Wartburg clinches Div III national title by winning 10 of 11 Saturday morning bouts

By Jon Gremmels | March 04, 2006, 1:51 p.m. (ET)
EWING, N.J. - Wartburg won 10 of 11 matches Saturday morning, including a pair of head-to-head semifinal matches against second-place Wisconsin-La Crosse, to clinch its fifth national title at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at The College of New Jersey.

The Knights put six wrestlers into Saturday night's finals - tying the Division III record - and stretched an 11.5-point lead to 134.5-95.

"There's a lot of pressure on the kids, but this round is what we train for," Wartburg coach Jim Miller said. "We talked about this round was going to determined what we are made out of and what people see us as. I was really proud of them for stepping up and getting it done again."

Almost as impressive as Wartburg was defending team champion Augsburg. The Auggies went 8-1 in the morning session and pulled from 18.5 points back to within 10.5 of second place with 84.5 points. Augsburg and UW-La Crosse have three wrestlers each in the finals.

Wartburg actually won 10 matches in a row because freshman Zach McKray was pinned by Dave Morgan of King's at 133 pounds while 125-pounder Tyler Hubbard still was wrestling his semifinal match.

Hubbard (19-0), meanwhile, used takedowns in the second and third period to build a 5-2 lead and then held off Iowa Conference rival Terry Morgan of Loras for a 5-4 victory, starting Wartburg's run of victories. The Knights added five more semifinal wins, along with a pair of consolation wins each for Dustin Bliven at 165 and T.J. Miller at 197, each of whom will wrestle for third place later Saturday afternoon.

In Wartburg's other semifinals:

- Two-time national champion Dustin Hinschberger (40-5) continued his impressive run through the bracket at 141 pounds, using a pair of takedowns and 3 minutes, 18 seconds of riding time to defeat Cortland's Paul LeBlanc in the semifinals.

- Third seed Jacob Naig (33-6) followed by building a 5-0 lead against second-seeded Jason Roush of Mount St. Joseph, then surviving a "cement mixer" move that gave Roush five points in the final 30 seconds. But Naig pulled off a reversal, then added a point for 2:22 of riding time to make it an 8-5 win.

- Second-seeded Scott Kauffman (24-1) won the first of the head-to-head matchups against UW-La Crosse, beating third-seeded Josh Chelf 3-2 at 174. Kauffman led all the way after taking down Chelf a minute into the match.

"It was just a small thing that (assistant coach Dave) Malecek said," Kaufman said. "He said, "We're going to run away with this because I know we can beat them head-to-head, and they are going to take a few other lumps.' It made me breathe a little easier knowing he had that kind of confidence in us."

- Third-seeded Akeem Carter, a two-time national champion at 197 pounds who cut to 184 this season, followed by avenging an early-season loss with an 8-3 victory over La Crosse's Jason Lulloff, the second seed. The key for Carter was getting a three-point near fall early in the second period after a scoreless opening three minutes.

"It was exciting hitting that move," Carter (29-3) said. "One of my former teammates, Mark Sturm, critiqued me on that move and told me a couple of things I could do to set it up."

Carter got in a standing position from the rear, stepped in and hooked a leg, then elevated the bottom leg and stuck in a half-nelson to put Lulloff on his back.

- Top-seeded Blake Gillis completed the Knights' semifinal sweep, beating fifth-seeded Tom Snyder of Lycoming 3-0 at heavyweight. Gillis had a second-period near fall wiped off the scoreboard after a conversation between the officials but got a third-period reversal and a point for riding time for his scoring.

Gillis will face on second-seeded Ryan Allen of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the finals. Gillis (34-3) has beaten Allen twice this year, and two of his losses are against Les Sigman, the three-time NCAA Division II champion from Nebraska-Omaha.

Allen, who has beaten Gillis in the national championship match each of the past two seasons, advanced to the finals with a 2-1 win over sixth-seeded Patrick Bennett of Brockport 2-1.

Allen will be joined in the finals by teammates Jacob Larsen at 149 and Jim Swanson at 197. Larsen, the fourth seed, knocked off defending champion Matt Pyle of Luther 3-2 in the semifinals. With the match tied 1-1, Pyle was in on a shot and had Larsen's leg elevated, but Larsen refused to give in. After finally getting his leg back to the mat and forcing Pyle to release the hold, Larsen shot on Pyle's leg for a takedown with 30 seconds left that decided the match. Swanson used a four-point move in the first period to build a 6-1 lead on his way to a 6-3 victory over Brandon Kelly of Wilkes.

Augsburg's finalists are Jafari Vanier at 133, an unseeded wrestler who beat seventh-seeded John Sheets of Manchester 3-1 on a takedown in overtime; second-seeded Jeremy Anderson at 157; and 2005 national runner-up Ryan Valek at 165.

The remaining finalists are third-seeded Ty Klofta of Ohio Northern at 125, fourth-seeded Mike Lopez of Luther 3-2, second-seeded Dustin Brewer of Simpson at 141, fourth-seeded Joe Pflug of Heidelberg at 157, top-seeded Derek Sikora of Wisconsin-Eau Claire at 165, top-seeded Stephon Sair of Cortland at 174, defending national champion and top seed Duane Bastress of York at 184 and 2005 national runner-up and second seed Jamall Johnson of Delaware Valley at 197.

Of those, Sikora and Sair had the closest calls. Sikora appeared to get a winning takedown with 15 seconds left, but fifth seed Gerald Bowne of York pulled off a reversal as time expired to pull even at 5-5. Sikora then got the winning takedown with 12 seconds left in the one-minute sudden death.

Sair broke a 1-1 tie with Mathias Keib of Ithaca, scoring on a takedown with 24 seconds remaining for a 3-2 win.

NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships Results
The College of New Jersey, Ewing, N.J.

125 pounds
First round -- Tyler Hubbard (Wartburg)-1 dec. John Spinner (Oswego) 5-4; Tom Gagan (Elmhurst)-8 pinned Stephen Kingland (Ursinus) 4:11; Brian Dempsey (The College of New Jersey)-5 dec. Anthony Nicolicchia (Roger Williams) 7-3; Terry Morgan (Loras)-4 pinned Patt Parrillo (Wisconsin-La Crosse) 5:51; Ty Klofta (Ohio Northern)-3 dec. Eracieo Vallejo (Manchester) 7-2; Nate Hansen (Luther)-6 dec. Rob Vaccaro (Brockport) 6-2; Ryan Gadsby (Cortland)-7 pinned Chris Heilman (Cornell) 6:49; Felipe Queiroz (Wilkes) major dec. Brandon McDonough (Johnson & Wales)-2 15-7.
Quarterfinals - Hubbard dec. Gagan 11-4; Morgan dec. Dempsey 5-2; Klofta dec. Hansen 5-4; Queiroz dec. Gadsby 10-6.
Semifinals - Hubbard dec. Morgan 5-4; Klofta dec. Queiroz 10-3.
Consolation first round - Spinner dec. Kingsland 4-2; Nicolicchia major dec. Parillo 12-4; Vaccaro pinned Vallejo 4:27; Heilman dec. McDonough 9-3.
Consolation second round - Spinner dec. Gadsby 3-2; Hansen dec. Nicolicchia 5-1; Dempsey dec. Vaccaro 5-1; Heilman dec. Gagan 13-12.
Consolation quarterfinals - Hansen dec. Spinner 6-2; Dempsey pinned Heilman 4:26.
Consolation semifinals - Hansen pinned Morgan 4:26; Dempsey major dec. Queiroz 16-3.

133 pounds
First round -- Joe Jewett (Oswego)-1 received a bye; Jestin Hulegaard (Buena Vista) dec. Derrick Goduto (Montclair)-8 3-2; Anthony D'Ambra (Brockport)-5 major dec. Sean Cullen (Lycoming) 12-3; Mike Lopez (Luther)-4 pinned Adam Johnson (North Central) 6:23; Matthew Smith (Johnson & Wales)-3 dec. Alantino Keefer (Wilmington) 9-3; David Morgan (King's)-6 vs. Jafari Vanier (Augsburg) 9-3; John Sheets (Manchester)-7 major dec. Kevin Barber (Wisconsin-La Crosse) 13-2; Eddie Murray (Ursinus)-2 dec. Zach McKray (Wartburg) 4-3.
Quarterfinals - Hulegaard dec. Jewett 8-7; Lopez pinned D'Ambra 1:51; Vanier major dec. Smith 19-5; Sheets dec. Murray 19-9.
Semifinals - Lopez dec. Hulegaard 3-2; Vanier dec. Sheets 3-1 sd.
Consolation first round - Goduto received a bye; Johnson dec. Cullen 5-4; Morgan dec. Keefer 5-1; McKray pinned Barber 2:06.
Consolation second round - Goduto dec. Murray 4-3; Johnson major dec. Smith 14-5; Morgan dec. D'Ambra 10-8 sd; McKray dec. Jewett 10-8.
Consolation quarterfinals - Goduto major dec. Johnson 10-2; Morgan pinned McKray 1:59.
Consolation semifinals - Hulegaard dec. Goduto 6-2; Sheets pinned Morgan 2:43.

141 pounds
Preliminary round -- Nick Sanchez (Heidelberg) dec. Ryan McMurray (Augustana) 3-1; Kevin Koch (Concordia, Wis.) dec. Eugene Kobilansky (NYU) 6-2; Dan Hall (Delaware Valley) dec. Mike Gaeta (Springfield)-3 8-6; Garrett Pino (Wabash) dec. Josh Hansen (Augsburg)-7 9-5.
First round Dustin Hinschberger (Wartburg)-1 pinned Sanchez 4:25; Andrew Lacroix (Roger Williams) dec. Joel Burdick (Wisconsin-Stevens Point)-8 7-3; Danny Song (Kings Point USMMA)-5 dec. Koch 3-2; Paul LeBlanc (Cortland)-4 beat Niles Mercer (Coe); Timothy Bohlman (York) dec. Hall 6-0; Zach Chambers (Wisconsin-Platteville)-6 pinned Dave Paramski (Cornell) 3:44; Mike Rohowetz (Wisconsin-La Crosse) dec. Pino 10-6; Dustin Brewer (Simpson)-2 dec. Mike Conklin (Norwich) 11-7.
Quarterfinals - Hinschberger major dec. Lacroix 10-1; LeBlanc dec. Song 4-2; Bohlman dec. Chambers 12-5; Brewer pinned Rohowetz 10-6.
Semifinals - Hinschberger dec. LeBlanc 5-1; Brewer pinned Bohlman 3:55.
Consolation preliminary round - Conklin pinned McMurray 1:09; Paramski dec. Kobilansky 7-4; Gaeta dec. Mercer 12-6; Burdick dec. Hansen 6-4 sd.
Consolation first round -- Conklin pinned Pino 2:06; Hall dec. Paramski 3-0; Gaeta dec. Koch 5-4; Burdick dec. Sanchez 10-5.
Consolation second round - Song dec. Conklin 8-6; Lacroix major dec. Hall 10-1; Gaeta dec. Rohowetz 7-2; Burdick dec. Chambers 11-9.
Consolation quarterfinals - Lacroix pinned Song 6:05; Gaeta dec. Burdick 8-5.
Consolation semifinals - Lacroix dec. Bohlman 2-1; LeBlanc dec. Gaeta 3-2.

149 pounds
Preliminary round - Don Ooten (Brockport) dec. Brian Boland (Ursinus) 3-0.
First round -- Matt Pyle (Luther)-1 dec. Dane LaPlante (Oswego) 12-6; Carl Amerine (Wilmington)-8 pinned Mark DeCiccio (Springfield) 4:33; Jake Larsen (Wisconsin-La Crosse)-5 major dec. Jaryd Steinbacher (Delaware Valley) 11-3; Kyle Forness (Buena Vista) dec. Jared Evans (Augsburg)-4 4-3; Jacob Naig (Wartburg)-3 dec. Kenny Thomas (Elmhurst) 6-1; Sean Connelly (Mount Union) dec. Stephen Hult (NYU)-6 10-8; Jared Creason (Coe)-7 dec. Ooton 6-3; Jason Roush (Mount St. Joseph)-2 dec. Ryan Higgins (Wisconsin-Platteville) 12-6.
Quarterfinals - Pule dec. Amerine 7-3; Larsen dec. Forness 5-3; Naig dec. Connelly 1-0; Roush dec. Creason 11-6.
Semifinals - Larsen dec. Pyle 3-2; Naig dec. Roush 8-5.
Consolation preliminary round - DeCiccio dec. Boland 10-4.
Consolation first round - Ooton dec. Higgins 7-1; Hult major dec. Thomas 12-3; Evans dec. Steinbacher 5-1; LaPlante dec. DeCiccio 8-7.
Consolation second round - Ooton dec. Forness 12-5; Amerine dec. Hult 2-1; Evans dec. Creason 4-2; Connelly dec. LaPlante 12-5.
Consolation quarterfinals - Amerine dec. Ooton 4-3; Evans dec. Connelly 5-2.
Consolation semifinals - Roush dec. Amerine 3-2; Evans dec. Pyle 7-6.

157 pounds
First round -- Joey Galante (The College of New Jersey)-1 dec. Michael Kemble (Thiel) 6-2; Ross Needham (Wisconsin-La Crosse)-8 dec. Nate VanDyke (Luther) 6-2; Jacob Malone (St. John's) pinned Shaheem Bradshaw (Brockport) 2:35; Joe Pflug (Heidelberg)-4 major dec. Dale Mills (Muhlenberg) 15-4; Robert Gingerich (North Central)-3 dec. Daniel DeLalla (Wesleyan) 13-7; Brad Bishop (Loras)-6 dec. Ryan Herwig (Delaware Valley) 6-3; Elliot Spence (Mount St. Joseph)-7 received a bye; Jeremy Anderson (Augsburg)-2 dec. Joseph Duca (Ithaca) 9-4.
Quarterfinals - Needham dec. Galante 3-1 sd; Pflug dec. Malone 5-2; Gingerich dec. Bishop 8-3; Anderson dec. Spence 8-3.
Semifinals - Pflug major dec. Needham 12-4; Anderson dec. Gingerich 7-5.
Consolation first round - Kemble dec. VanDyke 8-6; Bradshaw dec. Mills 13-9; Herwig pinned Herwig 1:26; Duca received a bye.
Consolation second round - Spence pinned Kemble 2:01; Bradshaw dec. Bishop 6-4 sd; Malone dec. Herwig 6-0; Duca dec. Galante 7-3.
Consolation quarterfinals - Bradshaw dec. Spence 7-6 tb1; Malone dec. Duca 3-2.
Consolation semifinals - Needham dec. Bradshaw 3-0; Malone dec. Gingerich 2-1.

165 pounds
First round -- Derek Sikora (Wisconsin-Eau Claire)-1 major dec. Steve Martell (Johnson & Wales) 8-0; Dustin Bliven (Wartburg)-8 dec. Brian Daly (Augustana) 3-1; Gerald Bowne (York)-5 pinned Brandon MacWhinnie (Stevens) 2:25; Corey Murphy (Thiel)-4 received a bye; Tim Maxworthy (Heidelberg) pinned Tony Howard (McDaniel)-3 6:56; Scott Dorn (Wisconsin-La Crosse)-6 dec. Cole Williams (Dubuque) 5-4; Don Williams (Brockport) dec. Derek Ricker (Messiah)-7 3-2; Ryan Valek (Augsburg)-2 received a bye.
Quarterfinals - Sikora dec. Bliven 10-5; Bowne pinned Murphy 4:45; Maxworthy dec. Dorn 4-2 sd; Valek major dec. D. Williams 9-0.
Semifinals - Sikora dec. Bowne 7-5 sd; Valek pinned Maxworthy 2:34.
Consolation first round - Martell dec. Daly 10-3; MacWhinnie received a bye; Howard dec. C. Williams 3-2; Ricker received a bye.
Consolation second round - Martell dec. D. Williams 3-2; Dorn dec. MacWhinnie 3-2; Howard dec. Murphy 13-7; Bliven dec. Ricker 5-3.
Consolation quarterfinals - Martell dec. Dorn 6-3; Bliven pinned Howard 4:42.
Consolation semifinals - Martell dec. Bowne 4-2; Bliven won by injury default over Maxworthy.

174 pounds
First round -- Stephon Sair (Cortland)-1 major dec. Derek Crane (Lycoming) 12-2; Josh Rupprecht (Elmhurst)-8 dec. Timmy Miller (Ohio Northern) 11-5; Mathias Keib (Ithaca)-5 dec. Cody Downing (Simpson) 4-2 tb; Jon Dolan (Williams)-4 dec. Tim Kelly (Mount St. Joseph) 9-2; Josh Chelf (Wisconsin-La Crosse)-3 dec. Jeffrey Harrington (The College of New Jersey) 6-2; Robbie Gotreau (Augsburg)-6 dec. David Krause (Johns Hopkins) 7-1; Al Stacilauskas (Wisconsin-Stevens Point)-7 dec. Ryan Hagerty (Loras) 4-2 sd2; Scott Kauffman (Wartburg)-2 received a bye.
Quarterfinals - Sair dec. Rupprecht 11-5; Keib major dec. Dolan 12-3; Chelf dec. Gotreau 4-2 sd2; Kauffman dec. Stacilauskas 16-9.
Semifinals - Sair dec. Keib 3-2; Kauffman dec. Chelf 3-2.
Consolation first round - Crane dec. Miller 8-6 sd; Kelly dec. Downing 5-3 sd; Harrington dec. Kraus 11-5; Hagerty received a bye.
Consolation second round - Stacilauskas dec. Crane 6-1; Gotreau dec. Kelly 10-5; Dolan dec. Harrington 6-5; Hagerty dec. Rupprecht 4-3.
Consolation quarterfinals - Gotreau dec. Stacilauskas 7-3; Dolan dec. Hagerty 1-0.
Consolation semifinals - Gotreau dec. Keib 6-4 sd; Chelf pinned Dolan :48.

184 pounds
First round -- Duane Bastress (York)-1 dec. Ben Dictus (Lawrence) 11-3; Michael Troutman (Ursinus)-8 received a bye; Robert Stubbs (Ithaca)-5 pinned Mitch Hager (Loras) 5:30; Brad Tupa (Augsburg)-4 dec. Ben Plowman (Ohio Northern) 4-2; Akeem Carter (Wartburg)-3 dec. Mike Berlanda (Delaware Valley) 6-2; Dan Willaert (St. John's)-6 dec. Zack Weinrich (Roger Williams) 9-4; Terry Madden (Hunter)-7 won by technical fall over Ryan Newberry (Olivet) 19-2, 6:11; Jason Lulloff (Wisconsin-La Crosse)-2 received a bye.
Quarterfinals - Bastress dec. Troutman 7-5; Tupa dec. Stubbs 5-2; Carter major dec. Willaert 15-7; Lulloff dec. Madden 9-3.
Semifinals - Bastress dec. Tupa 11-4; Carter dec. Lulloff 8-3.
Consolation first round - Dictus received a bye; Hager dec. Plowman 5-0; Weinrich dec. Berlanda 6-5; Newberry received a bye.
Consolation second round - Madden major dec. Dictus 15-6; Willaert dec. Hager 6-5; Stubbs dec. Weinrich 10-7; Troutman dec. Newberry 5-2.
Consolation quarterfinals - Madden dec. Willaert 13-6; Troutman dec. Stubbs 10-3.
Consolation semifinals - Tupa major dec. Madden 10-2; Lulloff dec. Troutman 7-1.

197 pounds
Preliminary round - Dan Fiecke (St. John's dec. Jeffrey Wright (Olivet) 6-4.
First round -- T.J. Miller (Wartburg)-1 dec. Dan Fiecke (St. John's) 4-2; Brandon Kelly (Wilkes) major dec. Ben Strandberg (Buena Vista)-8 19-9; Matthew Chrzanarski (York) pinned Mike Cabe (Coe)-5 6:53; Jim Swanson (Wisconsin-La Crosse)-4 dec. Zach Greenberg (Rochester) 4-3; Matthew Loesch (Muhlenberg)-3 dec. Jason Leckey (Springfield) 7-2; Dustin Docter (North Central)-6 dec. Alex Bonander (Luther) 3-2; Jason Figgins (Loras) dec. Devin Carman (Baldwin-Wallace)-7 6-4; Jamall Johnson (Delaware Valley)-2 won by technical fall over Nicholas Calandrino (Ithaca) 18-2, 6:30.
Quarterfinals - Kelly dec. Miller 3-1 sd; Swanson dec. Chrzanarski 7-2; Loesch dec. 4-2 sd; Johnson pinned Figgins 2:43.
Semifinals - Swanson dec. Kelly 6-3; Johnson pinned Loesch :26.
Consolation preliminary round - Calandrino pinned Wright :52.
Consolation first round - Carman dec. Calandrino 10-6; Bonander won by technical fall over Leckey 16-0, 5:20; McCabe dec. Greenberg 5-0; Strandberg dec. Fiecke 10-5.
Consolation second round - Chrzanarski dec. Carman 17-11; Miller dec. Bonander 6-1; McCabe dec. Figgins 1-0; Docter dec. Strandberg 7-5 sd.
Consolation quarterfinals - Miller dec. Chrzanarski 5-4; McCabe dec. Docter 3-1.
Consolation semifinals - Miller won by technical fall over Loesch 15-0, 2:12; Kelly pinned McCabe 1:35.

285 pounds
Preliminary round -- Ryan Allen (Wisconsin-La Crosse)-2 pinned Bryan Morgan (Millikin) 1:00.
First round -- Blake Gillis (Wartburg)-1 pinned Ryan Rozek (Wisconsin-Platteville) 2:41; Ward Brady (Elmhurst)-8 dec. William Beiermeister (Montclair) 4-3; Tom Snyder (Lycoming)-5 dec. Bryan Kmetz (Baldwin-Wallace) 2-1 tb; Trevor Hiffa (Oneonta) dec. Mike Hayes (Wisconsin-Stevens Point)-4 3-1; Mike Blair (Trinity)-3 won by technical fall over Michael Pattanite (Gettysburg) 15-0, 4:14; Pat Bennett (Brockport)-6 dec. John Miller (Luther) 17-13; Keith Bjorhus (The College of New Jersey) dec. Brett Christensen (Simpson)-7 vs. Keith Bjorhus (The College of New Jersey) 5-2; Allen major dec. Andrew Neumann (Augsburg) 13-5.
Quarterfinals - Gillis dec. Brady 5-1; Snyder dec. Hiffa 6-2; Bennett dec. Blair 9-7; Allen dec. Bjorhus 14-7.
Semifinals - Gillis dec. Snyder 3-0; Allen dec. Bennett 2-1.
Consolation preliminary round - Rozek pinned Morgan 4:54.
Consolation first round - Christensen dec. Neumann 7-3; Miller pinned Pattanite 1:08; Hayes pinned Kmetz 5:22; Rozek dec. Beiermeister 6-4.
Consolation second round - Christensen dec. Hiffa 4-0; Miller pinned Brady 2:11; Hayes pinned Bjorhus 6:53; Blair dec. Rozek 7-1.
Consolation quarterfinals - Christensen pinned Miller 2:59; Hayes pinned Blair 7-5.
Consolation semifinals - Bennett dec. Christensen 4-3; Hayes dec. Snyder 12-10 sd.