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No. 1 Wartburg College goes 12-0 in first session to grab lead at NCAA Division III Championships



CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – And a winner from Wartburg…

That was heard early and often from announcer Todd Hibbs as the top-ranked Wartburg Knights began pursuit of their third straight title at the NCAA Division III Championships.

The high-powered Knights, who are trying to send retiring Coach Jim Miller out with a record-tying 10th national title, advanced 10 wrestlers to the quarterfinals after an unbeaten first session Friday at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

Wartburg, winners of four of the last five titles in DIII, finished 12-0 in the opening session. The Knights are seeking their first three-peat at the NCAA tournament as they compete about an hour drive south of their northeast Iowa campus.

The quarterfinals are set for 6 p.m. Friday in Cedar Rapids. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Saturday.

Wartburg leads with 21 points, followed by Wisconsin-Whitewater with 15 and Elmhurst 10.5. Whitewater advanced seven to the quarters and Elmhurst four.

Wartburg’s trio of returning national champions – Kenny Anderson at (133), Kodie Silvestri (149) and Landon Williams (165) – all advanced to the quarterfinals.

Returning Knight All-Americans Tommy Mirocha (141), Dylan Azinger (174) and Ryan Fank (heavyweight) also reached the quarters. Fank capped the session when he won by fall.

Returning champions Nazar Kulchytskyy of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (165), Kyle Kwiat of Ohio Northern (174) and Chad Johnson of Augsburg (285) opened with wins on Friday.
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