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Augsburg announces recruiting class that includes Webster, Jeske

Owen Webster celebrates after winning a Junior freestyle title in Fargo (Photo/The Guillotine)

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Augsburg College wrestling team will welcome an incoming class with numerous major accomplishments, including a world cadet bronze medal, two junior/cadet national championships, eight junior/cadet All-American honors, and five state high school championships, the coaching staff has announced.

The 17-member incoming class, which includes 16 first-year wrestlers and one transfer, has combined to produce 41 state tournament qualifications and 29 state placings, including five state championships.

"The coaching staff and I are very excited about our incoming recruiting class. It is one of the most accomplished classes in Augsburg College history," said Jim Moulsoff, entering his third season as Augsburg's head coach in 2016-17. "Combined, this class has had eight All-American honors at the USA Wrestling Junior and Cadet National Championships, and five different wrestlers won individual high school state championships. As well as being great wrestlers, these young men have also done a great job in the classroom and are committed to continuing our great team culture of commitment to academics."

Winners of a record 12 NCAA Division III national titles since 1991, the Auggie wrestlers are coming off a 12-4 dual-meet record and fifth-place national tournament finish in 2016, the Auggies' 28th straight top-10 national finish. Augsburg has finished among the top five teams nationally 34 times in school history, including 27 of the last 28 years. In addition, the Auggies have been a tremendous success in the classroom, claiming 135 National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-America honors over the past 31 years. Augsburg has finished among the top-10 Division III teams in the NWCA's Scholar All-America team rankings since 1998, including a 10th-place finish in 2016 with a 3.27 team grade-point average. Augsburg has claimed the academic national title twice since 1998.

"These individuals will be a great addition to our current wrestlers in the room, which include a national champion, three returning All-Americans and 10 wrestlers who have competed at the national championships," said Tony Valek, Augsburg's associate head coach. "We look forward to continuing our strong tradition of Augsburg wrestling, as we work toward adding to our record 12 NCAA Division III national championships."

Augsburg's 2016-17 season opens on Nov. 19 with the annual Auggie-Adidas Open at Si Melby Hall.

Here is a look at the 2016-17 Augsburg wrestling incoming class:

SAM ANDERSON (East Bethel, Minn./Totino-Grace HS, heavyweight)
• Three-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier, including a third-place finish in 285-AA in 2016 and 4th-place finish at 285-AA in 2015.
• Finished 24-3 in 2015-16 and 37-7 in 2014-15.

JOHN BARTEE (Fridley, Minn., 141 pounds)
• Two-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier
• Finished 26-6 in 2015-16 and 18-9 in 2014-15.

JACK BERGELAND (Blaine, Minn./Centennial HS, 133 pounds), transfer from Wisconsin-La Crosse
• Three-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier, finishing fourth at 106-AAA in 2014 and sixth at 106-AAA in 2013.
• Finished 33-12 in 2014-15, 40-6 in 2013-14 and 37-10 in 2012-13.

BRENT CHAMBERS (Princeton, Minn., 197 pounds or heavyweight)
• Two-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier, finishing sixth at 220-AA in 2015.
• Finished 29-5 in 2015-16 and 36-7 in 2014-15.

RYAN EPPS (Cannon Falls, Minn., 149 or 157 pounds)
• Double All-American at 152 pounds at the 2016 USA Junior Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships. Epps placed sixth in Greco-Roman and eighth in Freestyle, one of only three Minnesota seniors to accomplish double All-American honors.
• Won the 145-AA Minnesota state championship in 2016. Also finished fourth at 132-AA in 2015, and second at 120-AA in 2014.
• Four-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier.
• Finished 39-0 in 2015-16, 39-4 in 2014-15, 37-6 in 2013-14 and 32-5 in 2012-13.

MONTY FREDERIKSEN (Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti HS, 125 or 133 pounds)
• Two-time state tournament qualifier (132-AAA in 2015 and 2016).
• Finished 30-10 in 2015-16 and 30-8 in 2014-15.

JULIAN GEORGESCU (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons HS, 174 pounds)
• Two-time Florida state tournament qualifier, finishing third at 170-1A in 2016 and sixth at 170-1A in 2015.
• Finished 48-2 in 2015-16 and 52-6 in 2014-15.

VICTOR GLIVA (Farmington, Minn., 125 pounds)
• Won the 113-AAA Minnesota state championship in 2016. Also finished second at 106-AAA in 2015.
• Three-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier.
• Finished 44-1 in 2015-16, 45-3 in 2014-15 and 29-16 in 2013-14.

BRANDONN GORE (South St. Paul, Minn., 184 pounds)
• Finished sixth at 182-AA at the 2016 Minnesota state tournament with a 24-15 record.

ETHAN HOFACKER (Spring Valley, Wis., heavyweight)
• All-American at the 2016 USA Cadet Greco-Roman National Championships, when he placed sixth at 220 pounds.
• Won the 220-D3 Wisconsin state championship in 2016. Also finished second at 220-D3 in 2015 and third at 195-D3 in 2014.
• Three-time Wisconsin state tournament qualifier.
• Finished 40-3 in 2015-16, 40-6 in 2014-15 and 44-4 in 2013-14.

LUCAS JESKE (St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS, 165 or 174 pounds)
• Ranked as Intermat's No. 55 overall recruit in the nation entering the 2015-16 season.
• Ranked No. 15 in Intermat's 2015-16 final high school rankings at 182 pounds.
• All-American at the 2016 USA Junior Freestyle National Championships, after making the finals and recording a national runner-up finish at 160 pounds.
• Won the 152-AAA Minnesota state championship in 2015. Also finished second at 170-AAA in 2016.
• Two-time Minnesota state qualifier.
• Finished 45-3 in 2015-16 and 20-1 in 2014-15

MARCUS PLACIDE (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn HS, 165 or 174 pounds)
• Competed at the Minnesota state tournament (170-AAA) and compiled a 31-7 record in 2015-16.

CAMERON SCHMITZ (New Prague, Minn. 184 pounds)
• Finished third at 182-AA at the 2016 Minnesota state tournament with a 36-11 record.

BYRON SIMMONS (Chicago, Ill./Simeon HS, 141 pounds)
• Competed at the 138-3A section tournament in Illinois in 2016 with a 29-4 record.

TANNER VASSAR (Maple Lake, Minn./Annandale-Maple Lake HS, 141 pounds)
• Finished fourth at Minnesota state tournament at 132-AA in 2016, second at 126-AA in 2015, and third at 120-AA in 2015.
• Four-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier.
• Finished 38-8 in 2015-16, 40-4 in 2014-15, 33-9 in 2013-14 and 29-10 in 2012-13.

JOSHUA VERBETEN (Wrightstown, Wis. 149 or 157 pounds)
• Three-time Wisconsin state tournament qualifier, finishing second at 152-D2 in 2016 and fifth at 132-D2 in 2014.
• Finished 40-8 in 2015-16, 28-14 in 2014-15 and 37-17 in 2013-14.

OWEN WEBSTER (Shakopee, Minn. 184 pounds)
• Ranked as Intermat's No. 40 overall recruit in the nation entering the 2015-16 season.
• Bronze medalist at the 2015 UWW Cadet World Championships at 187.5 pounds freestyle.
• National champion at the 2016 USA Junior Freestyle National Championships (182 pounds).
• National champion and national runner-up at the 2015 UWW National Freestyle and Greco-Roman Championships.
• Four-time All-American at the USA Junior & Cadet Freestyle & Greco-Roman National Championships.
• Won the 152-AAA Minnesota state tournament in 2014. Also finished fifth at 160-AAA in 2015 and fourth at 138-AAA in 2013.
• Three-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier.
• Finished 38-4 in 2014-15, 32-5 in 2013-14, and 30-10 in 2012-13.

JONNY ZARNKE (Chaska, Minn. 184 pounds)
• Two-time Minnesota state qualifier, finishing third at 182-AAA in 2016 and fifth at 182-AAA in 2015.
• Finished 34-7 in 2015-16 and 24-10 in 2014-15.

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