Mens Wrestling is Battling for Back to Back Championships
Devin Schelske, sports editor
The defending national champion Augsburg men’s wrestling team is stacked with talent going into the new season. Nine wrestlers are ranked individually while the team is ranked number one overall. The only wrestler from last season’s starting lineup that will not be returning due to graduation is Tyler Shilson who was the national runner up in the 157 pound weight class in the division three level. The other nine wrestlers of the 10 starters from the 2022-2023 season are returning for a chance at back to back team championships. Augsburg also consistently boasts an intense strength of schedule. Of the seven duals scheduled for the Auggies, the National Wrestling Coaches Association has four of those teams ranked in the top 25. The biggest matchup of the year will be the Battle of the Burgs in Si Melby Hall on Jan. 26. Augsburg will duel Wartburg, who have a preseason ranking of number two in the nation, for “the belt,” the dual’s traveling trophy. This year, Augsburg looks to extinguish the six dual losing streak against the Knights.
The NWCA has junior Derek Steele ranked 14 in the 125 pound weight class, senior Sam Stuhl ranked first in the 141 pound weight class, junior Charlie Stuhl ranked at fifth in the 149 pound weight class, junior Blake Jagodzinske ranked 10 in the 157 pound weight class, sophomore Cooper Willis ranked fourth in the 165 pound weight class, junior Seth Goetzinger ranked sixth in the 174 pound weight class, senior Bentley Schwanbeck-Ostermann ranked first in the 184 pound weight class, junior Parker Venz ranked seventh in the 197 pound weight class and senior Tyler Kim ranked first in the 285 pound weight class.
For the Auggies, it’s hard to pick just one wrestler to watch of all the top tier talent on the team. However, the edge would have to be given to fifth-year seniors Tyler Kim and Bentley Schwanbeck-Ostermann for their dedication to the team. Both wrestlers are ranked number one in their weight class and have been with the Auggie wrestling program since the 2019-2020 season. Kim has an individual record of 106-22 and in those matches he has recorded 51 pins, five technical falls and 11 major decisions. In the 2022-2023 season he finished in third at the NCAA division three national championships and is currently a three time NWCA All-American. Schwanbeck-Ostermann has an individual record of 82-28 and in those matches he has recorded 20 pins, seven technical falls and 18 major decisions. In the 2022-2023 season he finished in fourth place at the NCAA division three national championships and is also currently a three-time NWCA All-American.
The Auggies begin their season on Nov. 11 at the Luther College Open in Decorah, Iowa. You can see the Auggies wrestle at their first home meet, the Augsburg University Invitational, on Nov. 18 in Si Melby Hall.