February 11, 2010
2009-2010 Season - Vavra and Poffenberger take second in CCIW
The upward surge in the Augustana wrestling program continues as the Vikings of third year head coach Eric Juergens placed third in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin championship on Thursday, February 11. The meet was held at North Central in Naperville, Illinois and Juergens’ bunch scored 51.5 points and had two individual runner-up finishers.
This marks a continued rise in the Augustana wrestling fortunes. Back in 2007 the Vikings were fifth in the CCIW and scored just 33.5 points while in 2008, Juergens’ first year, they moved up a notch to fourth place and tallied 34.5 points. Last year Augustana jumped to third and had 48.5 points and this year the Vikings stayed in third but added three more points to their total.
North Central won the team title with 100.5 points while Elmhurst was second with 95 and the Vikings had 51.5 in third. Wheaton was fourth with 23 points. Carthage, North Park, Illinois Wesleyan and Millikin do not field wrestling teams in the CCIW.
Freshmen Steve Poffenberger (Allegan HS, Paw Paw, Mich.) and Alex Vavra (Gull Lake HS, Dowling, Mich.) led the way for Augustana. Poffenberger placed second at 133 pounds while Vavra claimed the runner-up spot at 174 pounds.
Poffenberger defeated Ben Salabura of Elmhurst in the semi-final by a score of 6-5 and then lost to Nathan Fitzenreider of North Central 9-1 in the championship match. Poffenberger is now 21-16 on the season.
Vavra, who was seeded third, upset second seed Frank Savenago of Elmhurst 6-1 in the semi-final at 174 and lost 8-5 in the championship to Cowen Brown of North Central. Vavra now is 24-17 this season.
Seven Augustana wrestlers placed third in their individual weight classes. Senior George Gogonas (Bowie HW, Austin, Texas) at 125, sophomore Alberto Quiros (Morton HS, Cicero, Ill.) at 141, freshman Tyler Hernandez (Bloomington HS, Bloomington, Ill.) at 149, freshman Tyler Dempsey (Grant HS, Ingleside, Ill.) at 165, junior Matt Nykaza (Brother Rice HS, Oak Lawn, Ill.) at 184, freshman Hunter Feraco (Gull Lake HS, Battle Creek, Mich.) at 197 and senior Jeff Daisy (Thornton Fractional South HS, Lansing, Ill.) at 285 all took third.
Gogonas lost to second seeded Joe Norton of North Central 6-5 in the semi-final and then won by forfeit in the third place match. He is 23-8 this year. Quiros dropped an 11-3 decision to Ryan Early of Elmhurst in the semi-final but bounced back to beat Casy Krahn of Wheaton 9-1 as he moved his record to 12-15. Hernandez suffered a technical fall at the hands of Trent Reinhoehl in the semi-final but scored a wild 18-13 win over Stephen Takashima of Wheaton for third place. Hernandez is 5-12 this year. Dempsey fell 10-1 to Jobi Bodi of North Central in the semi-final and took third with a forfeit to move to 13-20. Nykaza lost 15-4 to Justin Marble of Wheaton in the semi-final and pinned Mike McNeil of Elmhurst at 2:17 for third place. Nykaza is 11-13 on the season. Feraco lost 12-4 to Vinnie Sapienza in the semi-final at 197 and took third with a forfeit. He is 8-23 this year. Daisy was wrestling in his first varsity action of the season and he dropped a narrow 3-2 decision to Rodney Knowlton of North Central in the semi-final but bounced back to pin Jason Geick of Wheaton at 5:13 to even his record at 1-1.
Augustana will now compete in the NCAA Division III West Regional in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday, February 20.