Jackson Gerber, Sports Editor
The men’s wrestling team began their pursuit of national championship number 14 with a dominant showing at the Auggie Adidas Invite on Nov. 23.
Thirty-five wrestlers combined for a 76-35 record on the day, earning seven championships and four co-championships. The Auggies also finished with five of the ten titles in the Gold division, the top division at the invitational level.
125-pound two-time All-American Victor Gliva moved up to 133 pounds and secured the title in his new weight class. Gliva, the No.3 ranked 125-pound wrestler, finished off his impressive performance by defeating the No. 2 ranked DII 133-pound wrestler in the title match. Senior Ryan Epps also moved up from his 157-pound weight class to 165. The two-time DIII National Champion at 157 had three pins en route to the 165-pound crown.
The third and fourth division titles for the Auggies in the Gold Division were shared between teammates. Senior Aaron Wilson and sophomore AJ Bethea shared the 149-pound title, and Junior Solomon Nielsen and sophomore Nick Rogge shared the 174-pound title. The fifth and final title in the Gold Division went to Senior Tanner Vassar. The 174-pound two-time All American and No. 3 ranked wrestler, at 184 pounds, claimed the crown with ease in his new division.
The defending national champs showed impressive depth at the Auggie Invite, and they are still awaiting the return of three of their four individual national champions next semester. With continued performances like the ones seen at their home tournament, as well as the return of three individual national champs, the Auggies look primed to defend their crown this season.