Augsburg wins NCAA D-III Upper Midwest Regional, send 8 to national tourney

MEQUON, Wis. — Qualifying eight individuals to the NCAA Division III National Championships and winning two regional titles, the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team won its 20th straight regional championship, taking the crown at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional, held Friday and Saturday at Concordia University-Wisconsin.

Two Auggies — 285-pounder Tyler Kim (JR, Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley HS) and 149-pounder Charlie Stuhl (SO, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) — won regional titles over the weekend, with three Auggies earning runner-up honors and three Auggies finishing third to claim berths in the NCAA Division III National Championships, which will be held March 10-11 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Va. Augsburg has had seven or more national tournament qualifiers in 19 of the last 20 seasons.

Augsburg, ranked No. 3 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III tournament national poll and No. 2 in the dual-meet poll, won the 19-team Upper Midwest Regional with 176.0 points, ahead of second-place Wisconsin-La Crosse’s 142.5 points. Augsburg has won the team title in its NCAA regional every year since starting regional competition in the 2002-03 season.

Augsburg head coach Tony Valek was named Upper Midwest Region Coach of the Year for the second time in his four seasons leading the program.

NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional Results

The No. 5-ranked 285-pounder nationally, Kim reached a career milestone in winning his second straight Upper Midwest Regional title, reaching the century mark in career victories. He dominated the field, with a second-period technical fall and two first-period pins among his four victories, including a 1:03 pin of No. 15-ranked Michael Douglas of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the finals — his third win over Douglas this season. Kim is now 102-21 in his Augsburg career, with 47 pins, five technical falls and 10 major decisions, and is 33-1 in his senior season with 16 pins, two technical falls and two major decisions. Kim finished fourth at the NCAA Division III national tournament in 2022 and second at the NWCA Division III nationals in 2021.

Stuhl, ranked No. 8 nationally at 149 pounds, earned his second trip to a national tournament after competing at the NWCA nationals in 2021, and claimed his first regional championship with a 4-0 performance at 149 pounds. Stuhl opened with a third-period technical fall and scored a 5-4 win over No. 6-ranked Tyler Goebel of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the semifinals before claiming a first-period injury-default win over No. 5-ranked Jake Burford of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Stuhl is now 29-4 on the season and 64-19 in his career.

No. 2-ranked 157-pounder Tyler Shilson (SR, Maple Grove, Minn./Centennial HS) qualified for his third straight national tournament with a second-place regional finish. Shilson reached the final with a pair of pins in his opening matches and a third-period 17-2 technical fall in the semifinals before being edged 3-2 by No. 4-ranked Nolan Hertel of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the finals. Shilson, who placed third nationally at 157 each of the last two seasons, is now 25-3 on the season with six pins, 13 technical falls and a major decision. He is 68-9 in his three seasons at Augsburg and now 96-33 in his collegiate career.

Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (JR, Loyal, Wis./Marshfield HS) qualified for his third national tournament with a second-place finish at 184 pounds. The No. 4-ranked 184-pounder nationally, Schwanebeck-Ostermann reached the final with a technical fall, first-period pin and a 2-0 win over No. 8-ranked Niall Schoenfelder of Wisconsin-Eau Claire before being pinned in 3:26 by top-ranked Jaritt Shinhoster of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the finals. Schwanebeck-Ostermann, who finished sixth at each of the last two national tournaments at 197 pounds, is now 27-6 on the season with nine pins, three technical falls and four major decisions, and is now 78-26 in his Auggie career.

Cooper Willis (FY, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS) earned his first trip to the national tournament with a second-place finish at 165 pounds. Ranked No. 6 nationally, Willis claimed two second-period pins and a major decision, including a 3:24 pin of No. 13-ranked Tristan Massie of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the semifinals, before dropping a 9-3 decision to No. 7-ranked Noah Leisgang of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the finals. Willis is now 26-7 in his first Auggie season, with six pins, one technical fall and eight major decisions.

Sam Stuhl (JR, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) qualified for his second straight national tournament with a third-place finish at 141 pounds. Ranked No. 6 nationally, Stuhl outscored his first two opponents by a 21-0 margin in two victories before suffering a 6-5 setback to No. 11-ranked Ethan Harsted of Wheaton (Ill.) in the semifinals. But he rallied with a 15-0, 4:11 technical fall of No. 15-ranked Cade Lundeen of Concordia-Moorhead in the wrestlebacks, then claimed an 8-4 win over No. 13-ranked Dakarai Clay of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the third-place match. Stuhl is now 33-4 on the season, 54-9 in his two seasons as an Auggie and 67-21 in his college career.

Parker Venz (SO, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS), ranked No. 7 nationally at 197, qualified for his first national tournament with a third-place finish in his weight class. He scored three pins and a technical fall in his 4-1 day, including a 1:01 pin of Sam Melton of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the wrestlebacks and a 2:26 pin of Gabriel Zierden of Concordia-Moorhead in the third-place match. Venz is now 26-7 this season with a team-best 20 pins, and is now 44-18 in his two seasons as an Auggie.

Seth Goetzinger (SO, Chatfield, Minn./Chatfield HS) earned his first national tournament berth with a third-place finish at 174 pounds. Ranked No. 10 nationally, Goetzinger scored pins in his first two matches before being edged by No. 4-ranked Jared Stricker of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the semifinals. But he claimed a 13-4, major-decision win over No. 15-ranked Luke Silva of Aurora (Ill.) in the third-place match to secure his national bid. Goetzinger is now 24-7 on the season with 13 pins, and 38-13 in his college career.

Two Auggies saw their season end at the regional. Derek Steele (SO, Winthrop, Minn./Sibley East HS) finished fourth at 125 pounds, ending his sophomore season at 18-9. He is now 42-17 in his career. Cade Willis (SO, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS) went 1-2 at 133 pounds, ending his season at 18-11. He is now 42-18 in his college career.

Check out Auggies Wrestling at athletics.augsburg.edu and on Facebook and Twitter.

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