Augsburg nets 6 All-Americans, maintains NCAA D-III National Championships lead

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Earning six All-Americans, including three remaining in championship contention, the Augsburg University men’s wrestling team took a 9.5-point lead after the first day of competition at the NCAA Division III National Championships, held on Friday at the La Crosse Center.

Augsburg ended the first day of the two-day meet with 59.0 points, with six of its 10 qualifiers earning All-American honors. Host Wisconsin-La Crosse is in second place with 49.5 points, and Wartburg (Iowa) is in third with 49.0 points. Both the Eagles and Knights have five All-Americans, with four in championship contention. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) is in fourth with 44.0 points, and Wisconsin-Eau Claire is in fifth with 41.0 points. JWU has five All-Americans, with three in championship contention, and the Blugolds have four All-Americans, with three in championship contention.

Augsburg’s 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 earned their fourth career All-American honors, each remaining alive in the championship race. Schwanebeck-Ostermann and Kim are now among just nine individuals in Augsburg men’s wrestling history to earn four or more career All-American honors.

TOP 10 TEAM SCORES AFTER FIRST DAY:
1- Augsburg (Minn.) 59.0
2- Wisconsin-La Crosse 49.5
3- Wartburg (Iowa) 49.0
4- Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 44.0
5- Wisconsin-Eau Claire 41.0
6- Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) 34.5
7- U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Conn.) 26.0
8- North Central (Ill.) 25.0
8- The College of New Jersey 25.0
10- Loras (Iowa) 21.5

Also alive in the championship field is No. 5-seeded 157-pounder Blake Jagodzinske (JR, Sherburn, Minn./Martin County West HS), competing in his first national tournament. Alive in the wrestlebacks for Augsburg are 165-pounder Cooper Willis (SO, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS), 174-pounder Seth Goetzinger (JR, Chatfield, Minn./Chatfield HS) and 197-pounder Parker Venz (JR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS).

Schwanebeck-Ostermann used a takedown and three 4-point near-falls to claim a 15-0, second-period technical fall of Dylan Wellbaum of Adrian (Mich.) in his opening match, then used three takedowns, a reversal, two near-falls and 4:01 of riding time to dispatch No. 8-seed Jack Ryan of Oneonta State (N.Y.) by a 16-1, 7:00 technical fall in the quarterfinals.

Now 31-1 on the season, Schwanebeck-Ostermann has won 28 straight matches, and has eight pins, 13 technical falls and seven major decisions among his 31 victories. He is now 113-29 in his Augsburg career with 28 pins, 20 technical falls and 25 major decisions. He earned his fourth All-American honor on Friday, after finishing fourth nationally at 184 in 2023, and sixth at 197 pounds in 2022 and 2021 (NWCA).

Third-seeded 285-pounder Tyler Kim (SR, Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley HS) also earned his fourth career All-American honor, opening with a 2:16 pin of Nick Franco of Brockport (N.Y.), then using a second-period escape and a takedown with 1:15 left in the match to secure a 4-0 win over No. 6-seed Donovan King of Olivet (Mich.) in the quarterfinals. The win was Kim’s first in his three collegiate career meetings with King, after suffering losses in the 2021-22 and 2020-21 seasons.

With the victories, Kim improved to 28-2 on the season with 20 bonus-point wins (16 pins, one technical fall, three major decisions) and 132-24 in his Auggie career, with 69 pins, six technical falls and 14 major decisions to his credit. Now a four-time All-American, Kim finished third at 285 in last year’s nattional tournament, fourth in the 2022 NCAA tournament and second in the 2021 NWCA tournament.

Competing in his first national tournament, Blake Jagodzinske (JR, Sherburn, Minn./Martin County West HS), seeded No. 5 at 157 pounds, clinched All-American honors with three impressive wins. He had a strong opening session, claiming a pair of pins — his eighth and ninth of the season, scoring 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.). In the quarterfinals, Jagodzinske rallied from a 6-1, first-period deficit to No. 4-seed Ryan Smith of Stevens Tech (N.J.), using an escape and takedown in the second period to trim the advantage to 6-5, then after Smith scored a reversal, Jagodzinske scored a stalling point, escape and a takedown with 54 seconds left in the third period for an 11-8 victory.

Three Auggies suffered losses, but rallied back with wins in the “blood round” to clinch All-American honors, and can finish as high as third place in Saturday’s third session.

Parker Venz (JR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS), the No. 5 seed at 197, claimed his first career All-American honor in his second national tournament, rallying back from an opening loss with two dominating technical fall wins. He was pinned in 3:23 in his opening match by Montgomery Mills of Westminster (Mo.), but started his comeback with a 19-4, 4:25 technical fall over Gable Crebs of Lycoming (Pa.), using a takedown, reversal, two-point near-fall and three 4-point near-falls to end the match early. With an All-American berth on the line, Venz blanked Darby McLaughlin of Castleton (Vt.) 17-0 in 6:00, behind three takedowns and a pair of near-falls. Venz is now 22-7 on the season with 21 bonus-point wins (12 pins, seven technical falls, two major decisions), and 68-27 in his Auggie career.

At 165, third-seeded Cooper Willis (SO, Kansasville, Wis./Union Grove HS) opened with a 10-0, major decision win over Andrew Supers of Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio), but No. 6-seed Will Esmoil of Coe (Iowa) avenged two losses to Willis earlier this season with an 11-3, major-decision win. In the wrestlebacks, Willis emerged dominant in a 4:44 pin over Nicholas Roeger of Castleton, building a 7-0 lead before ending the match with his 10th pin of the season. Now a two-time All-American after finishing fifth at 165 last year, Willis is 34-3 on the season and 66-12 in his career.

Third-seeded 174-pounder Seth Goetzinger (JR, Chatfield, Minn./Chatfield HS) also rallied back from a quarterfinal loss with a “blood round” win to earn his second career All-American honor. He opened with a 3:17 pin of Aiden Ashburn of John Carroll (Ohio), but surrendered a takedown with 1:18 left in sudden-victory overtime in a 9-6 loss to No. 6-seed Zeb Gnida of Loras (Iowa) in the quarterfinals. Facing Christian Komitas of Aurora (Ill.) in the wrestlebacks, Goetzinger scored an escape in the second period, then on a scramble, put Komitas in a neutral danger position with a three-point near-fall, which was enough in a 4-2 victory. Goetzinger is now 29-5 on the season and 71-20 in his career. He finished seventh nationally at 174 last season.

Four Auggies saw their seasons come to an end on Friday. 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.). Stuhl then claimed a 17-0, 5:26 technical fall over Jacob Dado of the University of the Ozarks (Ark.), but suffered a 9-5 loss to Bobur Berdiyorov of New England College (N.H.) in the wrestlebacks. Competing in his third national tournament as an Auggie after transferring from North Dakota State, Stuhl ended his season at 26-6 and his collegiate career at 97-28 (83-16 at Augsburg).

At 149 pounds, No. 4-seed Charlie Stuhl (JR, Ellsworth, Wis./Ellsworth HS) opened with a 7-5 victory over Eric Kinkaid of Loras (Iowa), but was pinned in 4:39 by No. 5-seed Zach Sato of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the quarterfinals. In the wrestlebacks, Colby Frost of Southern Maine rallied from a 4-0 second-period deficit to score a 6-4 win over Stuhl. An All-American with an eighth-place finish in 2022-23, Stuhl finished this season at 25-6 and is 92-27 in his Auggie career.

Wyatt Kaczrowski (JR, Seymour, Wis./Seymour HS) went 2-2 on the day to end his season at 27-17 in his first national tournament appearance. He suffered a 5-1 loss to Jack Stanley of Mount Union (Ohio) in a pigtail match, but then scored a 9-2 win over No. 8-seed Izzy Balsiger of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He remained alive with a 5-4 win over Cade Hornback of Coe (Iowa), but was pinned in 2:00 by No. 7-seed Gavin Bradley of Castleton. Kaczrowski is now 71-43 in his Auggie career.

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, dropping a 10-5 decision to No. 8-seed Isaias Torres of Ithaca (N.Y.) and a 5:26 pin by No. 6-seed Tyler Fleetwood of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He finished his first Auggie campaign with a 21-10 record.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
Augsburg has now had at least one All-American in national competition every year since 1977 — 48 straight years. Augsburg has now earned 281 men’s wrestling All-Americans in school history (230 in NCAA competition. 38 in NAIA, 13 by the NWCA in 2020 and 2021).

Augsburg has now earned at least two All-Americans every year since 1988, and has had at least five All-Americans in 32 of the last 35 seasons.

UP NEXT
Action continues at the NCAA Division III National Championships on Saturday (3/16) starting at 9 a.m. (Central time) with championship semifinals, consolation action and placing matches for third, fifth and seventh places. The 10 national championship matches are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (Central time).

AUGSBURG FIRST DAY RESULTS

  • 125 — Jack Stanley (Mount Union) dec. Wyatt Kaczrowski (Augsburg) 5-1; Kaczrowski dec. No. 8 Izzy Balsiger (Wisconsin-Eau Claire) 9-2; Kaczrowski dec. Cade Hornback (Coe) 6-4; No. 7 Gavin Bradley (Castleton) pinned Kaczrowski 2:00 (Kaczrowski eliminated).
  • 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; Bobur Berdiyorov (New England College) dec. Stuhl 9-5 (Stuhl eliminated).
  • 149 — No. 4 Charlie Stuhl (Augsburg) dec. Eric Kinkaid (Loras) 7-5; No. 5 Zach Sato (Wisconsin-Eau Claire) pinned Stuhl 4:39; Colby Frost (Southern Maine) dec. Stuhl 6-4 (Stuhl eliminated).
  • 157 — No. 5 Blake Jagodzinske (Augsburg) pinned Wenchard Pierre-Louis (Ithaca) 3:24; Jagodzinske pinned Jason Rezac (Alvernia) 1:06; Jagodzinske dec. No. 4 Ryan Smith (Stevens Tech) 11-8.
  • 165 — No. 3 Cooper Willis (Augsburg) maj. dec. Andrew Supers (Baldwin-Wallace) 10-0; No. 6 Will Esmoil (Coe) maj. dec. Willis 11-3; Willis pinned Nicholas Roeger (Castleton) 4:44.
  • 174 — No. 3 Seth Goetzinger (Augsburg) pinned Aiden Ashburn (John Carroll) 3:17; No. 6 Zeb Gnida (Loras) dec. Goetzinger 9-6 (OT-SV1); Goetzinger dec. Christian Komitas (Aurora) 4-2.
  • 184 — No. 1 Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (Augsburg) tech. fall Dylan Wellbaum (Adrian) 15-0 at 4:05; Schwanebeck-Ostermann tech. fall No. 8 Jack Ryan (Oneonta State) 16-1 at 7:00.
  • 197 — Montgomery Mills (Westminster) pinned No. 5 Parker Venz (Augsburg) 3:23; Venz tech. fall Gable Crebs (Lycoming) 19-4 at 4:26; Venz tech. fall Darby McLaughlin (Castleton) 17-0 at 6:00.
  • 285 — No. 3 Tyler Kim (Augsburg) pinned Nick Franco (Brockport) 2:16; Kim dec. No. 6 Donovan King (Olivet) 4-0.

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

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