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CEDAR FALLS – Fueled by key victories from its upper weights, No. 2-ranked Wartburg College picked up a pair of close-knit wins en route to the 2011 National Wrestling Coaches Association/Cliff Keen Division III National Duals Jan. 9.
The Knights, moving to 14-1 on the season, trailed both sixth-seeded Ithaca University of New York and fourth-seeded UW-La Crosse 15-7 after the 174-pound matches. Coach Jim Miller’s team received major decisions from junior 197-pounder Byron Tate (Clinton)and senior heavyweight John Helgerson (West Union) against Ithaca to go with junior 184-pounder Dylan Azinger (DeWitt, Iowa) decision for an 18-15 final. Against the Eagles, the Knights overturned the deficit with three straight decisions from senior 184-pounder Todd Becker of Gilbertville, Tate and Helgerson to forge the 16-15 ending.
Wartburg’s National Duals’ crown was its fifth overall and first since 2008. Miller’s program also took the top spot in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008.
The Knights return to the mat for their annual Iowa Conference clash with Luther Friday, Jan. 14. Meet time is 7 p.m. inside the Regents Center in Decorah. The following day, the squad is split for competition at the Cornell College Matman Invitational inside the Small Multi-Sport Center in Mount Vernon and at the Central Dutch Invitational inside Kuyper Fieldhouse in Pella.
Notes – Helgerson’s two wins moved him into the program’s 100-win club. His career record is 101-27. … Senior 149-pounder Jacob Groth (Marshalltown) moved just one win shy of the 100-win club over the weekend. He sports a 99-38 career mark. … Tate’s two wins continued an impressive stretch in which he’s won 36 of his 37 matches. … Senior 125-pounder Mark Kist (Eagle Grove), who ended the day with two wins, jumped to 20 wins this season. He joins Helgerson (28 wins) and Tate (29 wins) in reaching the number.
Mark Kist gets big move for win
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