Moenkedick Wins National Wrestling Title
Mar 08, 2010Concordia came away from the NCAA Division III national wrestling meet last weekend with its first national champion in 32 years and three All-Americans after finishing in ninth place overall, its highest finish since 1978.
Phil Moenkedick ’11, Perham, Minn., won the national title in the 184-pound class and was named All-American along with junior teammates Justin Berns and Ross Dankers.
“This is a big step for our program,” says coach Clay Nagel. “We can show athletes that we are developing national champions at Concordia.”
The last Cobber individual national champion was heavyweight Barry Bennett in 1978.
Nagel credits Moenkedick’s work ethic for his success.
“Phil wins because he has great technique,” says Nagel. “He’s always working on improving, and leads our team through his example of hard work. He is very strong mentally and physically.”
Moenkedick says wrestling at the national championship level requires discipline and intense mental preparation.
“The season is a grind with practices, meets and trying to maintain your weight,” he says. “You have to really dedicate yourself to achieving your goals, because at this level, we’re wrestling against the best in the nation.”
Moenkedick says that the goal for next season is a national team title.
“We have the athletes here to do it,” he says. “We’re all dedicating ourselves to that goal. We’re all going to work as hard as we can to improve. We’re pushing each other to succeed.”
Berns ’11, Perham, Minn., finished seventh at 149-pounds and Dankers ’11, Cambridge, Minn., was eighth at 174 pounds. The fourth Cobber to qualify for the national meet, Ben Anderson ’11, Frazee, Minn., narrowly missed All-American honors at 141 pounds by losing his final match in overtime.