Augsburg Wrestlers in Central Asia


Six members of the Augsburg College wrestling team are traveling to central Asia for a 15-day training, mission and service trip. Four Auggie wrestlers, two coaches and four other wrestlers will be in central Asia from May 25 to June 8, training in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and Dushnabe, Tajikistan. In addition to training and competing, the wrestlers will do mission and service work, along with visiting historical and cultural sites in the two countries.

Two-time All-American and 2008 NCAA Division III 125-pound national champion Seth Flodeen (JR, Cannon Falls, Minn.), 141-pound national runner-up Jason Adams (SO, Coon Rapids, Minn.), 141-pounder Lucas Murray (FY, Anoka, Minn.) and 141-pounder Jake Saatzer (FY, Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka HS) will join Augsburg head coach Sam Barber and assistant coach John Peterson (a 1976 Olympic wrestling champion) in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Also on the trip will be Steve Barrett, a three-time All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State (1975-77) who currently works as a representative for Athletes in Action in Russia; Olivet College (Mich.) NCAA Division III All-American wrestlers Jason Brew (second at 157) and Kyle Vanderhyde (fourth at 174); NCAA Division III 165-pound national runner-up Ben Hoover from Maranatha Baptist Bible College (Wis.); and Ravshan Uraimov, a three-time national boxing champion from Kyrgyzstan.

This is the third time that Barber has led a wrestling contingent overseas. In 2006, Barber served as head coach of the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Division III Cultural Exchange trip to Ukraine. In 1997, he served as an assistant coach on the NWCA Cultural Exchange trip to England.

Barber completed his first season as Augsburg’s head coach in the 2007-08 school year, his seventh year as a member of Augsburg’s coaching staff. In 2008, Augsburg finished third at the NCAA Division III national championships, marking the 20th straight year that Augsburg has placed the top four in the team standings — a record currently unmatched by any other NCAA wrestling program in any division. Augsburg claimed five All-Americans, marking the 20th straight season that Augsburg has had five or more All-Americans and 22nd time it has accomplished the feat in its 26 seasons of NCAA Division III competition.