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Wartburg clinches 10th NCAA Division III championship for retiring Coach Jim Miller



CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Wartburg College Knights are the kings of NCAA Division III wrestling once again.

And they will send retiring Coach Jim Miller out in style with another gold trophy.

Miller’s top-ranked squad clinched a record-tying 10th national title during Session 3 of the NCAA Division III Championships before 2,060 fans on Saturday at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

Wartburg has now won five of the six last titles in DIII under the 59-year-old Miller and achieved its first three-peat at the NCAA tournament. The Knights enter the finals with 98 points, 20 ahead of second-place Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Miller's 10 titles ties Augsburg's Jeff Swenson for the most national crowns won by a coach in Division III.

“I’m just relieved,” said Miller, in his 22nd season at Wartburg. “I’m happy for our kids, and I’m happy for our program and our fans. Now we just have to finish it off in the finals. I’m really gratified for the hard work these kids put in to go out and get the trophy tonight.”

Wartburg’s Kenny Anderson at (133) and Kodie Silvestri (149) will be looking to repeat as national champions.

The finals are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday in Cedar Rapids.

Returning champion Landon Williams of Wartburg finished fourth at 165. The Knights finished with seven All-Americans.

Returning champions Nazar Kulchytskyy of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (165), Kyle Kwiat of Ohio Northern (174) and Chad Johnson of Augsburg (285) each advanced to the finals.

TEAM SCORING (TOP 10)
Wartburg 98, Wisconsin-Whitewater 78, Elmhurst 74, Wisconsin-La Crosse 52, Centenary 45, Ithaca 43, College of New Jersey 42.5, SUNY-Cortland 40, Springfield 38, Augsburg 33.

MEDAL MATCHES

125 Pounds
1st – Ricardo Gomez (Ithaca) vs. Jimmy Gotto (Coe)
3rd – Gilberto Camacho (Wartburg) dec. Isaac Balsiger (Wisconsin-La Crosse), 3-2
5th – Miguel Venecia (Elmhurst) dec. Christopher Donaldson (Ursinus), 6-4
7th – Mike Fuenffinger (Augsburg) won by tech. fall over Matthias Ellis II (Brockport State), 22-5

133 Pounds
1st – Kenny Anderson (Wartburg) vs. Grant Sutter (Wisconsin-Whitewater)
3rd – Nathan Fitzenreider (North Central) dec. Derek Adams (Springfield), 8-2
5th – Brandon Jones (New York University) dec. Alex Gomez (Ithaca), 5-3
7th – Dalton Bullard (Elmhurst) pinned Evan Obert (Luther), 1:12

141 Pounds
1st – Paul Marcello (Johns Hopkins) vs. Adam Sheley (Wisconsin-La Crosse)
3rd – Tommy Mirocha (Wartburg) dec. Ryan Earley (Elmhurst), 6-2
5th – Joseph Grippi (Springfield) dec. Nathaniel Behnke (Wisconsin-Eau Claire), 12-2
7th – Kyle Windquist (Luther) dec. Ces Antista (Williams College), 9-5

149 Pounds
1st – Kodie Silvestri (Wartburg) vs. Greg Sanders (Concordia)
3rd – Robert Dierna (SUNY-Cortland) dec. Vincent Pisani (York), 9-3
5th – Jacob Long (Concordia-Moorhead) dec. Jorge Lopez (Williams College), 6-2
7th – Luke Lohr (Waynesburg) dec. Emanual Ajagbe (Delaware Valley), 7-5

157 Pounds
1st – Kristopher Krawchuk (Wilkes) vs. Devin Biscaha (Springfield)
3rd – Chris Burdge (Centenary) dec. Cade Sarbacker (Wisconsin-Whitewater), 12-5
5th – Cole Welter (Wartburg) dec. Josh Etzel (Washington And Jefferson), 5-3 TB2.
7th – Reece Lefever (Wabash) won by medical forfeit Elias Larson (Trine University)

165 Pounds
1st – John Darling (College of New Jersey) vs. Nazar Kulchytskyy (Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
3rd – Cedric Gibson (Wisconsin-Whitewater) dec. Landon Williams (Wartburg), 8-3
5th – Joey Favia (Stevens Institute of Technology) pinned Owen Vernon (Centenary), 2:53
7th – Jordan Powell (Thiel) dec. Jordan Schulte (Wisconsin-Stevens Point), 4-3

174 Pounds
1st – Kyle Kwiat (Ohio Northern) vs. Jules Doliscar (Ithaca)
3rd – Zach Thomson (Gettysburg) dec. Zach Zotollo (College of New Jersey), 10-3
5th – Kevin O’Brien (Wisconsin-La Crosse) dec. Lou Puca (SUNY-Cortland), 6-3
7th – Matt Burns (Augustana) dec. Ben Kramer (Messiah), 4-2

184 Pounds
1st – Josef Rau (Elmhurst) vs. Brian Broderick (College of New Jersey)
3rd – Josh Thomson (Messiah) won by medical forfeit over Julian Meaney (Elizabethtown)
5th – Mitchell Hagen (St. Johns) pinned Colin Lenhardt (Johnson & Wales), 0:34
7th – Daniel Olsen (Wheaton) won by medical forfeit over Roland Dunlap (Wisconsin-Whitewater)

197 Pounds
1st – Mike Benefiel (Elmhurst) vs. Alex Coolidge (Cornell)
3rd – Jared Myhrberg (SUNY-Cortland) dec. Shane Siefert (Wisconsin-Whitewater), 9-5
5th – Andrew Lovins (Heidelberg) dec. Aaron Karns (Delaware Valley), 5-3 SV1
7th – Matthew Hechsel (Augsburg) dec. Trent Flegel (Luther), 7-5

285 Pounds
1st – Chad Johnson (Augsburg) vs. Joseph Zitone (Centenary)
3rd – William Mayer (Wisconsin-La Crosse) dec. James Buss (Loras), 5-2
5th – Anthony Edgren (Wisconsin-Whitewater) dec. Tom Bouressa (Concordia-Moorhead), 6-4
7th – Ryan Fank (Wartburg) dec. Jeremy Rieth (Elizabethtown), 1-0
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