Knights Chase Down Number 14, Loras Reaches for the Podium

Who: #1 Wartburg College, #5 Loras College, #7 Coe College, #25 Central College, Luther College, Buena Vista University, Simpson College, University of Dubuque
What: 2018 Division III Wrestling National Championship
Where: Cleveland Public Auditorium, Cleveland, OH
When: March 9-10

Team Race: The historical battle of Division III wrestling continues to wage on between team greats, Augsburg University and Wartburg College. These two teams continue to battle for the top spot in DIII. If the Knights come out on top, this will be title number fourteen. Coach TJ Miller and the Loras College Duhawks have stormed onto the scene as a recent threat and top-three contender.

125 lbs: Top-ranked CJ Pestano (Central) will pave the way in the 125-pound weight class. Pestano will wrestle into the tournament, facing Ferdinand Mase of Ithaca in a pigtail match. Pestano will be joined by Wartburg Knight, Brennen Doebel. Doebel will open the tournament facing #4 Peter Del Gallo of University of Southern Maine.

133 lbs: University of Iowa transfer, Brock Rathbun (Wartburg) will be the sole representative from an Iowa institution in the 133-pound weight class. Rathbun is currently ranked third. He will face Dante Ginnetti of Baldwin Wallace to open the tournament.

141 lbs: Cornell College’s top-ranked Josh Martin and Loras’ Kevin Kelly will represent the state of the Iowa at 141 pounds. Kelly will wrestle for a position in the tournament, facing Sean Lyons of NYU. Martin will start the tournament as the second seed, facing Charles Nash of Baldwin Wallace.

149 lbs:  Top-ranked Cross Cannone (Wartburg) returns to the national tournament. He will be joined by Loras’ Jimmy Davis. Davis is currently ranked 5th. Cannone will face Grant Sorenson of Trinity to start the tournament. Davis will wrestle for a position in the tournament, taking on Stephen Maloney of Messiah in the pigtail round.

157 lbs: Logan Thomsen of Wartburg College hopes to return to the finals at 157 pounds. Thomsen enters the tournament the second seed, facing Eric Hutchinson of York. Sixth-ranked Cole Erickson of Coe College enters as the fifth seed, facing Greg Chery of SUNY Cortland.

165 lbs: Wartburg freshman Mike Ross enters the national tournament ranked first. Ross will be the first seed, facing Blake Dixon of John Carroll. Jeremy Vester (Central) and Ben Hewson (Cornell) will join Ross to represent the state of Iowa. Hewson will wrestle Frank Aiello of Wheaton. Vester will face Taylor Shay of Roger Williams.

174 lbs: Wartburg great, Eric DeVos returns to the national championship in pursuit of another national title. He will enter the tournament facing the winner of a pigtail round match. DeVos will be joined by Coe College’s fifth-ranked Jake Voss and Central College’s Nathan Fritz. Voss will wrestle Troy Seymour of Oswego State. Fritz will face Jon Goetz of UW-Platteville.

184 lbs: Brackets and qualifiers for this weight will be delayed due a medical replacement within the bracket. As of current, Tyler Lutes of Wartburg College has qualified for the tournament.

197 lbs: The Knight’s Kyle Fank returns to the 197 lb. weight class. Fank is currently ranked second. He will enter the tournament as the top seed, wrestling Blake Bunce of Merchant Marines. He is joined by Loras’ Guy Patron. Patron is seeded second, facing Drew Kasper of Otterbein. Coe College’s Andrew Holladay will wrestle Michael DiNardo of Johnson & Wales.

285 lbs: The final Knight to head to the national tournament is top-ranked Lance Evans. Evans will face Nathan Barcaskey of Ohio Northern. Seventh-seed, Quin Gilliam of Loras College will face Nico Ramirez of Southern Va. Tyler Ortmann of Cornell College will face second-seeded James Bethel of SUNY Oneonta.


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