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Wartburg claims third straight NCAA Division III title

Wartburg claimed its third straight NCAA Division III national title (Photo/Wartburg Athletics)

CLEVELAND, Ohio-- Top-ranked Wartburg claimed its third straight title at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships on Saturday night in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the program's 14th national championship overall.

Three Knights captured individual national titles: Brock Rathbun (133), Cross Cannone (149) and Kyle Fank (197).

Augsburg finished runner-up in the team standings and had five All-Americans, including two national champions: Ryan Epps (157) and Lucas Jeske (165).

Jay Albis became Johnson & Wales' first-ever national champion. He claimed his national title by edging Carlos Fuentez of Wheaton in a high-scoring affair, 11-10, in the finals at 125 pounds.

Ithaca finished third in the team standings, three points behind runner-up Augsburg. Sophomore 141-pounder Ben Brisman took home the Bombers' first individual national title since 125-pounder Ricardo Gomez won a national title in 2013. He defeated Stevens' top-seed Brett Kaliner 10-7 in the finals. Kaliner had won the two previous meetings this season. Nick Valez, who entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed, finished runner-up at 165 pounds.

Stevens and Wabasha rounded out the top five teams.

Finals Results:
125: Jay Albis (Johnson & Wales) dec. Carlos Fuentez (Wheaton), 11-10
133: Brock Rathbun (Wartburg) dec. Sam Bennyhoff (Augsburg), 12-5
141: Ben Brisman (Ithaca) dec. Brett Kaliner (Stevens), 10-7
149: Cross Cannone (Wartburg) maj. dec. Gregory Warner (York), 9-1
157: Ryan Epps (Augsburg) dec. Logan Thomsen (Wartburg), 3-1 SV
165: Lucas Jeske (Augsburg) tech. fall Nick Velez (Ithaca), 15-0
174: Jairod James (Mount Union) dec. Jon Goetz (UW-Platteville), 4-1
184: Jordan Newman (UW-Whitewater) maj. dec. Tyler Lutes (Wartburg), 9-1
197: Kyle Fank (Wartburg) dec. Guy Patron (Loras), 8-2
285: Jake Evans (Waynesburg) dec. James Bethel (SUNY Oneonta), 10-5

Team Standings:
1. Wartburg 136.5
2. Augsburg 82
3. Ithaca 79
4. Stevens 55
5. Wabash 44
6. Johnson & Wales (RI) 43.5
7. UW-La Crosse 42.5
8. Messiah 38
9. UW-Whitewater 35
10. Mount Union 34.5
10. SUNY Oneonta 34.5
12. Coe 34
13. Millikin 30.5
14. Wheaton (IL) 29.5
15. Baldwin Wallace 28
16. Brockport 27.5
17. Cornell College 25.5
18. Wesleyan (CT) 24
19. NYU 21
20. Waynesburg 20
21. Loras 19.5
21. UW-Platteville 19.5
23. Coast Guard 19
23. UW-Stevens Point 19
25. York (PA) 18

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