Steven Hajas: All-American and Semifinal Bound After Day One at Wrestling Nationals

ST. LOUIS — Augustana wrestling sophomore Steven Hajas went 2-0 on day one of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships en route to All-America honors at 285 pounds. Senior Brandon Carroll finished 1-2 at the tournament to bring his season to a close.

The two victories clinched a spot in the semifinal bout for Hajas. Fans can watch the action starting Saturday at noon on GoAugie.com/Live.

“I’m super proud of the way our guys competed today,” head coach Jason Reitmeier said. “I’m excited to see Steven in the semis and as an All-American for the first time.

“I’m heartbroken that Brandon didn’t get on the podium but really proud of his attitude and effort. He’s already talking about training for 2021-22.”

Steven Hajas – 285 pounds
Hajas took the mat against No. 5-ranked and undefeated (10-0) Tristen Weirich of Ashland University to start his day at nationals. Tied 0-0 after the first period, Hajas took Weirich down for the first score of the match and led 2-1 after two periods. With 40 seconds to go in the third period and Weirich trying to ride out the clock, Hajas logged a reversal for the 4-1 lead and eventual win.

In the quarterfinals match, Hajas met Lee Herrington of Nebraska-Kearney and delivered a narrow 2-1 victory in overtime. After exchanging escapes in regulation and the first overtime period, Hajas logged an escape in the second overtime for the 2-1 lead. The sophomore was able to deny Herrington an escape in the third overtime to clinch the victory and move to 2-0 on the day.

Brandon Carroll – 133 pounds
Carroll began his day at nationals with a 9-3 loss to No. 10-ranked Jacob Dunlop of Gannon University. The senior then responded with an impressive comeback victory against No. 9-ranked Logan Seliga of UNC-Pembroke.

After a quick escape from Seliga to start the third period, Carroll trailed 3-2 with over a minute of riding time against him. Carroll dominated the action from then on and took Seliga down and eliminated the riding time point for the 4-3 advantage. Seliga narrowly escaped at the end of the third to bring the match into overtime. Carroll made quick work of the extra period and took his opponent down for the 6-4 victory.

The senior fell in an 8-4 decision against No. 6-ranked Tanner Hitchcock of Lindenwood University to bring his season to a close.

133 – Brandon Carroll (9-5)
Champ. Round 1 – Jacob Dunlop (Gannon) 6-1 won by decision over Brandon Carroll (Augustana (SD)) 9-5 (Dec 9-3)
Cons. Round 1 – Brandon Carroll (Augustana (SD)) 9-5 won in sudden victory – 1 over Logan Seliga (UNC Pembroke) 8-5 (SV-1 6-4)
Cons. Round 2 – Tanner Hitchcock (Lindenwood (MO)) 11-2 won by decision over Brandon Carroll (Augustana (SD)) 9-5 (Dec 8-4)

285 – Steven Hajas (9-3)
Champ. Round 1 – Steven Hajas (Augustana (SD)) 9-3 won by decision over Tristen Weirich (Ashland) 10-1 (Dec 4-1)
Quarterfinal – Steven Hajas (Augustana (SD)) 9-3 won in tie breaker – 1 over Lee Herrington (Neb.-Kearney) 9-6 (TB-1 2-1)

NCAA Division II National Championships
Fri-Sat, Mar 12-13 – St. Louis, MO
Qualifiers | Watch | Brackets

Up Next
All-American Steven Hajas will start day two of nationals off Saturday at noon in the 285 pound semifinal bout against No. 4-ranked Weston Hunt from Colorado School of Mines. A victory would give Hajas the opportunity to compete for the national championship at 7 p.m.

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