Auggies lead after first session of NCAA nationals

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Going 9-4 in the opening round with nine wrestlers still alive in the field, the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team stands in first place after the opening round of the NCAA Division III National Championships at the La Crosse Center.

Six of the 10 Augsburg wrestlers in competition opened their tournament with victories, remaining alive in championship contention. Four Auggies dropped to the wrestlebacks with losses, with one Auggie eliminated with two losses in the first session. The Auggies recorded four pins, two technical falls, and a major decision among the team’s 9-5 record in the opening session.

Competing in his first national tournament, 157-pounder Blake Jagodzinske (JR, Sherburn, Minn./Martin County West HS) had a strong opening session, claiming a pair of pins — his eighth and ninth of the season — to improve to 18-6. He scored a 3:24 pin of Wenchard Pierre-Louis of Ithaca (N.Y.) in a pigtail match and a 1:06 pin of Jason Rezac of Alvernia (Pa.). He will face No. 4-seed Ryan Smith of Stevens Tech (N.J.) in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Seth Goetzinger has an opponent in a near-fall during a 2023-24 Augsburg men’s wrestling match.

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Third-seeded 174-pounder Seth Goetzinger (JR, Chatfield, Minn./Chatfield HS) opened his tournament run with his 11th pin of the season, turning a reversal into a pin 16 seconds into the second period over Aiden Ashburn of John Carroll (Ohio). Now 28-4 on the season and 70-19 in his career, Goetzinger will face No. 6-seed Zeb Gnida of Loras (Iowa) in the quarterfinals, going for his second All-America honor.

Third-seeded 285-pounder Tyler Kim (SR, Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley HS) will aim for his fourth career All-America honor in the quarterfinals. He opened with a 2:16 pin of Nick Franco of Brockport (N.Y.) on Friday. Now 27-2 on the season with 16 pins, Kim will face No. 6-seed Donovan King of Olivet (Mich.) in the quarterfinals.

Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (SR, Loyal, Wis./Marshfield HS), the top-seeded 184 pounder in the field, used a takedown and three 4-point near-falls to claim a 15-0, second-period technical fall of Dylan Wellbaum of Adrian (Mich.). Now 30-1 on the season with 12 technical falls and eight pins, Schwanebeck-Ostermann will face No. 8-seed Jack Ryan of Oneonta State (N.Y.) in the quarterfinals, aiming for his fourth career All-America honor.

Third-seeded 165-pounder Cooper Willis (SO, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS) used a pair of takedowns and a reversal to build 4:16 of riding time in a 10-0, major decision win over Andrew Supers of Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio), improving to 33-2 on the year with 21 bonus-point wins. Willis will face No. 6-seed Will Esmoil of Coe (Iowa) in the quarterfinals, an opponent he has beaten twice this season, in a bid for his second All-America honor.

At 149 pounds, No. 4-seed Charlie Stuhl (JR, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) rallied from a 4-1 deficit early in the third period, claiming takedowns with 1:48 and 58 seconds left to secure a 7-5 victory over Eric Kinkaid of Loras (Iowa), his third win over Kinkaid this season, Now 25-4 on the season, he will face No. 5-seed Zach Sato of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the quarterfinals. This will be the third time Stuhl and Sato will have faced each other this season, with each winning once.

Parker Venz (JR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS), the No. 5 seed at 197, lost in a wild opening match to Montgomery Mills of Westminster (Mo.). The first period featured multiple scrambles, with Venz leading 11-4. Starting the second period on top, Venz attempted a cradle, but Mills was able to turn him over and score a pin 23 seconds in, forcing Venz to the wrestlebacks in an attempt to secure his first All-America bid

Defending 141-pound national champion Sam Stuhl (SR, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) was upset in a pigtail match, dropping a 9-1 major decision to unseeded Mark Samuel of Roanoke (Va.). But Stuhl bounced back with a 17-0, 5:26 technical fall over Jacob Dado of the University of the Ozarks (Ark.) to remain alive in the wrestlebacks.

At 125, unseeded Wyatt Kaczrowski (JR, Seymour, Wis./Seymour HS) suffered a 5-1 loss to Jack Stanley of Mount Union (Ohio) in a pigtail match but bounced back in a big way, using two takedowns and 2:26 of riding time to score a 9-2 win over No. 8-seed Izzy Balsiger of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, remaining alive in the wrestlebacks in his first national tournament.

Making his first national tournament appearance, Chance Suddeth (FY, Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton HS) was eliminated with two losses to seeded opponents in the opening session. He finished his first Auggie campaign with a 21-10 record.

UP NEXT
The second session of the national tournament starts at 6 p.m. (Central time) on Friday. The session, known as the “Blood Round,” eliminates the field to eight wrestlers in each class, who earn All-American honors.

TOP 10 TEAM SCORES AFTER ROUND 1:
1 Augsburg (Minn.) 20.0
2t Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) 14.5
2t Wartburg (Iowa) 14.5
4 Wisconsin-La Crosse 11.5
5 U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Conn.) 10.0
6 Wisconsin-Eau Claire 9.0
7 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 8.5
8 Averett (Va.) 7.5
9 Stevens Tech (N.J.) 7.0
10 Roanoke (Va.) 6.5

AUGSBURG FIRST SESSION RESULTS

  • 125 — Jack Stanley (Mount Union) dec. Wyatt Kaczrowski (Augsburg) 5-1; Kaczrowski dec. No. 8 Izzy Balsiger (Wisconsin-Eau Claire) 9-2.
  • 133 — No. 8 Isaias Torres (Ithaca) dec. Chance Suddeth (Augsburg) 10-5; No. 6 Tyler Fleetwood (Wisconsin-Eau Claire) pinned Suddeth 5:26 (Suddeth eliminated).
  • 141 — Mark Samuel (Roanoke) maj. dec. No. 6 Sam Stuhl (Augsburg) 9-1; Stuhl tech. fall Jacob Dado (Ozarks) 17-0 at 5:26.
  • 149 — No. 4 Charlie Stuhl (Augsburg) dec. Eric Kinkaid (Loras) 7-5.
  • 157 — No. 5 Blake Jagodzinske (Augsburg) pinned Wenchard Pierre-Louis (Ithaca) 3:24; Jagodzinske pinned Jason Rezac (Alvernia) 1:06.
  • 165 — No. 3 Cooper Willis (Augsburg) maj. dec. Andrew Supers (Baldwin-Wallace) 10-0.
  • 174 — No. 3 Seth Goetzinger (Augsburg) pinned Aiden Ashburn (John Carroll) 3:17.
  • 184 — No. 1 Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (Augsburg) tech. fall Dylan Wellbaum (Adrian) 15-0 at 4:05.
  • 197 — Montgomery Mills (Westminster) pinned No. 5 Parker Venz (Augsburg) 3:23.
  • 285 — No. 3 Tyler Kim (Augsburg) pinned Nick Franco (Brockport) 2:16.

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

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