Eight Augsburg men’s wrestlers named to NWCA D-III All-America First Team

MINNEAPOLIS — Eight members of the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team were named as first-team NCAA Division III All-Americans by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, it was announced on Tuesday.

Named as NWCA All-Americans were: Victor Gliva (SR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS) at 133 pounds, David Flynn (SR, Jordan, Minn./Jordan HS (Scott West)) at 141, Aaron Wilson (SR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) at 149, Ryan Epps (SR, Cannon Falls, Minn./Cannon Falls HS) at 157, Lucas Jeske (SR, St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS) at 165, Solomon Nielsen (JR, Luverne, Minn./Luverne HS) at 174, Tanner Vassar (SR, Maple Lake, Minn./Maple Lake HS) at 184 and Lance Benick (JR, Scandia, Minn./Totino-Grace HS) at 197.

All eight Auggies were named to the 80-member NWCA All-America First Team, with eight individuals named in each weight class. All 80 were among the top eight seeds in each weight class that were scheduled to wrestle at the NCAA Division III National Championships in March, an event that was canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. An additional 50 wrestlers were named to the NWCA All-America Second Team, and 50 more were named to the NWCA All-America Third Team. Traditionally, the top eight finishers in each weight class earn All-America honors at NCAA wrestling championships.

Gliva qualified for his fourth national tournament as the No. 4 seed at 133 pounds. He had previously earned NCAA All-American honors twice, finishing fifth at 125 pounds in 2018-19 and eighth at 125 in 2016-17. Gliva finished this season at 25-5 with 11 pins and one technical fall, finishing third at 133 at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional, his second regional title. A three-time NCAA Elite 90 and four-time NWCA Scholar All-America honoree, Gliva finished his career at 114-27, with 35 pins, 10 technical falls and 19 major decisions.

Flynn qualified for his fourth national tournament as the No. 3 seed at 141 pounds. The NCAA Division III national champion last season at 141 pounds, he had also earned All-American honors with a third-place national finish at 141 in 2016-17. Flynn finished this season at 17-3 with six pins, two technical falls and four major decisions, winning the title at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional, his second regional title. A three-time NWCA Scholar All-America honoree, Flynn competed at Division I North Dakota State before transferring and competing for three-and-a-half seasons at Augsburg. He finished his Augsburg career at 90-19 with 34 pins, five technical falls and 14 major decisions. In his overall college career, he finished 118-33 with 41 pins, nine technical falls and 17 major decisions.

Wilson qualified for his second national tournament as the No. 4 seed at 149 pounds. He previously qualified for the national tournament in 2015-16 at 141 pounds. Wilson finished this season at 30-1 with 13 pins, nine technical falls and two major decisions, winning the title at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional. A three-time NWCA Scholar All-America hnoree, Wilson finished his career at 101-30, with 40 pins, 18 technical falls and 18 major decisions.

Epps qualified for his fourth national tournament as the No. 2 seed at 157 pounds. The NCAA Division III national champion at 157 in both 2018-19 and 2017-18, Epps had won NCAA regional titles three times in his Augsburg career. He finished this season at 28-2, with 12 pins, five technical falls and two major decisions, finishing second at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional. An NWCA Scholar All-American in 2017, Epps finished his Augsburg career at 141-13, with 35 pins, 12 technical falls and 17 major decisions.

Jeske qualified for his fourth national tournament as the No. 4 seed at 165 pounds. The NCAA Division III national champion at 165 in both 2018-19 and 2017-18, Jeske had won NCAA regional titles three times in his Augsburg career. He finished this season at 9-3, with six pins and two major decisions, finishing third at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional. Jeske finished his Augsburg career with a 96-12 record, with 41 pins, eight technical falls and 16 major decisions.

Nielsen qualified for his second national tournament as the No. 3 seed at 174 pounds. Nielsen finished this season at 23-2, with two pins, three technical falls and 16 major decisions, winning the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional for the first time in his career. Through his first three seasons as an Auggie, Nielsen is 78-18, with 24 pins, five technical falls and 16 major decisions.

Vassar qualified for his third national tournament as the No. 1 seed at 184 pounds. At 31-0, he was one of just six unbeaten wrestlers entering the national tournament field. He earned NCAA All-American honors twice, finishing fifth nationally at 174 last season and seventh at 174 in 2017-18. Of his 31 wins this season, he had 17 pins, four technical falls and two major decisions, winning the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional title. A two-time NWCA Scholar All-American, he finished his career at 124-29, with 47 pins, 14 technical falls and 13 major decisions.

Benick qualified for his second national tournament as the No. 3 seed at 197 pounds. The NCAA Division III national champion at 197 last season, Benick finished the season with a 5-2 record with a major decision, finishing second at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional after earning regional title honors last season. A transfer from Division I Arizona State his first season, Benick is 45-10 in his three seasons as an Auggie, with nine pins, three technical falls and eight major decisions.

Winners of 13 NCAA Division III national titles, Augsburg had entered the national championships as the No. 1-ranked team in the final NWCA Division III national rankings. Under co-head coaches Jim Moulsoff and Tony Valek, the Auggies finished the 2019-20 season with an 8-2 dual-meet record, finishing second at the NWCA National Duals and winning the Upper Midwest Regional title, their 18th straight NCAA regional championship.

NWCA Division III 2020 All-America Teams

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