Jackson Gerber, Sports Editor
The Auggies’ quest for a 13th national title got off to a strong start at the Auggie-Adidas Invitational with 31 wrestlers combining for an overall record of 72-35 on the day. Throughout the tournament, Augsburg had 40 bonus-point wins, 25 pins, nine technical falls and six major decisions. They also claimed six of the 10 titles in the Gold division, which was the top division in the tournament.
Victor Gliva made easy work of his first two opponents, pinning them both. The number-five-ranked 125-pounder went on to secure the title in his weight class. Also securing a title was number-two-ranked Sam Bennyhoff in the 133-pound division. The defending national runner-up opened his senior season with four wins and added one pin while doing so.
David Flynn had three pins on the day, including one in the finals to win the 141-pound division. He is currently ranked number five in his weight class. Senior Alex Wilson had a dominant start to his last season. The number-one-ranked wrestler in the 149-pound division recorded two pins and two technical falls en route to the title. He is looking to improve on his fifth-place finish from last year at Nationals. Twin brother Aaron Wilson had two pins as well and finished second in the 157 division.
After winning the National Championship at 157 last year, Ryan Epps moved up a weight class to 165 and continued to show why he is one of the best wrestlers in the country. He had two pins and defeated the number-six-ranked wrestler in Division II to win the title. Augsburg’s last title of the tournament went to Lance Benick who is currently ranked as number seven at 197 pounds. He had pins in his first two matches and secured his weight-class crown.
The Auggies will be back in action on Dec. 1 at the Simpson Luther L. Hill Invitational in Indianola, Iowa.
This article was originally published in the Nov. 30, 2018 issue.
Ryan Epps squares up with David Grantelli of UW Stevens Point during the 2017-18 season. Photo by Jim Pfeffer.