron Wilson (SO, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS), Alex Wilson (JR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) and Bryce Zdanovec (SR, Little Chute, Wis./Little Chute HS).
It’s the third straight Scholar All-America honor for Bennyhoff and Graham, the second honor for Gliva, McFarland, and Alex Wilson, and the first for Flynn, Aaron Wilson and Zdanovec.
A physics major with a 3.87 GPA, Bennyhoff finished his junior season as the national runner-up at 133 pounds, finishing his season 35-6. He qualified for the NCAA national tournament for the third straight year, winning his NCAA regional title for the third time. He is 93-22 in his three seasons at Augsburg.
A business management major with a 3.79 GPA, Flynn competed at the NCAA national tournament for the second straight year at 141 pounds, after finishing third at the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional. A regional titlist and All-American in 2017, Flynn finished 20-6 and is 73-25 in his college career, 45-11 at Augsburg.
An accounting major with a 4.00 GPA, Gliva competed in his second straight NCAA national tournament, after finishing second at the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional at 125 pounds. A regional titlist and All-American in 2017, Gliva finished this season at 29-8 and his 61-15 in his career.
A political science (pre-law) major with a 4.00 GPA, Graham finished his senior season with a 20-6 record, competing at both 174 and 184 pounds. He finished 70-30 with 12 pins in his three seasons at Augsburg, and 76-36 in his collegiate career.
An exercise science major with a 3.33 GPA, McFarland finished his junior season with a 27-11 record with 10 pins and seven major decisions, competing at 165 pounds. In his college career, he is now 73-36 with 20 pins and 15 major decisions.
A biology and environmental studies major with a 3.81 GPA, Aaron Wilson completed his sophomore season with a 27-6 record with nine pins, four technical falls, and seven major decisions, competing at 149 pounds. He is now 43-26 in his college career with 17 pins and 10 major decisions.
A biology and life sciences major with a 3.68 GPA, Alex Wilson competed at the NCAA national championships for the first time, earning All-American honors with a fifth-place national finish at 149 pounds. He finished this season with a 35-7 record, and is 93-31 in his collegiate career.
An exercise science and pre-physical therapy major with a 3.72GPA, Zdanovec finished his senior campaign with a 26-12 record with eight pins and six major decisions, competing at 157 pounds. In his college career, he finished 75-59 with 18 pins and 15 major decisions.
Over the past 33 seasons, Augsburg has produced 153 NWCA Scholar All-Americans. Augsburg has had 130 student-athletes honored since 1997.
According to the NWCA, “Nominees must have at least a 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for the previous full academic year. Transfers and freshmen are eligible if they’ve been in residence at their current institution beginning in the fall of 2017. On the competition side, wrestlers much be a national qualifier in 2017-18 and have a minimum win percentage of at least .500. Additionally, wrestlers can also be considered if they placed in the top six at their respective regional tournament, a win percentage of .500 or better and competed in half of the institution’s scheduled competition in NCAA championship events. A wrestler can also be considered if they have a win percentage of .670 or better and competed in half of the institution’s scheduled NCAA events.”