MINNEAPOLIS — The top-ranked Augsburg University wrestling team opened its 2018-19 campaign winning titles in eight weight-class divisions at its Auggie-Adidas Invitational, held on Saturday at Si Melby Hall.
Thirty-one Augsburg wrestlers combined to go 72-35 on Saturday, including 40 bonus-point wins — 25 pins, nine technical falls, and six major decisions. Augsburg had seven champions, two co-champions, and 21 placewinners on the day. Auggies claimed six of the 10 titles in the Gold division, the top division in the tournament.
Alex Wilson (SR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS), who moved into the No. 1 spot in the latest (Nov. 14) National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings at 149 points, dominated his weight class on Saturday, claiming two pins an two technical falls, including a 4:54 pin of Cal Hansen of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the 149-pound final. Wilson finished fifth at 149 pounds at the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championships.
Defending 157-pound national champion Ryan Epps (JR, Cannon Falls, Minn./Cannon Falls HS) moved up a weight class to 165 and went 4-0 with pins in his first two matches to capture the crown. He capped his tournament run with a 6-4 win over Seth Elwood of Minnesota State Mankato, the No. 6-ranked 165-pounder in the NWCA Division II preseason national rankings.
David Flynn (JR, Jordan, Minn./Jordan HS (Scott West)), ranked No. 5 at 141 pounds, had three pins, including a 2:57 pin of Kolbe O’Brien of Minnesota State Mankato in the finals, to claim the championship at 141.
Lance Benick (SO, Scandia, Minn./Totino-Grace HS), the No. 7-ranked wrestler nationally at 197 pounds, also had pins in his first two matches, en route to four wins and his weight-class crown.
Defending national runner-up Sam Bennyhoff (SR, Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka HS) opened his senior season with four wins, including one pin, to claim the title at 133 pounds. He is now 97-22 in his collegiate career and is ranked No. 2 nationally at 133.
Victor Gliva (JR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS) opened his season with pins in his first two matches to score the title at 125 pounds, where he is ranked No. 5 nationally.
In Gold division action, Aaron Wilson (JR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) finished second at 157 with two pins. Zach Smith (FY, Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake HS) finished third at 125, Joshua Verbeten (JR, Wrightstown, Wis./Wrightstown HS) placed fourth at 165, Solomon Nielsen (SO, Luverne, Minn./Luverne HS) placed fifth at 184 and Wyatt Richardson (JR, Grand Meadow, Minn./Grand Meadow HS) placed fifth at 197.
In the Silver division at 174 pounds, Nick Rogge (FY, Eastman, Wis./Prairie du Chien HS) made his collegiate debut with four wins, including a pin, technical fall and major decision, to capture the weight class. In the Bronze division at 149, Jack Vaselaar (FY, Winona, Minn./Winona Cotter HS) and Jacob Forar (FY, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North HS) shared the title, each claiming two victories.
Defending national runner-up Augsburg is ranked No. 1 in the latest NWCA Division III team national rankings.
Augsburg returns to action on Dec. 1, competing at the Simpson (Iowa) Luther L. Hill Invitational in Indianola, Iowa.
AUGSBURG RESULTS BY WEIGHT CLASS
- 125 Gold: Victor Gliva 4-0, champion; Zach Smith 3-1, third place.
- 133 Gold: Sam Bennyhoff 4-0, champion.
- 133 Silver: Quinn Youngs 2-1, second place.
- 141 Gold: David Flynn 4-0, champion; Mike Hayes 1-2.
- 141 Silver: Gage Zieske 2-2.
- 149 Gold: Alex Wilson 4-0, champion.
- 149 Silver: AJ Bethea 3-1, third place; Michael Abeyta 3-1, fifth place; Justin Kopet 1-2.
- 149 Bronze: Jack Vaselaar 2-0, co-champion; Jacob Forar 2-0, co-champion; Tony Esteban 2-1, third place.
- 157 Gold: Aaron Wilson 3-1, second place; Shawn Barth 1-2.
- 157 Silver: Boone Young 3-1, second place.
- 165 Gold: Ryan Epps 4-0, champion; Josh Verbeten 2-2, fourth place.
- 174 Silver: Nick Rogge 4-0, champion; Luke Wilson 0-2.
- 184 Gold: Solomon Nielsen 3-1, fifth place; Jonathan Zarnke 1-2; Lorenzo Hernandez 1-2, Brent Chambers 0-2.
- 184 Silver: Dylan Lentz 2-2, fourth place.
- 197 Gold: Lance Benick 4-0, champion; Wyatt Richardson 3-1, fifth place.
- HWT Gold: Ethan Hofacker 1-2; Timothy Mandyck 1-2.
- HWT Silver: Luke Zaiser 2-2, fourth place.