2019 Upper Midwest Region Preview

Lucas Jeske hopes to go back-to-back at 165 this season

Date – Friday and Saturday, February 22-23, 2019

Location – McPhee Physical Education Center, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI

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Teams (17) – Augsburg, Chicago, Concordia-Moorhead, Concordia Wisconsin, Elmhurst, Lakeland, MSOE, Pacific, St. John’s, St. Olaf, Wheaton, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Platteville, Stevens Point, Whitewater

Top Ten Ranked Individuals (2018 All-Americans in bold)
125 – 3. Tortorice (Whitewater), 4. Fuentez (Wheaton), 5. Gliva (Augsburg)
133 – 3. Bennyhoff (Augsburg), 8. Vosters (Stevens Point), 9. Stenger (La Crosse)
141 – 6. Rice (Whitewater), 7. McAuliffe (Elmhurst), 9. Flynn (Augsburg)
149 – Wilson (Augsburg)
157 – 2. Epps (Augsburg), 8. Zamin (La Crosse), 9. Derain (Elmhurst)
165 – 1. Jeske (Augsburg), 9. Choinski (Oshkosh)
174 – 3. Massie (La Crosse), 5. Vassar (Augsburg)
184 – 6. Odell (Wheaton), 9. Nielson (Augsburg)
197 – 4. Benick (Augsburg), 5. Kauzlaric (Whitewater)
285 – 4. Ernst (La Crosse)

Top 25 Teams (NWCA list)
2. Augsburg
9. La Crosse
14. Whitewater
20. Concordia Moorhead
21. Oshkosh
22. Stevens Point
24. Chicago

Augsburg was the top ranked team after winning the National Duals over Johnson & Wales. They have dipped to #2 after a tight 16-15 loss to rival Wartburg at the end of last month. They are a strong tournament team with five returning All-Americans, seven returning qualifiers, and two NCAA champs in Ryan Epps and Lucas Jeske. Sam Bennyhoff was a national finalist as well. Along with the returning qualifiers, the Eagles feature Lance Benick who has just one DIII loss and is ranked 4th at 197.

A pair of Wisconsin powers will attempt to dethrone Augsburg this weekend. La Crosse has another typically strong team with two All-Americans, three returning qualifiers overall, and four top ten wrestlers. Whitewater features 3rd place finisher Mike Tortorice at 125, three top ten wrestlers and returning qualifier Nicholas Bonomo who will drop to 165 after spending the season at 174. Concordia Moorhead, Oshkosh, Stevens Point, and Chicago all have multiple individuals looking to punch their tickets to Roanoke. Tops among these is two-time All-American Mark Choinski of Oshkosh.

Two CCIW wrestlers will be looking for their second All-American awards. Jimmy McAuliffe is a sophomore from Elmhurst who finished 7th as a freshman last year. Carlos Fuentez came back from a medical redshirt year to make the 125 final as a #5 seed last season, and he returns to take one more shot at a national championship. He has his work cut out for him with a potential semifinal matchup with #5 Gliva before seeing #3 Tortorice in the finals. Tortorice dealt Fuentez both of his DIII losses this season.