MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Concordia had six wrestlers keep their dream of earning a spot at the NCAA National Championship meet alive by advancing to the second day of the Upper Midwest Regional tournament at Augsburg.
Cole Kubesh and Gabe Zierden led the Cobbers by advancing to the semifinals in exciting fashion as athletes compete for the Top 3 spots in each weight class to gain a spot at the NCAA Championship Meet.
Cade Lundeen, Kellen Schauer, Alex Skaare and Kaden Spindler all advanced to the consolation quarterfinals and are still alive to post a Top 3 finish and get to nationals.
The six Concordia wrestlers helped the Cobbers post 53.5 team points on Day 1 which was good for eighth place in the team standings. CC is within striking distance of fourth place as just 5.5 points separate the Cobbers and Wis.-Stevens Point.
Concordia also had six wrestlers advance to the second day at last year’s regional meet and also had two semifinalists. CC wound up with one participant at the NCAA National Meet last season as Ty Johnson earned a second-place finish at the region meet at 149.
Cobber first-year head coach brought 10 completely new wrestlers to the region meet from the ones that competed at last year’s tournament. It was the first NCAA Region Meet for all 10 CC athletes.
Kubesh earned the No.2 seed in the tournament at 125 and was awarded a first-round bye. Kubesh then entered his quarterfinal match as the underdog against Sawyer Sarbacker from Wis.-La Crosse who qualified for nationals in 2019. After giving up an early takedown, Kubesh rallied to tie the score on the strength of two escapes and one penalty point. With the match tied at 3-3, Kubesh emerged on top of a wild scramble to earn a takedown as the clock ticked down to zero. With the 5-3 win, Kubesh guaranteed himself a spot in the Top 6 and a chance to punch his ticket to nationals with a semifinal win tomorrow morning.
It was Kubesh’s team-leading 21st win of the season and he is now 21-8 on the year. Kubesh will face Anthony Zamora from Wheaton (Ill.) with the winner receiving one of the three qualifying spots to the national meet. Like Kubesh, Zamora is also unranked in Division III.
Zierden also began his day with a first-round bye and then faced a familiar opponent in the quarterfinals. Zierden squared off against James Huntley from Wis.-Eau Claire who Zierden had beaten 6-4 in the Wis.-Eau Claire Invite on Nov. 23. On Friday, Zierden widened the margin of victory substantially with a 10-2 major decision which earned him a spot in the semifinals. The victory gave the Cobbers a pair of 20-win wrestlers for the season as Zierden is now 20-9 on the year. Zierden will step on the mat against No.10-ranked Isaac Lahr from Wis.-La Crosse.
All six Cobbers competing on Saturday have guaranteed themselves a spot in the Top 8 in the final meet standings but the four non-semifinalists will have to win out through the wrestlebacks to place third and qualify for nationals.
Lundeen, Schauer, Skaare and Spindler all recorded two wins on the day with each athlete winning their first-round match but then losing in the quarterfinals only to rebound in their first match in the consolation bracket.
Lundeen began his day at 141 with a major decision victory before coming up a bit short against No.1-seed Hazen Rice from Wis.-Whitewater. Not rattled by the defeat, Lundeen battled back to defeat his next opponent 10-6 and advance to Saturday’s action. Lundeen is now 18-11 on the year.
Despite wrestling three matches in the 149-pound bracket, Schauer has yet to wrestle a full 7-minutes. He pinned his first opponent at the 2:04 mark, got pinned in round two at 4:02, then bounced back with a pin at the 48-second mark against Dylan Hanson from St. John’s. Schauer is now 14-9 and has seven pins on the season.
Skaare matched Schauer’s 2-pin total for the day with pin falls in his first and third matches at 165. He pinned Mike Huck of Elmhurst at 1:51 of the first period but was then beaten by defensing national No.3-ranked Lucas Jeske of Augsburg in the quarterfinals. Skaare kept his national meet hopes alive with a second pin on the day. He got the win at the 56-second mark against Cameron Caldwell from Concordia-Wisconsin. The win in the third match was Skaare’s 10th of the season and he gives CC 10 wrestlers with a double-digit win total.
Spindler also advanced to the consolation quarterfinals at 174. He earned a nail-biting 9-7 victory in Round 1 over Nevin Brittain from Elmhurst before coming up a bit short in the quarterfinals against No.5-ranked Solomon Nielsen from Augsburg. His slated opponent in the wrestlebacks was unable to compete due to injury so Spindler earned a medical forfeit to guarantee his Top 8 finish.
The Cobbers had four other wrestlers have their seasons come to an end on Friday. Sophomore 133-pounder Jacob Prunty won by technical fall in his first match of the day. In match two, Prunty showed tremendous heart as he fell behind 6-0 just a few seconds into the match. He then fended off getting pinned for over two minutes before putting on an offensive onslaught that saw him score 11 points only to fall 13-11 in the final minute of the third period. Exhausted from that effort, Prunty was unable to muster enough offense in his next match and lost a heartbreaking 7-3 decision. He caps his year with a 15-6 overall record.
Freshman 157-pounder Tyler Bents upset No.5 seeded Jake Burford from Wis.-Whitewater with a 4-2 decision in his first match of the day but then dropped a tough 4-0 decision loss to No.4 seed Alexander Streuder of Wis.-Platteville in the quarterfinals. His season ended in the consolation round as he could not quite get to his offense against SJU senior Jerod Novak. Bents ends his first collegiate season with a 15-14 record.
Freshman Ayden Friese fell victim to a very difficult draw. He lost his first match at 184-pounds, won a dominating 12-2 major decision and ended his day with a tough last-second loss.
Freshman 285-pounder Chase Dockter also had a difficult draw, as he fell to returning national qualifier Grant Miller from Wheaton (Ill.) in Round 1. Dockter then pinned Harlen Nolasco from St. Olaf Olaf but couldn’t carry the momentum over into his third match and lost to Noah Wieczorek from Wis.-Stevens Point.
UP NEXT: The Cobbers will look for a strong opening round of semifinals and wrestlebacks on Day 2 at the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional Meet on Saturday, Feb. 29 starting at 10 a.m. to help make a push for a Top 5 team finish.
NCAA DIII Regional Upper Midwest Results for Concordia-Moorhead
Cole Kubesh (1-0) placed 6th and scored 8.0 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Cole Kubesh (Concordia-M’head) 1-0 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal – Cole Kubesh (Concordia-M’head) 1-0 won by decision over Sawyer Sarbacker (Wis.-La Crosse) 0-1 (Dec 5-3)
Jacob Prunty (1-2) place is unknown and scored 2.5 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jacob Prunty (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 won by tech fall over Gianni Rago (MSOE) 0-2 (TF-1.5 4:54 (15-0))
Quarterfinal – Josh Stenger (Wis.-La Crosse) 2-0 won by decision over Jacob Prunty (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 (Dec 13-11)
Cons. Round 2 – Thomas Severson (Wis.-Eau Claire) 16-7 won by decision over Jacob Prunty (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 (Dec 7-3)
Cade Lundeen (2-1) placed 8th and scored 5.5 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Cade Lundeen (Concordia) 2-1 won by major decision over Anthony Hennen (St. John’s)) 12-20 (MD 13-2)
Quarterfinal – Hazen Rice (Wis.-Whitewater) 29-0 won by decision over Cade Lundeen (Concordia-M’head) 2-1 (Dec 8-1)
Cons. Round 2 – Cade Lundeen (Concordia) 2-1 won by decision over Chase Katzenmeyer (Wis.-Platteville) 11-14 (Dec 10-6)
Kellen Schauer (2-1) placed 8th and scored 8.5 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Kellen Schauer (Concordia-M’head) 2-1 won by fall over Brandon Lenczer (Wis.-Oshkosh) 2-2 (Fall 2:04)
Quarterfinal – Jimmy McAuliffe (Elmhurst) 2-0 won by fall over Kellen Schauer (Concordia-M’head) 2-1 (Fall 4:02)
Cons. Round 2 – Kellen Schauer (Concordia-M’head) 2-1 won by fall over Dylan Hanson (St. John’s (MN)) 8-14 (Fall 0:48)
Tyler Bents (1-2) place is unknown and scored 1.0 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Tyler Bents (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 won by decision over Jake Burford (Wis.-Whitewater) 9-7 (Dec 4-2)
Quarterfinal – Alexander Strueder (Wis.-Platteville) 21-8 won by decision over Tyler Bents (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Jerod Novak (St. John’s (MN)) 13-6 won by major decision over Tyler Bents (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 (MD 14-2)
Alexander Skaare (2-1) placed 8th and scored 8.5 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Alexander Skaare (Concordia-M’head) 2-1 won by fall over Mike Huck (Elmhurst) 1-2 (Fall 1:51)
Quarterfinal – Lucas Jeske (Augsburg) 7-2 won by major decision over Alexander Skaare (Concordia-M’head) 2-1 (MD 11-1)
Cons. Round 2 – Alexander Skaare (Concordia) 2-1 won by fall over Cameron Caldwell (Concordia Wisconsin) 12-20 (Fall 0:56)
Kaden Spindler (2-1) placed 8th and scored 6.5 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Kaden Spindler (Concordia-M’head) 2-1 won by decision over Nevin Brittain (Elmhurst) 2-1 (Dec 9-7)
Quarterfinal – Solomon Nielsen (Augsburg) 21-2 won by major decision over Kaden Spindler (Concordia-M’head) 2-1 (MD 11-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Kaden Spindler (Concordia) 2-1 won by medical forfeit over Josh Te Stroete (Concordia WI) 18-15 (M. For.)
Ayden Friese (1-2) place is unknown and scored 1.5 team points.
Prelim – Ryan Vedner (Wis.-Whitewater) 15-14 won by decision over Ayden Friese (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 (Dec 6-2)
Prelim – Ayden Friese (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 won by major decision over Kyle Reitmeier (Lakeland) 0-2 (MD 12-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Merrick O’Donnell (Concordia WI) 15-10 won by decision over Ayden Friese (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 (Dec 8-3)
Gabriel Zierden (1-0) placed 6th and scored 9.0 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Gabriel Zierden (Concordia-M’head) 1-0 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal – Gabriel Zierden (Concordia) 1-0 won by major decision over James Huntley (Wis.-Eau Claire) 20-7 (MD 10-2)
Chase Dockter (1-2) place is unknown and scored 2.5 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Grant Miller (Wheaton (IL)) 9-4 won by decision over Chase Dockter (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 (Dec 10-3)
Cons. Round 1 – Chase Dockter (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 won by fall over Harlen Nolasco (St. Olaf) 1-3 (Fall 5:40)
Cons. Round 2 – Noah Wieczorek (Wis.-Stevens Point) 22-15 won by fall over Chase Dockter (Concordia-M’head) 1-2 (Fall 5:57)
NCAA Upper Midwest Team Scores After Day 1
1 Augsburg – 107.5
2 Wis.-La Crosse – 80.5
3 Wis.-Whitewater – 69.0
4 Wis.-Stevens Point – 59.0
T5 Chicago – 57.5
T5 Wis.-Eau Claire – 57.5
7 Wis.-Platteville – 55.5
8 Concordia-M’head – 53.5
9 Wheaton (IL)- 39.0
10 Elmhurst – 36.5
11 Wis.-Oshkosh – 27.5
12 St. John’s (MN) – 25.0
13 Concordia Wisconsin – 16.0
14 MSOE – 11.0
15 Pacific (OR) – 7.5
16 Lakeland – 2.5
17 St. Olaf – 0.5