Auggie Wrestlers Defend High Ranking Out of State

Hayden Audette, sports editor 

High profile meets started the month of December off with a bang for the Augsburg mens and womens wrestling teams. With the Auggie men ranked No. 2 and the Auggie women ranked No. 5, both teams were looking for strong performances to solidify their high national rankings. 

The Auggie mens wrestling team began December with a dual meet on Thursday, Dec. 1 against another nationally ranked opponent.  The Auggies traveled down to Dubuque, IA to face off with 20th-ranked Loras College. The Auggies dominated this meet from start to finish and were tied early on after each team claimed a win in the first two bouts. After that, Augsburg reeled off six consecutive individual wins to take a commanding lead. The Auggies won eight out of 10 individual bouts to claim a 25-7 overall victory and move to 2-0 on the season. 

They hit the road again on Saturday, Dec. 3, traveling to Milwaukee to compete in the Milwaukee School of Engineering Invitational. Augsburg was one of 18 teams competing at the invitational, and much like in Thursday’s meet, they performed very strongly as a team. The Auggies claimed first place overall in the meet, with 19 wrestlers competing in Milwaukee and 18 of them finishing in the top five of their weight class. Eight Auggies won individual titles at the invitational, and the team scored 174.0 points as a whole. The second place team, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, ended up with a point total of 102.5. The Auggies took part in two meets in one weekend to begin the month of December, and they dominated both of them, proving themselves to be very worthy of their No. 2 national ranking. 

The Auggie women also competed in a high-stakes dual meet on Saturday, Dec. 3. The No. 5 ranked Auggies hit the road to take on the No. 1 North Central (Ill.) Cardinals in La Crosse, WI. Unfortunately for Augsburg, the Cardinals won the meet by a score of 34-9. However, there were a few individual successes for Auggie wrestlers at the meet. Augsburg sophomore Nina Makem, ranked No. 2 in the individual national rankings, defeated North Central’s Yele Aycock in a battle of the top two wrestlers in their weight class. Also claiming victory in their individual bouts for the Auggies were senior Marlynne Deede and sophomore Katie Lange, winning by scores of 10-4 and 6-0 respectively. Although the meet as a whole did not go their way, a few members of the team were able to continue their strong starts to the wrestling season. 

The Augsburg wrestling teams will each travel over winter break to compete in meets just before the calendar turns to 2023. The Auggie men will head down to Florida to compete in the Citrus Invitational on Dec. 29 and 30. The women’s team will travel to Illinois to take part in the Northwestern University Midlands Championships on Dec. 30 and 31.