by Dan Crowe
The Cobber wrestlers placed third in the MIAC Duals tournament held at Concordia last weekend, improving on last year's fifth-place finish. The first match was Friday night against St. John's in which they lost 30-9. The Cobbers then faced the mighty Auggies.
Augsburg came out the clear winner with a decisive 41-6 score. Concordia's 118-pound sophomore, Cook Murch, beat Justin Kelley by a 10-5 decision, making Murch Concordia's sole victor.
On Saturday, Concordia came out strong and won the remaining three matches of the tournament.
At 10 a.m., the Cobbers faced St. Olaf, winning 32-12. Concordia's 134-pound sophomore Shawn Nicholas scored a major decision over Rob Nelson, 19-3, which set the pace for the rest of the match. There were four Cobber pins, and they showed the Oles how much work has been put into building the team.
Concordia went back on the mat at 11:30 a.m. against St. Thomas and stomped the Tommies 36-11. First-year student Nathan Reiff continued his winning season by defeating Pete Pfeilsticker in a major decision 13-8. He then went on to set the tournament record for fastest fall, pinning Josh Carter of Carleton 14 seconds into the first period.
This was the pace of the Concordia/Carleton match. The Cobber wrestlers dominated the Knights 48-6 with six pins and only one loss.
Reiff's win put him 18-13 on the season, with the best record on the squad. Reiff just edges out Cobber senior captain Dean Nielson, who finished the tournament with a 15-13 record.
The Cobbers finished the tournament third behind Augsburg, 5-0, and St. John's, who went on to a 4-1 record. St. Olaf placed fourth, with St. Thomas and Carleton in fifth and sixth. This tournament was a good preview of what's to come in the MIAC championship at Carleton College on Feb. 24.
Concordia's next meet will be Saturday at Valley City for their annual individual tournament. The Cobber wrestlers will be at Moorhead State Tuesday facing the mighty Dragons. Concordia has no more home meets this season.
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