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Seven members of the No. 16 ranked Luther College wrestling team qualified for the NCAA Division III National Wrestling Tournament today the Central Regional Meet held at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque. The Norse finished runner-up in the 13-team regional with 127.5 points. Wartburg College won the team title with 167.5.
At 133 pounds No. 5 ranked Evan Obert qualified for the national meet for the third time in his career. The top seed in his weight class, Obert pinned Coe’s Brady Ruden in 2:00 in the quarterfinals after receiving a first round bye. In the semifinals, Obert outlasted Augustana’s Brendan Gould 6-5. The match against Gould went 13 minutes with Obert winning in ultimate tiebreaker three to earn a spot at nationals. In the regional championship Connor Campo of Wartburg avenged an earlier season loss to Obert, winning 11-4.
At 141 No. 2 ranked Drew Van Anrooy won the regional championship. He began his day with a fall over Devan Berrian of Simpson in the quarterfinals in 1:49. Van Anrooy outlasted Kaz Onoo of Wartburg 6-3 in the semifinals and defeated Nashid Barrow of Buena Vista in the finals 8-5. Van Anrooy qualifies for the nationals for the first time as a Norse. Van Anrooy will head to nationals with a 17 match winning streak.
At 149, Dakota Gray qualified for nationals for the first time. He began his day with a 0:19 fall over Austin Ventris of Knox. In the quarterfinals, Gray earned bonus points for the team with a 15-3 major decision over Steven Gutschenritter of Buena Vista. He earned a spot at nationals with a 9-6 win over Jonathan Melton of Simpson in the semifinals before dropping the regional championship to Kenneth Martin of Wartburg by fall in 1:01
At 157, Reed Van Anrooy earned third place in his first action since getting injured at the national duals in January. He won by fall in the first round over Mason Baldwin of Huntington in 1:17 and defeated Hector Ruiz of Augustana (IL) by a 13-0 major decision in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Steven DeWitt of Loras defeated Van Anrooy 3-2. In the consolation semifinals, he defeated Seth Shatto over Buena Vista 5-2 and earned a trip to nationals with a 8-1 victory over Aaron Engle of Cornell in the third place match. Van Anrooy is heading to nationals for the first time.
At 165, Blake Letney earned his first trip to nationals. After receiving a first round bye, Letney won by fall in the quarterfinals over Connor Cummings of Augustana in 4:49. Andrew Steiert of Wartburg defeated Letney 3-2 in the semifinals. In the consolation semifinals, Letney picked up a 5-1 win over Micheal Maksimovic of Cornell. Letney had to work overtime in his third place match, winning 2-1 in tie breaker one, over Greg Vance of Loras for the national meet qualifying victory.
Top seeded Jayden DeVilbiss, ranked No. 3 at 184, earned his third trip to nationals, but it was anything but easy. DeVilbiss picked up a major decision over Zach Moss of Central 13-5 in the first round and earned a 17-2 technical fall over Awais Arain of Loras in the quarterfinals. Returning All-American Ryan Sheldon of Coe defeated DeVilbiss by fall in 2:45 in the semifinals, forcing DeVilbiss to win two matches for a return trip to nationals. He picked up his second win of the day over Moss of Central, this time by fall in 4:23, in the consolation semifinals. In the third place match, Thomas Reyhons of Augustana hit a five point move to start the match against DeVilbiss, but the 100-plus career match winner was able to reverse Reyhons and pin him in 1:15 to qualify for the tournament.
Conner Herman at 285 is making a return trip to nationals. Herman qualified in 2012 and has missed a majority of the last two seasons due to two injuries. He started his day with a quarterfinal fall over Connor Swier of Loras in 3:34. In the semifinals, Jack Seaman of Augustana defeated Herman 5-4. In the consolation semifinals, Herman won 5-4 in tiebreaker two over Jay Pike of Central. He earned a trip to nationals with a win by fall in 4:51 over Creighton Fox of Coe.
Justin Kreiter at 174 finished fourth place. Kreiter's finish earned all-Iowa Conference recognition as a top-four regional place winner.
The seven nationals qualifiers are the most the Norse have sent to the NCAA Tournament since sending a school record eight qualifiers in 2007.
Luther assistant coach Jeff O'Gara was named the Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
The national tournament will be held March 13-14 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586