No. 17 Augustana (11-5, 4-2 NSIC) embarks on the middle leg of a three-dual road trip with a mid-week trip to face Minnesota State Moorhead on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.
Taming the Dragons
MSU Moorhead enters Wednesday night’s dual with a 6-8 overall record and a 3-3 mark in NSIC duals. The Dragons are coming off a 30-12 win over Minot State last Wednesday. Prior to MSUM’s win, the Dragons lost their previous three NSIC duals and four total.
Three MSUM wrestlers are ranked in the top five of the NSIC with a pair of Dragons slotted third in their weight class. Blake Bosch is ranked third in the NSIC at125 pounds and owns a team-best 16-9 record on the season. At 174 pounds, Conner Monk is rated third in the NSIC and enters Wednesday’s match with a 9-10 record. Garret Hoffner is the fifth-ranked 149-pound wrestler in the NSIC with an 11-10 record.
Matthew Lewellen has the most wins of any attached Dragon wrestler with 23, but has lost his last four dual matches.
Series: Augustana leads the all-time series with MSU Moorhead at 13-1
Bonus-point losses plague Viking upset bid
Augustana won four bouts to No. 4 St. Cloud State, but lost 27-12. Two pins and a tech fall paved the way for the Huskies to win by 15.
TJ North, Sean Derry, and Jayd Docken all won by decision, with Derry by the largest margin, 7-3 at 184 pounds. In his first match of the year, Jeremiah Peterson won a 8-7 decision over No. 4 Matt Nelson at 141 pounds. Shawn Hatlestad lost a narrow 4-2 decision at 149 pounds. Drake Fanslau suffered a 6-0 decision loss, but held his own against the No. 2 174-pound wrestler in the NSIC.
The Vikings’ five-dual winning streak was snapped and the Huskies improved their streak to 11 with the win. The loss was Augustana’s second of the conference season and fifth overall.
Book of Jeremiah
Making his debut for the 2013-14 season, Jeremiah Peterson certainly wasted no time getting back to work. Peterson, who wrestled at 133 pounds last season, jumped up to 141 pounds and took down the No. 4 ranked wrestler. With an 8-7 win, Peterson made his return known nationwide, toppling the fourth-ranked 141-pounder, Matt Nelson. Peterson was held out of competition at the start of the season due to injury before making his debut on Friday.
Peterson opened the season as the third-ranked 133-pound wrestler in the NSIC. A junior from Canton, S.D., Peterson posted a 15-12 overall record in 2013, 8-7 against Division II opponents. As a redshirt freshman, Peterson finished the season with a 10-4 record with two NSIC dual wins.
Docken doing work
In the 2013-14, junior Jayd Docken has put up a 12-1 record after starting the season injured. Making his debut against Northwestern (Iowa), Docken opened the season with seven straight wins. Docken opened the season ranked No. 5 at 197 pounds then moved up to No. 4 for a week before suffering his first loss of the year at the Ranger Duals on Jan. 18. Against then-No. 15 McKendree, Docken lost a 3-2 decision to current No. 4 Julian Smith. Since his lone defeat, Docken has reeled off five consecutive wins, but faces tough task in the season finale.
Docken will be pitted against Upper Iowa’s Carl Broghammer who is ranked second in the nation at 197 pounds. In their only matchup, Broghammer defeated Docken by a 9-1 major decision.
Youth group growing up
Augustana’s lineup features three sophomores and four freshmen that are vital to the Vikings’ success this year. Soph. TJ North has put together a stellar season with a record of 24-3 and has risen to the No. 4 ranking at 125 pounds. Redshirt freshmen Morgan Engbrecht has filled in admirably at 133 pounds with a 15-10 record and despite a revolving door at 174 pounds, Drake Fanslau owns a 14-13 record showing well against ranked opponents. Redshirt freshman Michael Lowman has become a tall task, literally and figuratively, in the NSIC at 285 pounds. Jacob Anderson (RFr) owns a 20-8 record and broke the Augustana record for reversals scored with 17 on the season. In arguably the toughest weight class in the NSIC, Shawn Hatlestad owns a 15-8 record this season at 149 pounds.
Augustana debuts in NCAA poll at 17th, North and Docken remain top-five
Augustana broke into the NCAA Division II Wrestling poll top 20 after three consecutive releases of receiving votes but not enough points to earn a top-20 spot. The Vikings earned 26 points, tying them at No. 17 with Ashland (Ohio) while Notre Dame (Ohio) remained No. 1.
TJ North moved up one spot to No. 4 at 125 pounds after he took down previous No. 1 Alex Johns of Indianapolis. Suffering his first loss of the year, Jayd Docken dropped one spot to fifth after losing to now-No. 4 Julian Smith. Despite a 24-3 record, 12-0 against D2 competition, Sean Derry dropped out of the 184-pound rankings.
Vikings hit double-digit wins for fifth straight year
Augustana’s 30-10 win over Minnesota State on Jan. 25 the Vikings reached 10 wins for the fifth straight season. Under head coach Jason Reitmeier, the Vikings have reached double-digit wins seven times now. Augustana has twice reached 14 wins under Reitemeier, posting 14-2 records in both 2004-05 and 2010-11.
Augustana closes the regular season with a road dual at Upper Iowa on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. The Vikings will then trip to Edmond, Oklahoma for the NCAA Super Region 3 Championships beginning on Friday, Feb. 28 and concluding on Saturday, March 1.
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