BURNSVILLE, Minn. – Following a sixth-place team finish at the Super Region 3 Championships last year, the Augustana wrestling team is picked to finish in fourth in the 2018-2019 NSIC Preseason Wrestling Coaches’ Poll. The Vikings received 46 points and one first-place vote. Sophomore Keaten Schorr was chosen as the Vikings wrestler to watch. Schorr was one of two true freshmen starters for the Vikings in 2017-18 and went 20-8 at 141 pounds. Schorr took sixth at the Super Region 3 Championships posting a 2-3 record.
Defending national champion, St. Cloud State was selected to win the league in the preseason poll, racking up 64 points and eight first-place votes. Upper Iowa and Minnesota State rounded out the top three. 2018 Region 3 Champion, St. Cloud State’s Brett Velasquez (125lbs)was voted by the league coaches as the preseason wrestler of the year for the second straight season.
Looking nationally, the Vikings also begin the 2018-19 season with four wrestlers ranked in the NCAA DII Wrestling Coaching Association Top-12. As a team, the Vikings received 10 votes in the preseason top-25.
After going 24-12 last year, Clayton Wahlstrom is the highest ranked Viking to start the season, coming in ranked 8th at 197 pounds. In 2017-18 Wahlstrom led the team with 24 wins and 54 takedowns and took fifth at the Super Region 3 Championships.
Junior Lukas Poloncic starts the season ranked eleventh at 174 pounds. Polonic qualified for Nationals after taking fourth at 174 pounds at the Super Region 3 Championships last season. The Gillette, Wyo. native led the team with six major decisions and also had three falls and four tech falls with 47 takedowns and 45 escapes.
Sophomore Daniel Bishop opens the season ranked 12h at 184. Bishop sat out as a redshirt, wrestling unattached in all competition he posted a record of 20-5. The Sioux City, Iowa native was named to the 2017-18 NWCA all-academic team. On the mat, Bishop had five falls, four tech falls and two major decisions last season. Schorr, the Vikings Wrestler to watch, also ranks 12th in his weight class.
Defending champion St. Cloud ranks No. 1 in the initial poll with 92 points and eight wrestlers individually ranked. Nebraska-Kearney, Notre Dame, Mckendree, and Wheeling Jesuit round out the top-five.
Augustana begins its season on Nov. 4 at the Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D. beginning at 9 a.m.