Three qualify for NCAA National Championships

Jon Goetz captured his second consecutive regional championship with a 5-0 decision over Augsburg's Tanner Vassar.
Jon Goetz captured his second consecutive regional championship with a 5-0 decision over Augsburg's Tanner Vassar.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville wrestling program made history last season by qualifying at least three athletes to the National Championships for the third consecutive year. That streak was extended to four years Saturday afternoon inside Si Melby Hall on the Augsburg University campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Jon Goetz, Grant Wedepohl, and D'Andre Johnson all qualified to wrestle for the Pioneers at the NCAA Division III National Championships by finishing in the top three at the Upper Midwest Regional.

Goetz highlighted the Pioneers' performances with his second consecutive regional championship at 174 pounds. He went 4-0 over the two day event and finished with a 5-0 decision in the championship match against Augsburg's Tanner Vassar.

At 184 pounds, Wedepohl won his first two matches of the weekend with 7-2 and 2-0 decisions before falling to reigning national champion Jordan Newman in the championship match.

Johnson finished runner-up to No. 7 nationally ranked Austin Bellile at 285 pounds after winning his first three matches of the weekend. In the semi-final, Johnson avenged his loss to UW-La Crosse's Konrad Ernst at the WIAC Championship's with a pin in the second period. Johnson's other two wins came by a pin in 47 seconds and a tech-fall in the first period.

The trio of juniors also all qualified for the National Championships their freshman seasons back in 2016, and Goetz and Wedepohl advance from the regional for the third consecutive year.

Seven other Pioneers competed at the Upper Midwest Regional, with Cody Meyer coming a match short of earning a bid to the national tournament. Meyer lost in his second match on Friday, but earned two victories in wrestlebacks before giving up an 8-7 decision to ninth ranked Lance Benick. Wrestling in his first matches since December 9th, Meyer earned a 7-3 decision in his following bout for a 5th place finish.

UW-Platteville finished sixth out of 17 teams at the regional with 77.0 points. Host Augsburg University finished atop the standings with 147.0 points.

Goetz, Wedepohl, and Johnson head to Cleveland, Ohio March 9-10 for the NCAA Division III National Championships held at the Cleveland Public Auditorium.