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Two Blugold Wrestlers Qualify for NCAA Championship

Two Blugold Wrestlers Qualify for NCAA Championship

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. ( – Two UW-Eau Claire wrestlers have qualified for the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship, which will be contested March 15-16 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after competing at the NCAA West Regional at Augsburg College (Minn.) today.

Both Nathaniel Behnke (Fr.-Bruce, Wis.) and Mat Rieckhoff (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./D.C. Everest) qualified for nationals after finishing in first and third in their respective weight classes.

Competing at 141 pounds, Behnke took first place after winning three straight matches. He won the first 4-3 and then picked up an 8-0 major decision victory to advance to the championship. In the title match, he defeated Platteville's Tyler Henken 7-0.

In the 184 pound weight class, Rieckhoff claimed third. He won two straight to start the day but then fell 3-1 in the semifinals. He then worked his way back to third place by winning two in a row. In the third place match, he defeated Augsburg's Noel Sweeney 2-0 to capture a national qualifying spot.

Of the Blugolds' non-qualifiers, Luke Ortscheid (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./West) had the best finish as he took fifth at 197 pounds.

The last time the Blugolds were represented at nationals was during the 2009-10 season while the last time two Blugolds were at nationals was during the 2002-03 season.