NAPERVILLE, Ill. — With five Auggies winning weight-class titles, the No. 3-ranked Augsburg University men’s wrestling team dominated in capturing the team title at the North Central College Men’s Invitational on Saturday.

With 32 wrestlers in competition, the Auggies went 76-45 on the day, with 43 bonus-point wins — 20 pins, 14 technical falls and nine major decisions. Ranked No. 3 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings, Augsburg won the 10-team tournament with 158.5 points. No. 25-ranked Olivet (Mich.) was second with 139.5 and host North Central (Ill.), ranked No. 10 nationally, was third with 131.5 points.

Aaron Wilson (SR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS), ranked No. 8 nationally at 149 points, had a stellar day in winning his weight class, recording first-period falls in his first two matches, a 17-1 technical fall in his semifinal win, and a 10-8 triumph over No. 7-ranked Sean Sax of Westminster (Mo.) in the finals. Wilson is now 8-0 on the season with three pins and four technical falls.

Tanner Vassar (SR, Maple Lake, Minn./Maple Lake HS), the No. 2-ranked wrestler nationally at 184 pounds, also had a strong day with three impressive wins to claim his weight class, reaching a career milestone in the process. He is now 101-29 in his career. He opened with a 19-1 technical fall, then scored a 37-second pin in the semifinals. In the title match, he scored a 3-1 win over No. 8-ranked Cody Baldridge of North Central. Vassar is now 8-0 with four pins and two technical falls.

Two-time defending 157-pound NCAA Division III national champion and top-ranked 165-pounder Ryan Epps (SR, Cannon Falls, Minn./Cannon Falls HS) improved to 8-0 on the season with his title, scoring a 17-0 technical fall win in the semifinals and a 6-2 win over Munkhtulga Zuunbayan of Harper (Ill.), the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the NJCAA (junior college) 165-pound national rankings, in the finals. Epps is now 8-0 on the season and 121-11 in his Auggie career.

Victor Gliva (SR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS), the No. 2-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, won his weight class to improve to 8-0 on the season. He opened with a pair of first-period pins, then scored a 4-0 win over Jacob Prunty of Concordia-Moorhead in the finals. Four of Gliva’s eight wins have come by pin this season, and he is now 97-22 in his Augsburg career.

Teammates Nick Rogge (SO, Eastman, Wis./Prairie du Chien HS) and Solomon Nielsen (JR, Luverne, Minn./Luverne HS) have both been impressive so far at 174 pounds, and on Saturday, Rogge got the best of Nielsen in the finals with a 4:38 pin. Rogge went 3-0, adding a technical fall in his opener, to improve to 6-0 on the season. Nielsen, ranked No. 8 nationally at 174, is now 6-1 on the season.

Two first-year wrestlers at heavyweight had impressive efforts, as Tyler Kim (FY, Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley HS) went 3-1 with a pin to place third, and Chase Liestman (FY, Litchfield, Minn./Litchfield HS) went 3-2 with two pins to place fourth.

Justin Stauffacher (FY, Belle Plaine, Minn./Belle Plaine HS (Scott West)) went 3-1 to finish third at 125 pounds, as did Jack Vaselaar (SO, Winona, Minn./Winona Cotter HS) at 157, Josh Verbeten (SR, Wrightstown, Wis./Wrightstown HS) at 165 and Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann (FY, Loyal, Wis./Marshfield HS) at 174.

Placing fourth for Augsburg were Adam Mickelson (FY, Lakeville, Minn./Apple Valley HS) at 141 and Brady Gross (FY, Rosemount, Minn./Apple Valley HS) at 149.

Gage Zieske (SO, Alexandria, Minn./Osakis HS) placed fifth at 133, as did Moses Madimba (FY, Coon Rapids, Minn./Coon Rapids HS) at 165 and Jonathan Zarnke (SR, Waconia, Minn./Chaska HS) at 197.

Azi Rankins (FY, Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie HS) placed sixth at 149, and three Auggies placed eighth — Quinn Youngs (SO, Monticello, Minn./Maple Lake HS) at 141, Tate Torgerson (FY, Isanti, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti HS) at 149 and Ian Laatsch (FY, Appleton, Wis./Appleton North HS) at 149.

2019 North Central College Men’s Invitational Results

Augsburg returns to action on Friday (12/13) at 7 p.m., hosting Southwest Minnesota State at Si Melby Hall.


  • 125: Justin Stauffacher 3-1, third place.
  • 133: Victor Gliva 3-0, champion; Gage Zieske 4-1, fifth place.
  • 141: Adam Mickelson 2-2, fourth place; Quinn Youngs 4-2, eighth place; Shawn Barth 1-2; Caleb Benshoof 0-2.
  • 149: Aaron Wilson 4-0, champion; Brady Gross 2-2, fourth place; Azi Rankins 3-2, sixth place; Ian Laatsch 3-2, eighth place; Tate Torgerson 2-2, eighth place; AJ Bethea 3-2; Tony Esteban 2-2; Jacob Forar 2-2; Justin Kopet 1-2.
  • 157: Jack Vaselaar 3-1, third place; Devin Roberts 2-2.
  • 165: Ryan Epps 3-0, champion; Josh Verbeten 3-1, third place; Moses Madimba 4-1, fifth place.
  • 174: Nick Rogge 3-0, champion; Solomon Nielsen 2-1, second place; Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann 3-1, third place; Luke Wilson 0-2.
  • 184: Tanner Vassar 3-0, champion.
  • 197: Jonathan Zarnke 2-1, fifth place; Brent Chambers 0-2.
  • HWT Gold: Tyler Kim 3-1, third place; Chase Liestman 3-2, fourth place; Tim Mandyck 2-2; Ethan Hofacker 1-2.

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