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March 15, 2013

Burns wins three straight to stay alive

Senior Matt Burns won three matches on Friday, March 15 at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to secure All-American honors at 174 pounds. He is now 37-10 on the season and will face Zach Thomson of Gettysburg today in his first match.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Augustana senior Matt Burns (Naperville Central HS, Naperville, Ill.) clawed his way to All-American status on Friday, March 15 at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Burns shook off a first round defeat at 174 pounds to win three straight matches heading into Saturday's action.

Burns, who came into the national tournament with a 34-9 record, lost his opening round bout to Ben Kramer of Messiah by a score of 7-4. That placed him in the wrestle-back draw and his next opponent was Ethan Ball from Coe, the host school for the championships. Burns got off to a 4-2 lead in the first period and held on to beat Ball 9-7.

His next opponent was Ryan Pieper of Trine and Burns pinned him in 4:23. He then defeated Dylan Azinger of defending champion Wartburg 10-9 to close out Friday's action. Burns will meet Zach Thomson of Gettysburg on Saturday morning in his quest for third place.

Burns, who was a participant in the national meet a year ago, is now 37-10 on the year. Over the past two seasons he has a mark of 65-27 and he is 76-47 for his career. He becomes the second straight Augustana wrestler to earn All-American honors, joining current teammate Jordan Richardson, who took eight last season at 174 pounds.

Thanks to Burns' efforts, Augustana is in 36th place in the team standings with 6.5 points.