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News Archives - 2007

Augsburg wrestling team wins 10th NCAA Division III national title

March 3, 2007

Claiming three individual national titles and making collegiate wrestling history for one of its wrestlers in the process, the Augsburg College wrestling team won its record-10th NCAA Division III national championship in the last 17 seasons with a dominating performance in the tournament, completed on Saturday evening at the Five Flags Center.

With nine All-Americans, including three titlists and two runners-up, Augsburg finished with 135.5 points, 36 points ahead of second-place Wartburg (Iowa), the defending national champion, with 99.5 points. Wisconsin-La Crosse finished in third with 92.5 points, Luther (Iowa) finished fourth with 86.0 points and the College of New Jersey finished fifth with 46.5 points.

Augsburg head coach Jeff Swenson was named National Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, the sixth time he has earned the honor in his 25-season career.

Augsburg's Marcus LeVesseur (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./Bloomington Kennedy HS) became the first Division III wrestler ever to win four national titles, and the second college wrestler ever to finish his career unbeaten and untied. In the 165-pound national championship match, LeVesseur closed his career with a 3-0, shutout victory over Mike Guenther of the College of New Jersey.

Starting the second period in the "down" position, LeVesseur scored an escape eight seconds into the period, then scored a takedown 54 seconds into the period for the only scoring of the match. Earlier in the day, LeVesseur claimed his third straight extra-point victory with a 10-2, major-decision triumph over Jason Knipp of Wartburg. He had a pin and technical fall in his two matches on Saturday.

LeVesseur, who won Division III national titles at 157 pounds three times (2003, 2004, 2005), finished his senior season at 30-0, and his collegiate career at 155-0, the second-longest winning streak in college wrestling history. Cael Sanderson went 159-0 during his career at Iowa State from 1998-2002, winning four Division I national titles.

"Unbelievable, wow, unbelieveable," LeVesseur said. "I stayed focused with my regular pre-match routine, and I just took care of me and that was the biggest focus for this match -- just not to get over whelmed by the hype and the pressure and just take care of me."

LeVesseur became the seventh wrestler in NCAA history to win four national titles competing in one division, and the eighth to win four or more national titles. In Division I history, Sanderson and Pat Smith of Oklahoma State (1990-92, 1994) accomplished the feat, while in Division II, Les Sigman of Nebraska-Omaha (2003-06), Cole Province of Central Oklahoma (2001-04), Dan Russell of Portland (Ore.) State (1988-91) and Tim Wright of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (1984-87) won four national titles apiece. Carleton Haselrig of Pitt-Johnstown (Pa., 1987-89) won six national titles -- three each in Division II and Division I, when lower-division champion wrestlers were able to compete in the Division I championships. Six wrestlers have accomplished the four-championship feat in NAIA history.

Quincy Osborn (Jr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) claimed his first national championship, scoring a 7-3 win over Ricky LaForge in the 141-pound title bout. Osborn overcame an early takedown and scored six consecutive points, with an escape, two-point near-fall in the second period, a takedown in the third period, and a stalling penalty point.

Osborn finished his first season as an Auggie with a 44-3 record, completing his third national tournament appearance. As a Division I wrestler at the University of Minnesota, he competed in national tournaments in both 2004 and 2005. Osborn, who is now 104-35 in his collegiate career, scored a 15-3 triumph over Mike Gaeta of Springfield (Mass.) in the semifinals earlier in the day.

"Pretty good! We won the team title, so that was really important before this round for us. We lost a couple in the finals, but other than that, I feel really good about it," Osborn said.

Jeremy Anderson (Jr., Thief River Falls, Minn.) also earned his first national championship, completing his second All-American season with a 5-2 win over Joe Galante of the College of New Jersey in the title bout at 157 pounds. Tied at 2-2, Anderson scored a takedown 38 seconds into the third period and collected a riding-time bonus point for the final margin of victory.

Anderson, who was a national runner-up last season, finished his junior campaign at 39-2 overall and his 83-5 in his two seasons as an Auggie. He scored a 7-3 win over Bobby Gingerich of North Central (Ill.), his second win over Gingerich this season, in the semifinals.

"Amazing," Anderson said. "I spent my whole summer working for this goal, specifically, and I'm so happy it finally came."

At 133, Jafari Vanier (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn./Bloomington Kennedy HS) repeated his second-place finish from a year ago, falling 4-3 in the finals to Dave Morgan of Kings (Pa.). After a scoreless first period, Morgan took a 1-0 lead on an escape in the second period. Vanier tied the match at 2-2 with an escape early in the third period, but Morgan scored the eventual match-winning points on a takedown with 55 seconds left. Vanier escaped shortly after, but could not score again.

Vanier, who also was a junior college national runner-up in 2002 at Iowa Central Community College, finished his season at 20-2. He is 39-5 in his two seasons as an Auggie. Earlier in the day, Vanier claimed a 7-5 win over Jestin Hulegaard of Buena Vista (Iowa) in the semifinals.

Seth Flodeen (So., Cannon Falls, Minn.) fell in his first national finals appearance at 125 pounds, 3-2 to Nate Hansen of Luther (Iowa). Hansen scored a takedown in the first period, and after Flodeen used two escapes to tie the match, Hansen scored an escape with 1:10 remaining in the third period to take the lead. Flodeen ended his season at 25-5 overall, and is 53-20 in his Auggie career. Earlier in the day, Flodeen scored a 14-7 triumph over Brandon McDonough of Johnson and Wales (R.I.) in the semifinals.

At 149, Jared Evans (Sr., Blue Earth, Minn./Blue Earth Area HS), a three-time All-American, closed out his career with his second straight fourth-place finish. He dropped a 6-3 decision to Joe Pflug of Heidelberg (Ohio) in the third-place match, closing his season at 37-5 overall and 139-37 in his Auggie career. Evans finished seventh nationally in 2005 and fourth in 2006. Earlier in the day, Evans suffered a 2-1 loss to Jason Roush of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) in the semifinals, but scored a 4-0 win over Don Octon of Brockport State (N.Y.) in the wrestleback semifinals to reach the third-place match.

At 174, Robbie Gotreau (Jr., Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson HS) finished fifth, claiming a 2-1 win over Andrew Winfield of McDaniel (Md.). Gotreau, who finished fourth nationally last year, finished his junior campaign at 41-6 overall and is 109-26 in his career. Earlier in the day, he dropped his semifinal match 8-5 to Kyle Vanderhyde of Olivet (Mich.). In the wrestleback semifinals, Eric Bath of Wisconsin-Stevens Point avenged an earlier loss to Gotreau with a 6-4 victory, dropping Gotreau to the fifth-place match.

Heavyweight Andrew Neumann (Sr., Somerset, Wis.), in his second national tournament, finished fifth overall with a 9-2 win over Arkadiy Levitin of Hunter (N.Y.). Neuman finished his career at 93-40, including 39-10 this season. After scoring a 3:27 pin of Kyle Brown of Thiel (Pa.) in his opening match on Saturday, he suffered his second loss of the tournament to Trevor Hiffa of Oneonta State (N.Y.), falling 7-2 in the wrestleback semifinals.

At 197, Wally O'Connor (Jr., Oshkosh, Wis./Oshkosh West HS) finished eighth, dropping a 10-4 decision to Philip Archer of Cortland State (N.Y.). O'Connor, who finished 21-17 on the season, was pinned in his other match in the Saturday session, in 1:46 by Jason Reilly of Kings (Pa.).

The nine All-American performance marked the fourth time in school history that Augsburg has claimed nine or more All-Americans; the Auggies also had nine All-Americans in 1998 and 2004, and had All-Americans in all 10 weight classes in 2005. Augsburg has had five or more All-Americans every season since 1989.

Augsburg has finished among the top two teams in national competition 19 times since 1975, has finished among the top four nationally the last 19 seasons in a row (the only NCAA school in any division that can make that claim), and has finished in the top 20 nationally every season since 1971 (NCAA from 1983 to present, NAIA pre-1983).

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