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DIII at Final X

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Three former DIII wrestlers competed in Greco-Roman at Final X this past weekend in Newark, New Jersey. Elmhurst NCAA champion Joe Rau made his third senior world team, while Dubuque All-American Brady Koontz made his first team. Augsburg NCAA champion Ryan Epps lost two matches to one in his series.

Rau won both of his matches over Christian DuLaney 3-2 and 8-0 to make the team at 97kg. He previously competed in the 2014 and 2019 world championships. Rau also won the 2016 Olympic Trials, but the U.S. did not qualify his weight to compete in Rio.

Brady Koontz spent the spring semester at Dubuque after wrestling most of his career at Ohio State. He lost his first match at 55kg to Dalton Duffield 8-0 but came back to win two in a row 4-1 and 7-3 to earn his spot on the team. Koontz lost in Final X in 2022, but made his first world team this weekend.

Ryan Epps earned his way to Final X by winning the world team trials qualifier which gave him the right to face U.S. Open champion Spencer Woods at 82kg. Woods won the first match 3-3 on criteria, but Epps came back and stormed to a 9-0 victory in the second. In the deciding third match, Woods took the world team spot with a 5-0 decision.

Rau and Koontz will head to Belgrade, Serbia, in September for the World Championships. Koontz will compete on September 21st with Rau kicking off his tournament the following day.