Jackson Gerber, Sports Editor
The number-one ranked Augsburg wrestling team faced off with the number-three ranked Wartburg Knights last Thursday, falling via criteria 16–15 and ruining their perfect record in dual matches this season.
In front of over 1,000 spectators and on a raised stage, the atmosphere was set for another memorable Battle of the Burgs. The wrestling did not disappoint either. Both teams won five bouts which ended the match in a 15–15 tie, but Wartburg outscored Augsburg 47-43 in total match points to take the heralded Swens/Milboy belt.
The 125-pound weight class started off the match as Augsburg’s number-three ranked Victor Gliva took down the number-four ranked wrestler 7–6. It was the first of seven matches between top-10 ranked opponents. The Auggies went up 6–0 on the Knights when number-four ranked 133-pounder Sam Bennyhoff upset the number-one ranked wrestler 7–4. The Knights responded with three straight wins of their own as Augsburg’s number-three ranked David Flynn was upset by the number-seven wrestler at 141 pounds. Number-two ranked Alex Wilson was then upset by an unranked opponent at 149 and number-two ranked Ryan Epps was defeated by the number-one ranked 157-pounder in their match to give Wartburg a 9–6 lead going into the half.
Number-one ranked Lucas Jeske defeated the Number-four ranked wrestler at 165 pounds to remain undefeated and tie the match at 9–9. Number-five-ranked 174-pounder Tanner Vasser was edged by the number-four wrestler at 174 pounds to give the Knights the lead back at 12–9. The Auggies then scored two straight victories with number-ten-ranked Solomon Nielsen defeating his opponent at 184 pounds, and then number-four-ranked Lance Benick edging the number-eight wrestler in the 197-pound weight class to go up 15–12 with one match remaining. It was the Knights’ heavyweight who came out on top of Ethan Hofacker, tying the match at 15 all and leading to the criteria win for Wartburg.
The Auggies will look forward to the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest regional hosted by UW-Eau Claire on Feb. 22 and 23.
This article was originally published in the Feb. 8, 2019 issue.
Augsburg’s No. 3 ranked Junior Victor Gliva squares up against Wartburg’s No. 4 ranked Sophomore Brady Kyner at The Battle of the Burgs 1/31. Photo by Ryan Moore.