COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. — Defending 165-pound national champion Lucas Jeske (JR, St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS) won the title in his weight class with three wins over upper-division opponents, one of 13 placewinners for the Augsburg University wrestling team at the Saint John’s University North Country Open on Saturday.
The top-ranked team in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings, Augsburg had 13 placewinners, including eight top-four finishers, in the tournament, which included Division I wrestlers from the University of Minnesota, North Dakota State and South Dakota State, along with the top-ranked Division II program, St. Cloud State, and the No. 24-ranked Division II program, the University of Mary (N.D.).
Jeske, ranked No. 1 nationally at 165 pounds, opened his tournament with a 51-second pin of Zachary Schneider of North Dakota State, then topped Minnesota’s Kasper McIntosh 4-1 in the semifinals, and topped Devin Donovan of St. Cloud State 2-0 in the finals. Jeske is now 9-0 this season and 73-9 in his Auggie career.
Tanner Vassar (JR, Maple Lake, Minn./Maple Lake HS), ranked No 5 nationally at 174, also faced all upper-division wrestlers during his tournament run, going 3-1 to finish second. He opened with two major-decision victories, then topped Josh Barzowski of St. Cloud State 3-2 in the semifinals, before being edged 9-8 by Bailee O’Reilly of Minnesota in the finals. Vassar is now 13-4 on the season with eight bonus-point wins (three pins, two technical falls, three major decisions).
Lance Benick (SO, Scandia, Minn./Totino-Grace HS), ranked No. 4 at 197, went 2-1 to finish second. He scored wins of 9-3 and 4-3 to reach the finals, before losing a 4-0 match to Rylee Streifel of Minnesota in the finals. Benick is 17-3 on the year.
Victor Gliva (JR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS), ranked No. 4 at 125, went 2-1 to finish second. He claimed a third-period pin over Karsen Mosbrucker of Mary in his opening match and a 12-0, major-decision win in the semifinals, but lost a 9-1 major decision to Minnesota’s Patrick McKee in the finals. Gliva is now 17-4 on the season with 12 bonus-point wins (six pins, two technical falls, four major decisions).
David Flynn (JR, Jordan, Minn./Jordan HS (Scott West)), ranked No. 3 nationally at 141, went 4-1 against upper-division competition to finish third, with his lone loss a 3-2 setback to Minnesota’s Ben Brancale in the semifinals. He scored a third-period pin in the quarterfinals, then bounced back from the semifinal loss with two wins, including a 17-1, technical-fall win over Cameron Riggs of St. Cloud State in the third-place match. Flynn is now 17-2 on the season with 10 bonus-point wins (seven pins, one technical fall, two major decisions).
At 157 pounds, defending national champion Ryan Epps (JR, Cannon Falls, Minn./Cannon Falls HS) finished third, while teammate Aaron Wilson (JR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) finished second. Epps, ranked No. 2 nationally at 157, suffered an 11-7 loss to North Dakota State’s Jared Franek in the semifinals, but bounced back with two wins to improve to 24-2 on the season. Wilson had two pins and a technical fall win before being pinned by Franek in the finals, and is now 22-3 on the year.
Alex Wilson (SR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS), ranked No. 6 nationally at 149, finished fourth in his weight class, going 4-2 with three pins and a technical-fall victory to improve to 24-4 on the season. Solomon Nielsen (SO, Luverne, Minn./Luverne HS) finished fourth at 184 pounds, going 2-2 to move to 17-5 on the campaign.
Sam Bennyhoff (SR, Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka HS), ranked No. 4 at 133, finished fifth in his weight class, as did Nick Rogge (FY, Eastman, Wis./Prairie du Chien HS) at 174.
Timothy Mandyck (SO, Coon Rapids, Minn./Coon Rapids HS) finished sixth at heavyweight, and AJ Bethea (FY, Hibbing, Minn./Hibbing HS) finished eighth at 149.
Augsburg hosts No. 3-ranked Wartburg (Iowa) in the annual “Battle of the Burgs” dual meet on Thursday (1/31) at 7:30 p.m. at Si Melby Hall.
AUGSBURG RESULTS BY WEIGHT CLASS
- 125: Victor Gliva 2-1, second place.
- 133: Sam Bennyhoff 2-2, fifth place.
- 141: David Flynn 4-1, third place; Tanner Day 2-2; Quinn Youngs 1-2; Gage Zieske 0-2; Mike Hayes 0-2.
- 149: Alex Wilson 4-2, fourth place; AJ Bethea 3-3, eighth place; Jack Vaselaar 1-2; Cain Van Ryn 1-2; Justin Kopet 1-2; Jacob Forar 1-2; Tony Esteban 0-2; Boone Young 0-2.
- 157: Aaron Wilson 3-1, second place; Ryan Epps 4-1, third place; Shawn Barth 0-2.
- 165: Lucas Jeske 3-0, first place; Joshua Verbeten 0-2.
- 174: Tanner Vassar 3-1, second place; Nick Rogge 3-2, fifth place; Luke Wilson 2-2.
- 184: Solomon Nielsen 2-2, fourth place; Dylan Lentz 0-2.
- 197: Lance Benick 2-1, second place.
- HWT: Timothy Mandyck 3-3, sixth place; Ethan Hofacker 0-2.