By Ryan Moore, Editor-in-Chief
As always, the wrestling team finds themselves near the top of the national rankings early in the season. The Auggies are ranked No. 2 in the nation behind long-time foe Wartburg. The team finds itself in this ranking after successful starts at the Auggie-Adidas Open, Augsburg’s home invitational on Nov. 18, and a home dual against St. Olaf on Nov. 21.
At the Auggie Open, the Auggies wrestled their way to four individual titles in the Gold division. Junior Sam Bennyhoff won at 133 lbs. Senior Sebastian Larson won his division to give a triumphant start to his Senior season; in the title match, Larson beat the No. 5 ranked wrestler in Division II. Sophomores Ryan Epps and Lucas Jeske took home the individual titles at 157 and 165 lbs., respectively.
Jeske is the nation’s top wrestler in his weight class, and Bennyhoff and Epps are both ranked fifth nationally.
A few days later, Augsburg continued their historic MIAC dominance by defeating St. Olaf 42-9 in a dual. Bennyhoff is 5-0 on the season after his performance in the dual. Junior Mike Hayes pinned his opponent in 1:31 to help out the Auggies, and Junior Alex Wilson followed up the performance by Hayes with a pin in just 57 seconds. Senior Bryce Zdanovec made it three pins in a row as the Auggies dominated St. Olaf.
The team will next be in action on Dec. 2 at the Candlewood Suites Duals hosted by UW-La Crosse.
This article first appeared in the Friday, December 1, 2017, Edition of The Echo.