By Emily Christensen
It was a weekend (and more importantly, a season) to remember for the Wartburg wrestling team.
On Saturday, March 11, the team earned a record-breaking 13th NCAA Division III championship, crowning nine All-Americans and accumulating 129.5 team points. Rival Augsburg—the Minnesota team has 12 national championships—finished second with 79 points.
“Wartburg celebrates excellence, and there are no limits to what you can accomplish here. The amount of commitment and dedication that this team invested in each other played a major part in the history-making season they had,” said coach Eric Keller. “They made their minds up last spring that they were going to be great and jumped levels all season every time they were challenged. Every single guy in our program had a piece in this historical accomplishment.”
In addition to the national team honors, nine (out of a possible 10) wrestlers were crowned All-Americans and one, Eric DeVos ’18, earned an individual national championship. All of this came after the team won a record-breaking seventh consecutive National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals title, its 196th consecutive IIAC dual (another record), its fifth consecutive Central Regional title (more records falling here), and a record-setting 25th IIAC title.
Three wrestlers—Lance Evans ’18, a biology (pre-med) major from Solon; Tyler Lutes ’18, a business administration major from Conrad; and DeVos, a political science major from Okoboji—earned NWCA Scholar All-America honors. Evans also was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American.