Augsburg wins 14th NCAA D-III national title

ROANOKE, Va. — With an individual national title from 141-pounder Sam Stuhl (JR, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) leading the way, the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team won its 14th national championship in school history, compiling 101 points and outdistancing second place Wartburg College (Iowa) by 34.5 points at the NCAA Division III National Championships, completed on Saturday at the Berglund Center.

TOP 10 TEAM SCORES: 1. Augsburg (Minn.) 101.0; 2. Wartburg (Iowa) 66.5; 3. Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) 66.0; 4. North Central (Ill.) 63.5; 5. Wisconsin-La Crosse 61.0; 6. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 52.0; 7. Stevens Tech (N.J.) 49.5; 8. Dubuque (Iowa) 41.5; 9. U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Conn.) 40.5; 10. Wabash (Ind.) 35.5.

Augsburg entered the national tournament ranked No. 3 in the final National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national poll on Feb. 15. But the Auggies and No. 4-ranked Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) qualified the most wrestlers — eight each — to the national tournament, and seven of Augsburg’s eight qualifiers earned All-American honors with top-eight national finishes. Auggie wrestlers went 25-13 on the weekend in Roanoke, with seven pins, six major decisions and a technical fall. The Auggies went 9-8 on the final day, with two pins and two major decisions.

“It feels great. It’s obviously the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of people. The eight guys who competed and the 33 others who came with us, I’m really proud of them,” said Augsburg head coach Tony Valek, who earned his first national title in his four seasons as head coach, and third national title in his 10 seasons on the Augsburg coaching staff. “Roanoke has been fun. It’s been good to us. At 141, we had an eighth seed in David Flynn win the national championship in 2019, and now Sam Stuhl wins. So 141 has been good to us, and obviously, two team national championships.”

An unseeded 141-pounder, Stuhl scored a 5-1 win over fellow unseeded wrestler Ethan Harsted of Wheaton (Ill.) in the title match, avenging a 6-5 loss to Harsted in the semifinals of the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional on Feb. 25. Leading 2-0 after a takedown with 1:00 left in the first period, Stuhl scored a key two-point near-fall in the final seconds of the period, and never trailed en route to the title in his second NCAA national tournament.

“I didn’t care if I was seeded one or unseeded. Everybody’s 0-0 when they come to wrestle in this tournament. It doesn’t matter what their records are. I came here ready to battle,” said Stuhl, who earned his first collegiate All-America honor. “Being part of a national championship team is incredible.”

Stuhl earned a spot in the national finals with a 6-3 win over Jacob Reed of Ohio Northern in the semifinals. Stuhl, who transferred from North Dakota State in the middle of the 2021-22 season, finished this season with a 37-5 record. He is now 57-10 in his Augsburg career and 71-22 in his collegiate career.

Three-time All-American Tyler Shilson (SR, Maple Grove, Minn./Centennial HS) reached the national title match at 157 pounds but came up short in a 6-5 overtime tiebreaker loss to No. 2-seed Nolan Hertel of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In a tight match throughout, Shilson rallied from a 4-1 deficit late in the second period with a reversal and a takedown with 1:12 left in the third period, but Hertel replied with an escape to tie the match at 5-5 and force overtime. After a scoreless two-minute sudden-victory period, the match went to 30-second tiebreakers. With Shilson in the top position, he was called twice for stalling on leg rides, giving Hertel a 6-5 lead. Hertel then rode Shilson for his 30-second tiebreaker to win the title. Shilson and Hertel finished their careers with a 3-3 mark in their six meetings, with Hertel winning three of the four meetings this season.

A third-place finisher at 157 pounds at each of the last two national tournaments and the No. 4 seed this year, Shilson advanced to his first national title match with a 13-0, major decision victory over top-seed David Hollingsworth of Wartburg (Iowa) in the semifinals — his second win over Hollingsworth in their four career meetings. The win, his third major decision in the tournament, was a milestone for Shilson, as he earned his 100th collegiate career victory. He finished his career at 100-34 overall, 72-10 in his three seasons at Augsburg.

SEVEN ALL-AMERICANS
Earlier on Saturday, five Auggie All-Americans earned their top-eight placings. Three-time All-American Tyler Kim (JR, Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley HS) finished third at 285 pounds, finishing the season at 38-2 with 20 pins, two technical falls and three major decisions. He is now 107-21 in his college career.

At 184 pounds, three-time All-American Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (JR, Loyal, Wis./Marshfield HS) finished in fourth place. He finished the season 31-8 with 10 pins, three technical falls and six major decisions, and is now 82-28 in his Auggie career.

Cooper Willis (FY, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS) finished in fifth place at 165 pounds, competing in his first national tournament. Willis finished his first collegiate campaign at 31-9.

Competing in his first national tournament, 174-pounder Seth Goetzinger (SO, Chatfield, Minn./Chatfield HS) finished in seventh place. Goetzinger finished the season 28-9 on the year with 16 pins, a technical fall and three major decisions. He is now 42-15 in his career.

At 149 pounds, Charlie Stuhl (SO, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) finished in eighth place. He finished this season 31-7 and is now 66-22 in his collegiate career.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
Augsburg has now won 14 NCAA Division III national titles in school history (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2019), the second-most team titles in Division III, behind Wartburg’s 15. Either Augsburg or Wartburg has won every Division III national title since 1995.

Augsburg has finished among the top two teams in men’s wrestling national competition 28 times since 1975, and has finished among the top 20 teams nationally every year since 1971.

Augsburg has had at least one All-American in national competition every year since 1977 — 47 straight years. Augsburg has now earned 275 men’s wrestling All-Americans in school history (224 in NCAA competition. 38 in NAIA, 13 by the NWCA in 2020 and 2021).

Augsburg has earned at least two All-Americans every year since 1988, has had at least five All-Americans in 31 of the last 34 seasons, and has now earned seven or more All-Americans 14 times in NCAA Division III competition (since 1983).

SATURDAY’S AUGSBURG INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

  • 141: Sam Stuhl (Augsburg) dec. Jacob Reed (Ohio Northern) 6-3. National Championship Match: Stuhl dec. Ethan Harsted (Wheaton) 5-1
  • 149: Thomas Monn (McDaniel) dec. Charlie Stuhl (Augsburg) 7-3. Seventh-Place Match: Chase Parrott (Springfield) dec. Stuhl 5-3.
  • 157: Tyler Shilson (Augsburg) maj. dec. David Hollingsworth (Wartburg) 13-0. National Championship Match: Nolan Hertel (Wisconsin-La Crosse) dec. Shilson 6-5 (OT-TB1).
  • 165: Cooper Willis (Augsburg) dec. Nathan Fuller (Wartburg) 2-0; Fifth-Place Match: Nicholas Sacco (College of New Jersey) dec. Willis 7-4.
  • 174: Seth Brossard (UW-La Crosse) dec. Seth Goetzinger (Augsburg) 8-4. Seventh-Place Match: Goetzinger med. forfeit Anson Dewar (Muhlenberg).
  • 184: Shane Liegel (Loras) dec. Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (Augsburg) 10-5; Schwanebeck-Ostermann maj. dec. David McCullough (U.S. Coast Guard Academy) 15-4. Third-Place Match: Donovan Corn (Luther) dec. Schwanebeck-Ostermann 7-1.
  • 285: Jack Heldt (Wabash) pinned Tyler Kim (Augsburg) 2:46; Kim pinned Jake Peavey (Southern Maine) 1:44. Third-Place Match: Kim pinned Darryl Aiello (Dubuque) 1:50.

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

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