Justin Kreiter battles Jordan Bushey of Oswego State in the early rounds of the NCAA tournament.  (Photo courtesy d3photography.com)
Justin Kreiter battles Jordan Bushey of Oswego State in the early rounds of the NCAA tournament. (Photo courtesy d3photography.com)
The Luther wrestling team emerged with a near-victory at the NCAA Division III National Tournament over the weekend in La Crosse, Wis., as Justin Kreiter finished runner-up at 184 pounds.
Kreiter, who was seeded No. 5 in the tournament, lost to No. 3-seeded Jordan Newman of Wisconsin-Whitewater by fall in 4:03 in the finals. Kreiter’s victory would have marked Luther’s second individual title in as many years, following Drew Van Anrooy’s victory at 141 pounds last season.
En route to the title match, Kreiter won his opening match over Ryan Shank of Waynesburg University by fall in 2:25. In the quarterfinals, Kreiter took down No. 4-seeded Jordan Bushey of Oswego 8-1, before taking down top-seeded Owen Webster of Augsburg 5-3 in the semifinals. In the process, Kreiter ended Webster’s 28-match win streak.
Kreiter ends his career with a 95-35 record, going 27-3 this campaign.
Luther’s two other qualifiers, Javier Reyes (174) and Tristan Zurfluh (165), bowed out in consolation matches after losing their opening rounds. Both end their careers as multiple-time national qualifiers, and Zurfluh has an All-American status from last season to his name.
Zurfluh lost his opening round match to Zach Zupan of Cortland in sudden victory 3-1. In the consolation bracket he was defeated by No. 7 Nick Velez 8-2. Zurfluh ends his career with a 82-59 record.
Reyes was defeated by Sonnieboy Blanco of Washington and Jefferson 11-5 in the opening round. In the consolation bracket, Reyes was defeated by Michael LaBell of Johnson and Wales 14-4. Reyes ends his career with a 79-60 mark.
Rival Wartburg took home its sixth national team title in seven years in La Crosse.