Auggies secure 2 finalists, hold 3-point team lead

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Putting two individuals into national championship matches and recording victories in all four of its consolation placing matches, the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team will take a three-point lead in the team race into the final round of the NCAA Division III National Championships, with the third session completed on Saturday afternoon at the La Crosse Center.

Going into Saturday’s 7 p.m. final session, which features the national title matches in all ten weight classes, Augsburg has 85.5 team points, three ahead of second-place Wartburg (Iowa) with 82.5 points. Both Augsburg and Wartburg have two finalists, while host Wisconsin-La Crosse, with 78.5 points, has four finalists. Johnson & Wales (R.I.), in fourth place with 71.0 points, has two finalists, and Wisconsin-Eau Claire, in fifth place with 65.0 points, has one finalist.

Augsburg has two finalists — top-seeded 197-pounder Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (SR, Loyal, Wis./Marshfield HS) and No. 3-seeded 285-pounder Tyler Kim (SR, Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley HS). Both four-time All-Americans, it’s the first time Schwanebeck-Ostermann has been in the national finals, while Kim is making his second finals appearance, after finishing second in the National Wrestling Coaches Association tournament in 2021, when the NCAA championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

TOP 10 TEAM SCORES AFTER THIRD SESSION:

  1. Augsburg (Minn.) 85.5
  2. Wartburg (Iowa) 82.5
  3. Wisconsin-La Crosse 78.5
  4. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 71.0
  5. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 65.0
  6. Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) 55.5
  7. U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Conn.) 46.5
  8. North Central (Ill.) 42.5
  9. Loras (Iowa) 34.0
  10. The College of New Jersey 33.0.

Schwanebeck-Ostermann earned his title shot with a 9-0, major-decision victory over Sampson Wilkins of Castelton (Vt.) in the semifinals, his third bonus-point victory in the tournament. He claimed two takedowns and had 1:53 of riding time to score the win, improving to 32-1 on the season and 114-29 in his career.

Schwanebeck-Ostermann will face unseeded Ryan DeVivo of Johnson & Wales in Saturday’s final. He is 2-0 all-time against DeVivo, with an 11-1 major decision win earlier this season and a 6-2 win in a match last year.

Kim reached his second career national title match in dramatic fashion, with a 2-1 overtime win over No. 2-seed Rayshawn Dixon of Ferrum (Va.) in the semifinals. Both wrestlers recorded escapes to force overtime, and in the sudden victory session, Kim drove on a shot at the boundary, and in trying to avoid a decisive takedown, Dixon grabbed and pulled on the edge of the mat, a technical violation that gave a penalty point and the win to Kim. Kim improved to 29-2 on the season and 133-24 in his Auggie career.

Kim will face a familiar foe in Saturday’s final, No. 4-seed Michael Douglas of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Kim is 4-1 all-time against Douglas, with a win in the 2021-22 season and a pair of wins in the 2022-23 campaign. This season, the two split their meetings, with Douglas winning 6-2 in a Jan. 20 dual meet and Kim winning 5-1 in the NCAA Upper Midwest Regional finals on March 2.

Augsburg claimed four All-American placewinners in Saturday’s early session, going 4-0 with a pair of pins in the consolation placing matches.

At 157, No. 5-seeded Blake Jagodzinske (JR, Sherburn, Minn./Martin County West HS) finished in fifth place, earning All-American honors in his first national tournament. He dropped an 11-3 major decision to defending national champion and top-seed Nolan Hertel of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the semifinals, and was pinned in 5:53 by No. 7 seed Clayton McDonough of Luther (Iowa) in the wrestlebacks. In the fifth-place match, Jagodzinske used two takedowns and 2:18 of riding time to score an 8-5 win over No. 4 seed Stefan Major of Stevens Tech (N.J.).

Jagodzinske, who went 4-2 with two pins on the weekend, finished his junior campaign with a 20-8 record, and is now 64-17 in his Augsburg career.
Cooper Willis attempts to turn an opponent during a 2023-24 Augsburg men’s wrestling meet.• At 165, No. 3 seed Cooper Willis (SO, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS) placed fifth, going 2-1 in the wrestlebacks to complete a 4-2 weekend. Trailing 6-1 in the first period in his opening match on Saturday, Willis rallied back, and scored a takedown with 17 seconds left in regulation to force overtime against Dustin Bohren of Loras (Iowa). He then claimed a takedown with 1:22 left in the sudden victory session to earn a 10-7 win. Willis was shut out 6-0 by top-seed Matt Lackman of Alvernia (Pa.) to fall to the fifth-place match, but rebounded with a 7-5 win over No. 6-seed Will Esmoil of Coe (Iowa), building a 6-1 lead after one period and hanging on for the victory.

Willis, who earned his second career All-American honor after also finishing fifth last season, capped his sophomore year with a 36-4 record and is now 68-13 in his collegiate career.
Seth Goetzinger has body control of an opponent during a 2023-24 Augsburg men’s wrestling meet.• Seth Goetzinger (JR, Chatfield, Minn./Chatfield HS) earned his second All-American honor at 174 pounds, placing seventh for the second straight year. He dropped a 19-9 major decision to No. 7 seed Charlie Grygas of Oswego State (N.Y.) in his opening match on Saturday, but came back to give the Auggies valuable team points in a 4:26 pin of No. 4 seed Stefan Major of Stevens Tech (N.J.) in the seventh-place match. Leading 3-2 in the second period, Goetzinger used a front headlock to get the pin, his second pin of the tournament and 12th of the season.

Competing in his second national tournament, Goetzinger finished his junior season at 30-6, and is now 72-21 in his collegiate career.

One of the biggest pins of the tournament came from Auggie 197-pounder Parker Venz (JR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS) who bounced back from a 6-3 loss to No. 2 seed Coy Spooner of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Conn.) with a 59-second pin of No. 4-seed Ben Kawczynski of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the seventh-place match, his second win over Kawczynski in three meetings this season. Leading 3-1, Venz fought off an upper-body attack by Kawczynski and drove him forward to the mat, earning the pin — his 13th of the season and 47th of his college career.

Competing in his first NCAA tournament, Venz finished his junior campaign at 23-8 after a 3-2 weekend, with 13 pins, seven technical falls and two major decisions. He is now 69-28 in his college career.

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AUGSBURG NATIONAL TOURNAMENT PAGE

UP NEXT
The NCAA meet concludes at 7 p.m. on Saturday with the 10 national championship matches. The Parade of All-Americans will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the La Crosse Center.

AUGSBURG THIRD SESSION RESULTS

  • 157 — No. 1 Nolan Hertel (Wisconsin-La Crosse) maj. dec. No. 5 Blake Jagodzinske (Augsburg) 11-3; No. 7 Clayton McDonough (Luther) pinned Jagodzinske 5:53. Fifth-place match: Jagodzinske dec. No. 4 Ryan Smith (Stevens) 8-5.
  • 165 — No. 3 Cooper Willis (Augsburg) dec. Dustin Bohren (Loras) 10-7 (OT-SV1); No. 1 Matt Lackman (Alvernia) dec. Willis 6-0. Fifth-place match: Willis dec. No. 6 Will Esmoil (Coe) 7-5.
  • 174 — No. 7 Charlie Grygas (Oswego State) maj. dec. No. 3 Seth Goetzinger (Augsburg) 19-9. Seventh-place match: Goetzinger pinned No. 4 Stefan Major (Stevens) 4:26.
  • 184 — No. 1 Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (Augsburg) maj. dec. Sampson Wilkins (Castleton) 9-0. National championship match: Schwanebeck-Ostermann vs. Ryan DeVivo (Johnson & Wales).
  • 197 — No. 2 Coy Spooner (U.S. Coast Guard Academy) dec. No. 5 Parker Venz (Augsburg) 6-3. Seventh-place match: Venz pinned No. 4 Ben Kawczynski (Wisconsin-La Crosse) 0:59.
  • 285 — No. 3 Tyler Kim (Augsburg) dec. No. 2 Rayshawn Dixon (Ferrum) 2-1 (OT-SV1). National championship match: Kim vs. No. 4 Michael Douglas (Wisconsin-La Crosse).

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

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