November 3, 2011
2011-12 Season - Wrestlers ranked 21st in NCAA pre-season poll
|Eric Juergens enters his fifth season as the head wrestling coach at Augustana. His Vikings are ranked 21st in the 2011-12 NCAA Division III pre-season poll conducted by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.|
Although the 2011-12 wrestling season is still over a week away from opening, Augustana has drawn the attention of NCAA Division III coaches across the nation. The Vikings of fifth year head coach Eric Juergens are ranked 21st in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III pre-season poll.
Augustana is coming off a 9-6 dual meet campaign in 2010-11, a third place finish in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin and a seventh place finish in the NCAA Division III West Regional. In addition, the Vikings crowned a pair of individual conference champions last year and Juergens added a solid recruiting class that numbers 18 freshmen.
“We are looking forward to this season,” said Juergens when assessing his team earlier in the week. “The competition in our wrestling room is the best it has been in my time here. If things fall into place we could be pretty good this year.”
Wartburg is the number one ranked team in the nation in the pre-season with Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Coe, Ithaca and Cornell filling out the top five. College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin member North Central is ranked 11th.
The Vikings return two wrestlers who piled up more than 30 victories last year. Sophomore Jacob Scholten (Rockford HS, Grandville, Mich.) was 38-8 at 125 pounds and senior Alberto Quiros (Morton HS, Cicero, Ill.) had a 31-9 mark at 141 pounds.
During Juergens tenure the Blue & Gold has made steady progress each year. His first season was 2007-08 and that finished with a 2-9 dual meet record and a fourth place finish in the CCIW tournament. The 2008-09 season saw a 4-11 dual meet record and a move up to third in the conference. The Vikings went 5-10 in duals and placed third in the CCIW in 2009-10 and last year they were 9-6 and again third in the CCIW.
The 9-6 record a year ago was the first winning record since 2003-04 when they were 15-5 and won the CCIW title. The two individual CCIW titles were the first since 2006.
Also, over the past four years Augustana has moved up consistently in the NCAA Division III West Regional. After 12th place finishes in 2008 and 2009, the Vikings were 10th in 2010 and seventh in 2011 with two NCAA national qualifiers.
Augustana will open the 2011-12 season on Saturday, November 12 at the Knox Open in Galesburg, Illinois and will open the home portion of its schedule on Thursday, November 17 with a dual meet against Knox at 7:00 p.m.
2011 NCAA DIVISION III PRE-SEASON WRESTLING RANKING
Compiled by the National Wrestling Coaches Association
1 – Wartburg
2 – Wisconsin-LaCrosse
3 – Coe
4 – Ithaca
5 – Cornell
6 – St. John’s
7 – Augsburg
8 – Mount Union
9 – SUNY-Cortland
10 – York
11 – North Central
12 – Wilkes
13 – Dubuque
14 – College of New Jersey
15 – Wisconsin-Whitewater
16 – Ohio Northern
17 – Stevens Institute
18 – Centenary
19 – Wisconsin-Stevens Point
20 – Delaware Valley
21 – AUGUSTANA
22 – Luther
23 – Wabash
24 – SUNY-Brockport
25 – Springfield