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February 20, 2010

2009-2010 Season - Gogonas earns first NCAA spot since 2006

Augustana senior George Gogonas (Bowie HS, Austin, Texas) stamped his ticket to the NCAA Division III national wrestling tournament with a fine performance on Saturday, February 20 at the NCAA West Regional. The West Regional was hosted by Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Gogonas became the first Viking to win a trip to the national tournament since Ryan McMurray and Brian Daly accomplished that feat in 2006.

The 2010 NCAA Division III national tournament will be held on March 5-6 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with Coe, Cornell and the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference serving as joint hosts.

Gogonas upped his overall record to 26-10 as he became third year head coach Eric Juergens’ first ever national tournament qualifier. Gogonas was just the fifth seed at 125 pounds and he started the day with a 7-3 win over fourth seeded Daron Hohbein of Concordia-Moorhead. That slotted Gogonas into the semi-final with number one seed Jake Oster of Elmhurst. Gogonas fell 9-6 and dropped into the wrestleback portion of the bracket. He beat sixth seeded Jimmy Schoettle of Chicago 8-5 and then drew Hohbein again in the third place match. He beat Hohbein 3-2 and had to face Oster in a “true second” place match. He lost to Oster and then had to wait for the at-large selections at the conclusion of the meet.

The top two finishers in each weight class were automatically advanced to the national tournament and the rest of the finishers were vying for eight “at-large” positions. Gogonas won one of the coveted spots. He is now 85-51 in his career with the Vikings.

Augustana finished 10th in the team standings at the West Regional with 29 points. Augsburg won the 16 team event with 224 points.

The only other place winner for the Vikings was sophomore Alberto Quiros (Morton HS, Cicero, Ill.) who took fifth at 141 pounds. Quiros lost to third seeded Ben Anderson of Concordia-Moorhead in the opening round by a score of 3-0. In the wrestlebacks he pinned Jason LaFavor of Knox in 3:22 and beat seventh seeded Jake Montie of Lakeland 12-7. Quiros was then pinned by number one seeded Myangabayar Batsukh of St. John’s in 4:326. He bounced back to defeat fifth seeded Ryan Earley of Elmhurst 3-2 for fifth place.