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January 16, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Wrestlers grab five places at Central Invite

Turning in their best team performance of the season, the Augustana Vikings had five place winners in the Central of Iowa Invitational in Pella, Iowa on Saturday, January 16. In the non-scoring meet, third year head coach Eric Juergens’ team recorded two individual runners-up, a third place and two fourths.

Freshman Alex Vavra (Gull Lake HS, Dowling, Mich.) placed second at 174 pounds and junior Matt Nykaza (Brother Rice HS, Oak Lawn, Ill.) was second at 184 pounds. Freshman Matt Burns (Naperville Central HS, Naperville, Ill.) took third at 174. Senior George Gogonas (Bowie HS, Austin, Texas) and freshman Steve Poffenberger (Allegan HS, Paw Paw, Mich.) were fourth at 125 and 133 pounds respectively.

Vavra, who leads the team with a record of 18-14, lost in the championship match at 174 pounds to top seeded Jobi Hambrick of Hannibal-LaGrange by a score of 3-1. Vavra, who was unseeded, opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over Travis Rogers of Bacone. He then pinned third seeded Jordy Ammons of Simpson at 3:16. In the semi-finals he beat Joseph Pesta of St. Olaf by a score of 6-2 before losing the title bout to Hambrick.

Nykaza, now 8-7 on the year, pinned Treaver Willis of Central of Iowa at 4:56 in the quarter finals. He pinned Andrew Rudd of St. Olaf at 4:59 in the semi-finals before falling to Jordaryl Logan of Grand View 11-0 in the final.

Burns had a long day en route to his third place finish. He pinned Brandon Blanchard, wrestling unattached at 1:07 in the first round. He was defeated by Hambrick, who would beat Vavra in the final, by a score of 17-5 in the quarter final. That forced Burns into the wrestleback bracket and he won four matches to place third. He defeated Rogers, who had also lost to Vavra, by a score of 9-3 and then he beat Collin Jorgensen of St. Olaf 8-4. After beating Jorgensen he defeated Pesta, who had also lost to Vavra, by a score of 6-2. In the match for third place he easily handled Curtis Barber of Simpson by a count of 13-1. Burns is now 8-12 on the year.

Gogonas was the number two seed and he defeated Jared Steinbach of Bacone 8-3 and then lost to Zach Meury of Missouri Baptist 4-1. In the wrestle backs he pinned Andrew Simpson of York at 4:24, beat Wes Schoo of Cornell 12-4 and Sergio Figueroa of Wartburg 12-8. In the third place match he lost to third seeded Conner Drew of Wartburg by a narrow 7-6 decision.

Poffenberger was the fifth seed and he lost his opening match to Tigue Snider of Cornell 5-2. He bounced back with a pin in 1:00 against David Crow of William Penn in the wrestle backs. That was the first of four straight victories. He pinned Chris Kilgannon of Central of Iowa at 1:43 and then won a wild 12-11 match against third seeded Anton Prater of Missouri Baptist. He followed that with a 4-2 win over Gary Brooks of Missouri Baptist. In the third place match he was pinned by second seeded Nathan Vaske of Wartburg at 6:04.

Although they didn’t earn places, sophomore Alberto Quiros (Morton HS, Berwyn, Ill.), senior Zac Holland (West Des Moines Dowling HS, Pleasant Hill, Iowa) and freshman Tyler Dempsey (Grant HS, Ingleside, Ill.) all won at least two matches. Quiros was 2-2 at 141 pounds and lost a tough 5-4 match to number one seed Kalen Lenz of Wartburg for the right to wrestle in the third place bout. Quiros is now 14-10 this year. Holland, who is 16-15 overall, won his first two matches at 157 before dropping his next two. Dempsey opened the tournament with two wins at 165 pounds before falling twice. He is now 9-14 on the year.