CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Eleven-time national champion Augsburg College will have eight wrestlers competing at the NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships this Friday and Saturday (3/15-16) at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Action begins at 11 a.m. on Friday with preliminary rounds, and quarterfinal and wrestleback action at 6 p.m. On Saturday, action continues at 10 a.m. with championship semifinals, consolation action and placing matches for third, fifth and seventh places. Parade of All-Americans will be at 6:30 p.m., with the championship matches scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Augsburg NCAA Division III National Championships page: http://athletics.augsburg.edu/news/2013/3/12/
Eight Augsburg wrestlers will compete at the national championships. Augsburg had two weight-class champions at the NCAA West Regional on March 2 — top-ranked heavyweight and defending national champion Chad Johnson (JR, Ferryville, Wis./De Soto HS) and Matt Hechsel (SO, Apple Valley, Minn.). Tossaporn “Boyd” Suparat (SR, North Branch, Minn.) finished second at 133 pounds, and five Auggies finished in third place in their weight classes — 125-pounder Mike Fuenffinger (SO, Hibbing, Minn.), 141-pounder Tom Kuehn (SO, Fargo, N.D./West Fargo HS), 157-pounder Kurt Knutsen (SO, Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley HS), 165-pounder Justin Bowland (JR, Foley, Minn.) and 174-pounder Josh Kohler (SR, Monticello, Minn.).
Augsburg has a chance to extend one of the longest trophy streaks in NCAA wrestling history this season. The top four teams at the national tournament receive NCAA trophies, and Augsburg has earned one with a top-four finish every year since 1989, a 24-year streak that is the longest active streak in NCAA wrestling among all divisions, and the second-longest streak in NCAA wrestling history, behind the 29 of Oklahoma State from 1928-59. Augsburg’s 26 top-four finishes in NCAA tournament competition are the fifth-most in NCAA wrestling history, and the most among non-Division I wrestling programs.
Depth has always been a hallmark of the Augsburg wrestling program, and that has shown in the number of All-Americans– finishers in the top eight of each weight class– that the team has had. Augsburg has earned at least five All-Americans every year since 1989. Augsburg has had at least one All-American in national competition every year since 1977 — 36 straight years. Augsburg has earned 217 wrestling All-Americans in program history.
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A total of 21 wrestlers from Minnesota colleges will compete at the Division III national tournament this weekend. Concordia-Moorhead has six qualifiers: 125-pounder Will McCarthy, 133-pounder Jacoby Bergeron, 149-pounder Jacob Long, 157-pounder Kevin Fynboh, 197-pounder Nathan Schmitz and heavyweight Tom Bouressa. St. John’s also has six qualifiers: 149-pounder Chris Stevermer, 157-pounder Ryan Arne, 165-pounder Nicholas Schuler, 184-pounder Mitch Hagen, 197-pounder Ryan Michaelis and heavyweight John Scepaniak. St. Olaf has one qualifier, 174-pounder James Roach.