Ayers placed second while Wahlstrom placed fourth
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Augustana wrestling team brings back two top-four finishes from the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Saturday. In his first title appearance senior Colin Ayers fell to Matt Malcolm, 9-4 to earn runner up in 157 lbs. while senior Clayton Wahlstrom fell to Nick Baulmer, 5-2 to place fourth at the 179 lbs. weight class.
Ayers started the day off defeating James Wimer 7-5 in a tightly contested match from start to finish. The senior used a takedown in overtime to come out on top to advance to the national championship on Saturday night.
The Waterville, Minn. native, then took on No. 1 seed Matt Malcom (UNK) in the 157 lbs. national championship. Ayers got off to a slow start but would score an escape in the second period to get back in the match. The senior would then score an escape and a takedown in the final period but unfortunately, wasn’t enough as Malcom would earn the 9-4 victory.
Wahlstrom faced Vince Dietz for a spot in the 197 lbs. title match but fell 4-3 to earn a spot on the consolation bracket. In the first consolation match, the senior faced Ethan Sherertz. The senior would earn the 9-7 win to advance to the consolation title match.
The Custer, S.D. native, matched up against Nick Baumler for the 197 consolation title and would struggle to get anything going in the first two periods. The senior would manage to score two escapes in the final period but it wasn’t enough as Baumler scored two takedowns to secure the 5-2 win to earn third place.
Both wrestlers qualified for nationals for the first time and earned All-American honors for the first time as well.