A Balanced Third-Place Finish

Senior Travis Deegan won the 165-lb weight class at the North Central (Ill.) Invite. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gravdahl)
Senior Travis Deegan won the 165-lb weight class at the North Central (Ill.) Invite. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gravdahl)

The Concordia wrestling team scored points at every weight class on their way to a third-place team finish at the North Central Invite on Saturday.

The Cobbers finished with 109.0 team points which was 17 more than fourth-place Wis.-La Crosse. CC was only 9.5 points out of second place in a very competitive DIII meet.

The Cobbers were once again led by senior Travis Deegan who earned the first place title in the 165-pound weight class.  Deegan had a bye to the round of 16, where he won his first match of the day with a 16-0 technical fall. He followed that up with a major decision victory in the quarterfinals to cement a spot in the top 4. Not satisfied with a Top 4 finish Deegan won by a score of 5-2 over his opponent from Olivet in the semifinals, and then he won 6-2 in the championship bout to earn Concordia's only individual title of the day.

Freshman Jacob Prunty battled his way to a second-place finish at 133. Prunty began the day with a 6-3 decision, pressed into the semifinals via a 15-0 technical fall and stormed into the finals with an 11-8 victory. A tough Wis.-La Crosse foe would prevent Prunty from making it two titles for Concordia, but the Cobber freshman still earned 14.5 team points on his way to the silver medal performance.

Besides the two finalists, the Cobbers had nine other competitors place in the Top 8 in the tournament. Travis Ostby, Alex Skaare, and Bret Wilson all finished in eighth place for Concordia. Ostby won two matches wrestling at 174 pounds. Skaare pinned two opponents at 157 to battle back from an early round loss while Wilson put up 15 or more match points in both of his victories at 141 before dropping a tight 7-6 decision in his final bout of the day.

Senior Ty Johnson was the sixth-place finisher in the 149-pound weight class. Keeping with the theme of working hard in the consolation bracket, Johnson rattled off four straight wins after dropping his first match, falling only once more in the fifth-place contest.

Nick Gravdahl, Jake Nohre, and Jacob Arends all garnered fifth place honors.  All three lost early in the day - in either their first or second match – and all three would go unbeaten the rest of the way.

Nohre dropped a 7-5 decision right away at 125 but he responded emphatically winning by pin or medical forfeit in his next four bouts to grab fifth place. Gravdahl, at 174 pounds, pinned his first foe, lost a decision and then waited a long time to compete again as his next two opponents forfeited due to injury. Not fazed by this long break, Gravdahl pinned his final three opponents in a combined total of less than six minutes to close his day on a high note. Arends also had a tough start to the day but showed tremendous tenacity to win his next five matches and earn a higher place than the wrestler who beat him earlier.

The Cobbers got a fourth-place finish from freshman Michael Miller at 125. Miller used a 12-2 major decision and a 4-2 decision to make the semifinals. The hot start was enough to earn Miller his place in the Top 4.

Finally, sophomore Benjamin Bogart would join Prunty as a place winner in the 133-pound weight division. Bogart outlasted his opponent with an overtime victory in his quarterfinal match and, despite faltering in the semifinals would end his day with an 8-3 win to give the Cobbers both the first and second runners-up at the weight.

Innocent Nsengiyumva (157 pounds), Aiden Jolley (184), and Noah Carter (285) also earned wins for the Cobbers.

UP NEXT: The Cobbers will have a short turnaround to rest and recuperate from the long bus ride home as they will be back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 12 in a double dual at Jamestown. Concordia will take on Northland CC at 5:30 p.m. and then square off with host Jamestown at 8:30 p.m.