DES MOINES, Iowa — No. 2-ranked Augsburg College will compete at the National Wrestling Coaches Association/Cliff Keen Division III National Duals, presented by Hibiclens and The Marines, this weekend at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa.
Auggie action begins on Saturday at 11 a.m., as No. 2-seed Augsburg faces unranked Elmhurst (Ill.), and will face either No. 9-ranked Coe (Iowa) or No. 20-ranked Springfield (Mass.) on Saturday at 3 p.m. Action will continue both Saturday and Sunday, with the Division III championship match slated for Sunday at 3 p.m.
Twelve of the 16 teams in the Division III field are ranked in the top 30 in the latest NWCA Division III national poll, including nine of the top 12-ranked teams.
Since the NWCA began the Division III National Duals in 2002, the trophy has rested at either Augsburg or Wartburg (Iowa). Augsburg has won the title five times (2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010), while Wartburg has won the crown seven times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013). Augsburg has placed second at the National Duals four times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2012) and placed third twice (2008, 2011).
Augsburg is 39-8 in NWCA Division III National Duals competition since 2002. Augsburg also appeared in five NWCA National Duals competitions prior to the 2002 season, when the defending Division III national champion was invited to compete with Division I squads. Augsburg is 44-17 all-time in NWCA National Duals competition. In its 47 Division III National Duals meets, Augsburg has outscored its competition by a 1,385-504 margin, an average score of 29.5 to 10.7.
Augsburg enters this weekend’s NWCA Division III National Duals ranked No. 2 nationally in the latest NWCA Division III national poll, released on Monday. Augsburg is currently 3-0 in varsity dual meets, coming off a 33-12 victory over St. Olaf on Sunday in Northfield, Minn. Augsburg topped Waldorf (Iowa) 44-9 on Nov. 26 and Minnesota State Moorhead 34-9 on Dec. 11.
Five Auggies are ranked among the top 10 in their weight classes entering this weekend’s action, led by two-time defending Division III heavyweight national champion Chad Johnson (SR, Ferryville, Wis./DeSoto HS). Johnson enters this weekend’s action with a 13-1 record, including five pins, a major decision and a technical fall. Since the beginning of his sophomore season, Johnson is 86-3, and is 118-14 in his Augsburg career.
Two Auggies are ranked second nationally in their weight classes — 125-pounder Mike Fuenffinger (JR, Hibbing, Minn.) and 197-pounder Matt Hechsel (JR, Apple Valley, Minn.). Both placed seventh nationally in their weight classes last season. Fuenffinger enters this weekend’s action with a 12-1 record and 55-18 career mark, while Hechsel is 14-2 this season and 68-31 in his career.
Newcomer Kirk Anderson (SO, Comstock, Minn./Barnesville HS) is ranked fourth nationally at 133 pounds. A three-time Minnesota high school state champion, Anderson competed at Division I North Dakota State in the 2007-08 season before serving in the U.S. Marines for four years. Anderson is 7-3 this season and 16-10 in his collegiate career.
Will Keeter (JR, Twin Falls, Idaho), a 2012 All-American (third at 141), returned to the lineup this season at 157 after missing most of last season due to injury. He is ranked ninth nationally at 157 with a 13-5 mark and 82-35 career record.
AUGSBURG DIVISION III NATIONAL DUALS NOTES (PDF)