Can Wartburg really be considered the underdog ever? Wartburg only returned two of nine NCAA qualifiers this season so in the eyes of national media sites they had a lot to prove. Wartburg is not used to being outside of the team and individual rankings and that left a lot of people on the Wartburg roster with a bad taste in their mouth. A competitive program always has to rebuild and Wartburg has done just that with seven wrestlers now ranked in the top ten.
Saturday, Wartburg Knights earned their fifth straight and 10th overall NWCA National Duals championship. Friday was no easy task on paper but Wartburg dismantled #23 Olivet 31-6 and #8 Coe 31-6 to earn their spot in the semifinals. After knocking off two nationally ranked teams on day one, it was looking like a national championship would not come easy having to knock off #3 Wabash and #1 Wis.-Whitewater.
How did it all go down? Here is your semifinal and final match breakdown vs #3 Wabash and #1 Wis.-Whitewater
Semifinal Match vs #3 Wabash 34-9
125 – Jake Agnitsch (Wartburg) over AJ Belden (Wabash) TB-1 3-2
133 – Connor Campo (Wartburg) over Chandler Moore (Wabash) TF 19-4
141 – Kaz Onoo (Wartburg) over Devin Broukal (Wabash) Fall 0:25
149 – Kenneth Martin (Wartburg) over Nick Bova (Wabash) Maj 14-6
157 – Reece Lefever (Wabash) over Drew Wagenhoffer (Wartburg) Dec 4-3
165 – Andrew Steiert (Wartburg) over Chanc Ravish (Wabash) Maj 13-3
174 – Conner Lefever (Wabash) over Brandon Welter (Wartburg) Dec 7-6
184 – Riley Lefever (Wabash) over Devin Peterson (Wartburg) Dec 6-3
197 – Gerard Roman (Wartburg) over Brett Thumm (Wabash) Fall 4:56
285 – Benjamin Nagle (Wartburg) over Jake Barclay (Wabash) Fall 2:16
Championship Match vs #1 Wis.-Whitewater 20-13
125 – Jake Agnitsch (Wartburg) over Zac Denny (Wisconsin-Whitewater) Dec 9-5
133 – Connor Campo (Wartburg) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
141 – Matt Adcock (Wisconsin-Whitewater) over Kaz Onoo (Wartburg) SV-1 10-6
149 – Kenneth Martin (Wartburg) over Elroy Perkin (Wisconsin-Whitewater) Dec 4-3
157 – Tom Gerszewski (Wisconsin-Whitewater) over Drew Wagenhoffer (Wartburg) Dec 5-2
165 – Andrew Steiert (Wartburg) over Tyler Becker (Wisconsin-Whitewater) Dec 11-4
174 – Brandon Welter (Wartburg) over Jordan Newman (Wisconsin-Whitewater) Dec 5-3
184 – Ryan Aprahamian (Wisconsin-Whitewater) over Devin Peterson (Wartburg) Dec 9-7
197 – Shane Siefert (Wisconsin-Whitewater) over Bryan Levsen (Wartburg) Maj 11-2
285 – Benjamin Nagle (Wartburg) over Anthony Edgren (Wisconsin-Whitewater) Dec 5-2
Wartburg’s team score was adjusted by -1.000 for unsportsmanlike conduct on coaching staff
Kenny Martin had the upset of the dual at 149lbs. Kenny came from behind to pick up a late 3rd period takedown ride out to knock off the #2 ranked Elroy Perkin.
“Coming from behind, going and getting that takedown when it mattered and them riding him out, that was hard. He sucked it up and out-fought that guy.” – Coach Eric Keller
The Wartburg Knights will look to make this their stepping stone to prepare to win their 23rd consecutive Iowa Conference Championship and their 12th NCAA DIII National Championship. The Knights are back on top!
Wartburg takes on IIAC conference foe, #19 Luther Friday Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m and then turn to the Cornell invite on Saturday at 9 A.M..
Kenny Martin, Ben Nagle & Coach Keller interview
National Championship Presentation
Final NWCA Division III National Duals Standings
5. Wis.-La Crosse
7. Mount Union