Augsburg 20, Wartburg 19

Auggies claim Battle of the Burgs victory, 20-19

A 2-1, overtime tiebreaker victory by heavyweight Tyler Kim (SR, Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley HS) gave the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team a 20-19 victory in the annual “Battle of the Burgs” dual meet over arch-rival Wartburg College (Iowa) on Friday night at Si Melby Hall.

Both Augsburg and Wartburg, the top two teams in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national polls, had five wins in the match. But Kim’s win in the final bout, combined with a second-period pin by 165-pounder Cooper Willis (SO, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS), proved to be the deciding points in the match.

Defending NCAA Division III national champion Augsburg entered the match ranked No. 1 in the NWCA’s tournament rankings and No. 2 in the NWCA’s dual-meet rankings, while Wartburg was No. 1 in the dual-meet rankings and No. 2 in the tournament rankings. The Auggies avenged an earlier 21-19 loss to Wartburg in the finals of the NWCA Division III National Duals on Jan. 6. Augsburg snapped a seven-match losing streak to Wartburg in dual meets, dating to the 2017-18 season.

The dual meet came down to the final bout, as Kim edged Wartburg’s Mitchell Williamson 2-1 in an overtime tiebreaker. Both wrestlers earned escapes in regulation time, and after a scoreless 2:00 overtime, the bout went to a set of 30-second tiebreakers. In the down position to start, Kim escaped six seconds into the first tiebreaker, and with Williamson choosing the neutral position for the second tiebreaker, he was unable to score a takedown, giving Kim and the Auggies the win. Kim is now 20-2 on the season and 124-24 in his Auggie career.

Augsburg fell behind 12-0 after three Wartburg wins to open the match, including a major decision and second-period technical fall. But the Auggies won five of the final seven bouts, with a pin and two major decisions, to score the victory.

At 165 pounds, No. 3-ranked Cooper Willis (SO, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS) scored the only pin of the evening, a 4:14 victory over Wartburg’s No. 11-ranked Nathan Fuller. Willis improved to a team-best 24-1 record, claiming his seventh pin and 15th bonus-point win (seven pins, five technical falls, three major decisions) of the year. He extended his winning streak to 21 straight matches.

No. 3-ranked 149-pounder Charlie Stuhl (JR, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) started the Auggie comeback with an 11-3 major decision win over No. 7-ranked Charlie Dojan, pulling away in the third period with a pair of takedowns to improve to 17-3 on the season with his 11th bonus-point win (two pins, four technical falls, five major decisions).

Top-ranked 184-pounder Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (SR, Loyal, Wis./Marshfield HS) improved to 21-1 on the season, extending his personal winning streak to 18 straight matches with a 12-4 major decision win over No. 8-ranked Kasey Ross. Schwanebeck-Osterman claimed three takedowns en route to the victory. Of his 21 wins this season, 19 are by bonus-point margins (five pins, seven technical falls, seven major decisions).

Blake Jagodzinske (JR, Sherburn, Minn./Martin County West HS), ranked No. 5 at 157 pounds, improved to 11-4 on the season with a 5-2 win over No. 9-ranked Daniel Meeker. Jagodzinske built a 4-2 lead after one period, and added an escape point in the second period for the win.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
The annual “Battle of the Burgs” dual meet features the two teams that have dominated NCAA Division III wrestling over the last three decades. Since 1995, every Division III national title has rested at either Augsburg or Wartburg, with defending national champion Augsburg winning 14 titles since 1991 and Wartburg winning 15 titles since 1996.

The win marks the first time that Augsburg has won the “Swens/Milboy Belt” traveling trophy since the belt was established in 2015. The trophy is named for the two coaches who built the Lutheran colleges to national prominence in small-college wrestling — Augsburg’s Jeff Swenson (1980-84, 1986-2007) and Wartburg’s Jim Miller (1991-2013). Both coaches led their teams to 10 NCAA Division III national titles during their careers.

FOR THE FOES
Three of Wartburg’s unbeaten wrestlers kept their records intact with victories. At 133, No. 4-ranked Joe Pins claimed a 20-3, second-period technical fall over Augsburg’s Chance Suddeth (FY, Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton HS). At 174, defending national champion and top-ranked Zane Mulder claimed a 10-1 major decision win over Augsburg’s No. 3-ranked Seth Goetzinger (JR, Chatfield, Minn./Chatfield HS), and at 197, defending national champion and top-ranked Massoma Edene topped Augsburg’s No. 4-ranked Parker Venz (JR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS) 6-2.

Brett Birchman opened the dual meet with a 9-1 major decision win over Augsburg’s Austin Laudenbach (FY, Lakeville, Minn./Apple Valley HS), and in a meeting of ranked wrestlers at 141, No. 5-ranked Kyler Romero scored a takedown and four-point near-fall in the first period, en route to a 12-6 win over Augsburg’s No. 6-ranked Sam Stuhl (SR, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS).

UP NEXT
Augsburg hosts Wisconsin-Oshkosh in a dual meet next Friday (2/2) at 6 p.m. at Si Melby Hall.

Friday, January 26, 2024 • Si Melby Hall, Minneapolis, Minn. • Attendance: 1,800
Officials: Gabe Mooney, Spencer Beech

No. 1/2 Augsburg (7-1) 20, No. 2/1 Wartburg (Iowa) 19
125 — Brett Birchman (WAR, 12-1) maj. dec. Austin Laudenbach (AUG, 13-12) 9-1 (Wartburg 4-0)
133 — No. 4 Joe Pins (WAR, 18-0) tech. fall Chance Suddeth (AUG, 12-5) 20-3 at 4:45 (Wartburg 9-0)
141 — No. 5 Kyler Romero (WAR, 14-1) dec. No. 6 Sam Stuhl (AUG, 17-4) 12-6 (Wartburg 12-0)
149 — No. 3 Charlie Stuhl (AUG, 17-3) maj. dec. No. 7 Charlie Dojan (WAR, 17-5) 11-3 (Wartburg 12-4)
157 — No. 5 Blake Jagodzinske (AUG, 11-4) dec. No. 9 Daniel Meeker (WAR, 9-6) 5-2 (Wartburg 12-7)
165 — No. 3 Cooper Willis (AUG, 24-1) pinned No. 11 Nathan Fuller (WAR, 6-7) 4:14 (Augsburg 13-12)
174 — No. 1 Zane Mulder (WAR, 17-0) maj. dec. No. 3 Seth Goetzinger (AUG, 21-4) 10-1 (Wartburg 16-13)
184 — No. 1 Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (AUG, 21-1) maj. dec. No. 6 Kasey Ross (WAR, 13-4) 12-4 (Augsburg 17-16)
197 — No. 1 Massoma Edene (WAR, 17-0) dec. No. 3 Parker Venz (AUG, 14-4) 6-2 (Wartburg 19-17)
285 — No. 4 Tyler Kim (AUG, 20-2) dec. Mitchell Williamson (WAR, 3-2) 2-1 (OT-TB1) (Augsburg 20-19)

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