Phil Moenkedick gets a leg hold in the national title match which he won 7-4. He becomes the first CC national champion since 1978. (Pic courtesy of Caleb Williams)
Courtesy of GoCobbers.com, Release: March 5, 2010
NCAA National Meet Info:
NCAA Final Team Standings
1. Augsburg - 110.5
Concordia National Participants
141 - Ben Anderson - 1-2
149 - Justin Berns - 3-2 (7th Place - All-American)
174 - Ross Dankers - 3-3 (8th Place - All-American)
184 - Phil Moenkedick - 3-0 (National Champion)
NCAA Meet Final Recap
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (3/6/10)-- The Concordia caravan coming back from the NCAA National Meet in Cedar Rapids never touched the ground. Instead of driving the 506 miles to Moorhead, the Cobber contingent was floating 10 feet off the ground as they returned from their best national tournament appearance in program history.
Concordia finished the NCAA Meet with one national champion, three All-Americans and placed ninth as a team. Phil Moenkedick won the national championship at 184 by earning a 7-4 decision over Brennan Ward of Johnson and Wales to become the first Cobber national champion since Barry Bennett in 1978. He is only the second NCAA wrestling champion in program history and it marks the fourth time that a CC wrestler has won any national title. Moenkedick also becomes the first national champion in any sport at Concordia since women's diver Annie Cullen won the NCAA title in 2006.
The three All-Americans at one national meet is the most in school history and the ninth-place finish ties for the highest finish by a CC team in program history. The Cobbers also claimed 10 wins at the national meet which is another program first. All, in all, not a bad two days of work for head coach Clay Nagel and his crew.
Moenkedick needed to post two wins on Saturday to earn the national championship. He started the historic day by blanking Josh Wake of Oneonta State 5-0 in the semifinals. He then had to face the physical style of the No.8-seeded Ward in the finals.
Moenkedick was at the exact same spot last season and lost to the same style of wrestler in the championship match. On Saturday he refused to be denied his first-ever title. Moenkedick started the match by gaining a takedown of Ward in the first period. He then battled to stay on top and gained valuable riding time for the remainder of the period.
Ward decided to take the neutral position to start the second period and both wrestlers spent the frame trying to get a decisive takedown. Moenkedick was able to get two more points when he brought Ward to the mat and ended the period up 4-0.
Moenkedick started the third period in the up position and tried to keep Ward pinned to the mat. His tactic was paying off before it nearly backfired. With a little over a minute to go in the match, Ward was able to muscle is way out of the hold and reverse positions. He then took Moenkedick to the mat on his back and had his shoulders pinned. The referee was about to come down with his hand to signal the pin but in the nick of time Moenkedick was able to somehow flip over and get onto his stomach.
Escaping the near tragic loss, Moenkedick then dug deep into his endless hours and days of training and slipped out of the hold and reversed positions with Ward to record the match-winning two-point reversal. He was then able to stay on top of Ward for the final minute and withstand all the counter moves that Ward tried to come up with.
Juniors Justin Berns and Ross Dankers completed the trio of Cobber All-Americans. It is the first All-American honor for both wrestlers. Berns lost in the wrestleback quarterfinals but then came away with a 7-5 win in the seventh-place match. Dankers also lost in the wrestleback quarterfinals but then fell in the seventh-place match and finished in eighth place to earn his All-American award.
As a team Concordia finished with 31.5 points and placed ninth. That ties the 1978 team for highest finish at a national meet.
The Cobbers have now recorded five All-American awards in the past three seasons.
There will be a national championship reception for Moenkedick and the Cobber wrestlers on Monday, Mar. 8 at 10 a.m. in the Centrum.
Day 1 Meet Recap
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (3/5/10)-- At the end of the first day of competition at the NCAA Division III National Meet Concordia still had three wrestlers standing. One of the wrestlers has already earned All-American honors and is in the chase for the national championship and the two others are one win away from earning All-American honors.
As a team Concordia is poised for one of their best finishes in program history. Heading into the final day of competition, the Cobbers are tied for eighth place with 19.5 points. They have already bettered last year's total of 17 points. The highest finish by any CC team at the national meet was ninth place back in 1978. The most NCAA All-Americans that Concordia has ever had in a single season was two - also in 1978.
Cobber junior Phil Moenkedick, seeded third in the meet, won his quarterfinal match at 184 with a dominating 8-2 decision over unranked Ben Adams of John Carroll. The win assured Moenkedick of his second consecutive All-American award. He now sets his sights on the prize that eluded him last season. The national runner-up in 2009, Moenkedick needs only two more wins to become the first CC national champion since Bary Bennett captured the title in 1978. Moenkedick's path to the championship was made a little easier when the No.1 and No.2 seeds fell in the quarterfinals.
Concordia juniors Justin Berns and Ross Dankers remain in the hunt for their first All-American award. Both wrestlers entered the meet unseeded and won their first round match. They then lost in the quarterfinals and then rebounded by picking up a win in the third round of the wrestlebacks.
Berns started the day by beating No.7-seeded Jacob Groth of Wartburg 8-4. Berns then lost to No.2-seeded Tony Valek in the quarterfinals. Berns quickly got back on track for one of the top eight spots by beating Mark Carey of Coe 6-2. He will now face No.6-seeded John Marsh of Bridgewater State in the wrestleback quarterfinals.
Like Berns, Dankers started the day by pulling off an upset. He downed No.8-seeded Colin Lenhardt of Johnson and Wales 6-2. Dankers then ran into top seeded, and defending national champion, Evan Brown of Dubuque in the quarterfinals and lost by pin fall. True to his form in the final month of the season, Dankers responded with another win over a top seed. He posted a 10-4 decision over No.6-seeded Robert Bishop of the Stevens Inst. of Tecnology. Dankers will face unseeded Dylan Azinger of Wartburg in the wrestleback quarterfinals.
Ben Anderson was the final member of the Cobber contingent at nationals. Anderson went 1-2 on Friday. He started the meet by losing a thrilling 2-1 decision to two-time All-American Matt Kelly of Wartburg. Anderson returned to the mat in the afternoon and downed Chris LeClere of Coe 2-1 in the first round of wrestlebacks. Anderson's goal of earning All-American honors was dashed in overtime in the second round of wrestlebacks when he lost 3-2 to No.3-seeded Aaron Bautista of UW-Whitewater. Anderson finishes his junior season with a 28-6 record and has 87 career wins.
Meet Bout-By-Bout Recap
- Ben Anderson lost to two-time All-American Matt Kelly of Wartburg 2-1 and will wrestle Chris LeClere of Coe in the wrestlebacks beginning at 2 p.m.
- Justin Berns beat No.7-seeded Jacob Groth of Wartburg 8-4 and will wrestle #2 Tony Valek of Augsburg in the quarterfinals beginning at 6 p.m.
- Ross Dankers beat No.8-seeded Colin Lenhardt of Johnson and Wales 6-2 and will wrestle defending national champion, and No.1 seed, Evan Brown of Dubuque in the quarterfinals beginning at 6 p.m.
- Phil Moenkedick had a first round bye and will wrestle unseeded Ben Adams of John Carroll in the quarterfinals beginning at 6 p.m.
Wrestlebacks 1st Round
- Ben Anderson beat Chris LeClere of Coe 2-1
- Justin Berns lost to #2 Tony Valek of Augsburg by pin fall at 6:26
- Ross Dankers lost to defending national champion, and No.1 seed, Evan Brown of Dubuque by pin fall at 2:55
- Phil Moenkedick beat unseeded Ben Adams of John Carroll 8-2 and will face unseeded Josh Wake of Oneonta State in the semifinals beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday
Wrestlebacks 2nd Round
- Ben Anderson lost to #3 Austin Bautista of UW-Whitewater 4-3 TB2
Wrestlebacks 3rd Round
- Justin Berns beat Mark Carey of Coe 6-2 and will now face #6 John Marsh of Bridgewater State in the wrestleback quarterfinals beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the winner earning All-American honors
- Ross Dankers beat #6 Robert Bishop of Stevens Inst. of Tech 10-4 and will now face Dylan Azinger of Wartburg in the wrestleback quarterfinals beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the winner earning All-American honors
- Justin Berns lost to #6 John Marsh of Bridgewater State by pin fall and will wrestle Charlie Curran of Elmhurst in the seventh place match. Berns has earned All-American honors
- Ross Dankers lost to Dylan Azinger of Wartburg 12-4 and will wrestle Seth Rehn of Coe for seventh place. Dankers has earned All-American honors.
- Phil Moenkedick beat unseeded Josh Wake of Oneonta State 5-0 and will wrestle #8 Brennan Ward of Johnson and Wales for the national championship at 8 p.m.
Seventh Place Matches
- Justin Berns beat Charlie Curran of Elmhurst 7-5 and earned All-American honors for the first time in his career!
- Ross Dankers lost to Seth Rehn of Coe 10-3 and finished eighth to win All-American honors for the first time in his career.
- Phil Moenkedick beat #8 Brennan Ward of Johnson 7-4 to become the first Cobber national champion since Barry Bennett in 1978.