The final round didn’t go quite as Wartburg would have liked, but they did take the first place trophy back to Waverly at the end of the night. The matches that they dropped were all close battles, three loses came by two points, and the other by just one. At the end of the day though the Knights finish with 129.5 points, 29.5 ahead of second-place Messiah, to take home the National Championship.
The Knights crowned one champion during the finals at the U.S. Cellular Center. 149 pounder Kenny Martin led things off, hitting a couple of blast doubles against Cornell College’s Trevor Engle on his way to a 7-5 decsion win. The win gave Martin his second NCAA Championship in as many tries.
“It’s what I practice the most,” Martin said after his match of his double-leg attack. “It’s my go-to move, comes in when it counts.” You can listen to Martin below for his other thoughts on his match and for his take on his teams effort this weekend.
The first champion form an Iowa school came not from Wartburg, but from Luther in Drew Van Anrooy. The number one seed came into the finals up against the number two seed Jimmy Nehls from Elmhurst. Van Anrooy put on a tough ride in the first period, building up over two minutes of riding time, and really wore Nehls out for the second and third periods. He scored a takedown and a four-point nearfall to cruse to his 10-2 National Championship victory. You can hear his thoughts on the match, and a very stylish mullet, below
The Knights came in with finalists at 157, 165, 174 and 197 pounds. Nick Michael was upset 5-3 in sudden victory against Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Logan Hermsen. Michael was up 3-1 with short time remaining in the third period, when Hermsen hit a shot that caused a crazy scramble which he came out on top of to force sudden victory. Hermsen would come out on top of another scramble situation in the overtime period to win the 165 pound championship.
Number three Drew Wagenhoffer fell 7-5 to number one Robert Dierna at 157 pounds, and number one Eric DeVos was upset 3-1 in the championship against Messiah’s number seven Ben Swarr. DeVos could not finish a shot though, and took home second place.
Central College also finished with a finalist in 125 pounder CJ Pestano. Pestano took on the number one seeded Lucas Malmberg from Messiah, and really couldn’t find his offense as he fell 14-6 to bring 2nd place back to Pella.
Final Team Scores:
1. Wartburg 129.5
2. Messiah 100.0
3. Luther 64.0
4. Wabash 55.5
5. Augsburg 46.5
6. Wisconsin-La Crosse 37.0
7. SUNY-Cortland 35.5
8. Stevens Institute Of Technology 34.0
9. Elmhurst 33.0
10. Cornell College 30.5
11. Alma College 30.0
12. Coe 28.5
13. Lycoming 28.0
14. Ithaca 26.5
15. Roger Williams 24.0