Minneapolis, Minn. – So much for the notion that a wrestling team needs a host of takedowns to win a meet.
Augsburg, the No. 1 team in NCAA Division III, collected a total of four takedowns in beating No. 2 Wartburg 21-16 before a noisy crowd of 1,168 Friday night at Si Melby Hall.
The next time defending team champion Wartburg and 10-time champion Augsburg meet will be at the national tournament March 6-7 in Cedar Rapids.
“If we wrestle to our potential, I still think we’re the best team in the nation,” Wartburg’s Aaron Wernimont said. “If we wrestle like we did (Friday night), it’s going to be pretty tough to win it.”
Wartburg, which had a total of 15 takedowns Friday, lost to the Auggies for the second time this season. Augsburg won a 21-20 decision in the finals of the National Duals Jan. 11 in Cedar Falls.
Wartburg got no closer than two points twice, the last time 15-13 when defending 184-pound national champion Romeo Djoumessi got a 6-4 victory, but Jared Massey sealed the meet with a pin at 197 – similar to his clinching fall in the National Duals.
“We came to wrestle tonight, we came to shine,” said Augsburg’s top-ranked 133-pounder Travis Lang, who scored the first of Augsburg’s two pins. “I saw a lot of things out of a lot of our guys that made me smile inside. I saw a lot of fight out of guys that I haven’t seen before yet this (season).”
That fight was what Wartburg coach Jim Miller wanted to see.
“We definitely had opportunities but didn’t take advantage of them,” Miller said. “You just can’t give up falls. (Augsburg had) two falls and we get beat by five.”
The start of the match was basically the meet.
Wartburg’s Mark Kist was one second from beating defending national champion Seth Flodeen at 125. Kist, who had a go-ahead reversal with 23 seconds left in regulation, was trying to keep control on Flodeen as the final seconds ticked away but regulation ended with Flodeen having exactly 1 minute of riding time – good enough for a tying point.
Flodeen won the match with a reversal and a 3-point near fall in the final 16 seconds of the first 30-second tiebreaker. Kist could not score in his session, and Flodeen won a 7-2 decision.
“That’s one you’ve got to win to have a chance to win the big one,” Miller said. “The big one’s still coming up, so we’ll see.”
Lang then got his pin over No. 2 Matt Kelly, which gave Augsburg a 9-0 lead. It hurt Wartburg, because Lang beat Kelly 5-4 when they met at the National Duals.
Augsburg won the other No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup when Willy Holst had a tick over 3 minutes of riding time on No. 2 Jacob Naig at 149 and turned Naig in the third period for a 5-2 decision.
125-Seth Flodeen (A) beat Mark Kist, 2-2, 5-0 OT. 133-Travis Lang (A) pinned Matt Kelly, 1:43. 141-Zach McKray (W) beat Tony Valek, 5-3. 149-Willy Holst (A) beat Jacob Naig, 5-2. 157-Aaron Wernimont (W) beat Jason Adams, 14-4. 165-Justin Hanson (W) beat Brandon Bahr, 14-7. 174-Zach Molitor (A) beat Grant Jenkins, 4-2. 184-Romeo Djoumessi (W) beat Brad Baus, 6-4. 197-Jared Massey (A) pinned Dylan Wrage, 1:16. Hwt-John Helgerson (W) beat Andy Witzel, 3-1.
By: dan McCool Des Moines Register (Original Here)