Greg Miller, Staff Writer
The No.1 ranked Auggie Men’s Wrestling team traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to take part in the 2-day National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III National Duals championships.
The Auggies had won the previous two championships heading into the weekend and were hoping to make it three in a row. Augsburg would score wins against Olivet and No. 8 Johnson & Wales on Friday and followed that up on Saturday by beating No. 4 Loras to get to the championship match.
On Friday, Augsburg was able to secure wins in 15 of its 20 bouts. Tanner Vassar was able to secure two pins on the day while Ryan Epps claimed a technical win in his first match and a pin in his second. Lucas Jeske also opened the day with a pin and secured a major decision in his second match. Aaron Wilson secured a pin to open the day and followed that up with technical fall, and Victor Gliva was able to pick up two victories on the day as well.
On Saturday, Augsburg was able to start the day by taking seven of the ten bouts against Loras with six decisions and one major decision. This set up a battle against rival Wartburg, marking the 12th time the two teams have faced off in the championship match during the 19-year history of the National Duals Tournament. The Auggies lost the first three bouts before Wilson scored a pin for his fourth victory of the weekend, giving Augsburg its first points of the match. Epps followed up with another pin giving Augsburg a 12-9 lead but Wartburg won the next two bouts before Vassar scored his fourth win on the weekend. Unfortunately, the Auggies could muster no further points and lost 24-15, falling short of the coveted three-peat.
Augsburg has struggled against Wartburg, only scoring one win in their last 13 matchups (2018 Duals Championship was only victory) and is 16-21 against them all-time. The Auggies will compete in the St. Johns North Country Open this weekend before getting their rematch against Wartburg in ‘The Battle of the Burgs’ on Feb. 6 in Waverly, Iowa.