NATIONAL DUALS DAY 1 NOTES No 1 Wartburg turns in dominating performance on first day

By Craig Sesker | Jan. 14, 2008, 9:51 a.m. (ET)
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - You won't see a performance much more dominating than the one the Wartburg College Knights put on Saturday.

The top-seeded team in NCAA Division III rolled to a pair of shutout wins in the first two rounds of the National Duals, blanking Wisconsin-Oshkosh 52-0 before blitzing Olivet College 47-0 in the quarterfinals.

Wartburg scored bonus points in 15 of its 20 matches, recording 10 falls. The Knights will face No. 4 Delaware Valley in Sunday morning's semifinals.

"We just love competing in this event," Wartburg coach Jim Miller said. "This is an awesome tournament in a great facility with so many great wrestlers and teams competing. How can you not be excited about competing in something like this?"

Wartburg, whose campus is located just 15 miles north of the UNI-Dome in Waverly, Iowa, has won the Division III National Duals in three of the six years it has been held at their level. Augsburg, the No. 2 seed, has won the other three.

"I feel pretty good about how we're progressing this year," Miller said. "We're obviously not where we need to be yet, but we're getting there. We just need to keep taking positive steps forward."

Augsburg advanced to meet Wisconsin-La Crosse in Sunday's other semifinal.

It's been the Battle of the Burgs in each year in the finals of the D-III National Duals since it started in 2002. The teams have met in the finals each year. Augsburg beat Wartburg in the finals last year.

Miller continues to field strong teams year after year in Waverly.

"It's great trying to help kids reach their dreams," Miller said. "It's been a great experience and I've enjoyed it tremendously."

The National Duals also provide exposure to the top teams in Division III before the NCAA Division III Championships in March.

"Obviously, this is real important because the best teams in America are here," Miller said. "This is an event you always put on your calendar because this is one you really want to do well at."

Division II report: Top two seeds from Nebraska reach semifinals

Top-seeded Nebraska-Kearney remains alive in its quest to win the Division II National Duals for the third time in the last six years.

The Lopers, the returning champions of this event, needed a pin by national champion Tervel Dlagnev at heavyweight to pull out a 19-18 win over No. 8 Western State in Saturday afternoon's quarterfinals.

Nebraska-Kearney is missing four starters from its lineup. The Lopers will meet No. 4 Minnesota State-Mankato in Sunday morning's semifinals.

Second-seeded Nebraska-Omaha survived a scare of its own in the first round in rallying past Mercyhurst 21-13. The Mavericks were down 13-3 in the dual. Mercyhurst's Brian Pogel, ranked fifth, upset returning national champion and top-ranked Todd Meneely of UNO 11-3 at 149.

Nebraska-Omaha followed with a 37-6 win over Minnesota State-Moorhead in the quarterfinals. UNO now faces No. 3 Central Oklahoma, the returning NCAA Division II tournament champion, in the semifinals.

Returning champion Lindenwood advances in NAIA

In the NAIA ranks, Lindenwood and Dickinson State will meet in one semifinal with Great Falls and McKendree battling in the other semifinal dual on Sunday. Lindenwood won this event in 2007.

In Junior College, St. Louis-Meramec will face Harper College in one semifinal. Labette will wrestle Iowa Central in the other semifinal.

Tickets still available for Sunday

Plenty of tickets are still available for Sunday's second and final day of the event.

Wrestling resumes at 9 a.m. Sunday at the UNI-Dome. The semifinals in all college divisions are set for 11 a.m. with the finals scheduled for 3 p.m.