Auggie Wrestling Dominates Top Competition
Jacob Willis, contributor
The Augsburg Mens and Womens Wrestling programs have been incredibly dominant all year long. Augsburg’s men’s team claimed the DIII National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals Tournament title on Jan. 7. The following Saturday, Jan. 14, the Auggie men took second overall out of 15 teams at the Cornell College Invitational in Mount Vernon, IA.
The Augsburg men’s team sits atop the NWCA national rankings as of the most recent poll released on Wednesday, Jan. 18. With no more ranked opponents left on the schedule, it is very possible for the team to finish the regular season with a perfect dual-meet record. Regardless of how the regular season finishes for the Auggies, this is a scary team headed into regionals, and it feels like another Mens Wrestling national championship could be on the horizon.
Augsburg’s Womens Wrestling team has displayed much of the same dominance as the Auggie men, with a recent three-match winning streak that was set at the NWCA national tournament. The Auggies took down three top 20 ranked teams, two of which are ranked in the top 10. Augsburg’s women’s team has shown no mercy to nationally ranked teams this year, even defeating Limestone University, which is a Division II school. Of course, being a nationally ranked team themselves (fifth in the country), the Augsburg Womens Wrestling team has earned the right to be one of the most feared teams in the nation late in the season.
This kind of success from the Augsburg wrestling programs is nothing new and should come as no surprise. What should come as a bit of a surprise however, is the way the Auggie wrestling programs have emerged out of the COVID years as strong as ever, seeming to not miss a beat from previous seasons. Everyone is aware of how tough the pandemic has been, and everything seemed to take a pause. College athletics is no exception. Not being able to compete in 2020 and having a reduced season in 2021 did nothing good for the physical and mental health of athletes and coaches. COVID could have been especially tough on wrestlers specifically because of the incredible amount of conditioning one would need to be able to stay competitive. Speaking as a former wrestler myself, there is really no substitute for being in the wrestling room and getting a good hard scrap in with a teammate. It’s a necessary component of the sport. It is nothing short of incredible that after two years of reduced or no competition, the Auggies have come out of the gates looking like they never missed a beat. Augsburg University has a wrestling program that should be recognized as the highest example of success at the collegiate level on both the men’s and women’s sides.