Augsburg rolls to wrestling title

Jack Flynn, national champ at 141 pounds.
Jack Flynn of Augsburg celebrates his dramatic victory at 141.
Photo by Brian Bishop,

Augsburg clinched its 13th NCAA Division III wrestling national championship, winning four individual national titles and nearly lapping the field at the 2019 Division III wrestling championships in Roanoke, Virginia.

The Auggies previously won national crowns in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2015.

The three-time defending national champions, Wartburg, finished sixth overall. Augsburg and Wartburg have combined to win every Division III wrestling national title since 1994.

The top 10

1. Augsburg 130.0
2. Loras 66.0
3. Johnson & Wales 63.0
4. Ithaca 59.5
5. Mount Union 58.5
6. Wartburg 52.0
7. UW-Whitewater 49.5
8. TCNJ 44.0
T9. Millikin 42.0
T9. Wabash 42.0

Lucas Jeske (165 pounds) and 157-pounder Ryan Epps each repeated as national champions.

Epps won his second national title in bizarre fashion, with a disqualification in the third period over Antwon Pugh of Mount Union due to excessive cautions. Called for a stalling warning in the first period while building an 8-1 lead with two takedowns and a four-point near-fall, Pugh was called for stalling twice in the second period, as Epps rode him the entire two minutes. In the third period, Pugh was called for stalling for the fourth time with 1:22 left, then was called for a fifth time with 1:08 left, resulting in a automatic disqualification.

Jeske finished his junior season with a 31-match winning streak dating to last season, when he also won the Division III national title at 165, and did it again with a 6-2 win over Dempsey King of RIT. Jeske used his strength to dominate the match, scoring takedowns in the first and second periods, while claiming 3:19 of riding time in the win.

At 141, Jack Flynn claimed his first national title in dramatic fashion, rallying from a 3-2 deficit in the third period with a takedown with 33 seconds left in the match, scoring a 4-3 victory over Chris Williams of Millikin -- his second win over Williams this season. Williams took a 2-1 lead on a takedown with 1:35 left in the second period, countering a single-leg attempt by Flynn. After Flynn tied the match with an escape late in the second, Williams took the lead with an escape to open the third, setting the stage for Flynn's heroics.

At 197, Lance Benick held firm control in his bout against Keajion Jennings of Millikin, avenging a December loss to Jennings with an 8-5 win in Saturday's national title match. Leading 4-3 after two periods, Benick scored a reversal with 1:34 left in the match, and following an escape by Jennings, clinched the win with a takedown with 34 seconds left.