MEQUON, Wis. -- The 20th Annual Concordia University Wisconsin Wrestling Open will be the largest to date this Saturday, with over 400 wrestlers competing in one of the biggest early season events in the nation.
Ranked teams, according to d3wrestle.com participating include: NCAA Division III Wartburg College (No. 1), Elmhurst College (No. 4), UW-Whitewater (No. 5), UW-Stevens Point (No. 15), Wabash College (No. 16), Augustana College (No. 17), University of Dubuque (No. 21) and North Central College (No. 27).
In addition, NCAA Division II teams UW-Parkside (No. 10) and Minnesota University-Mankato (No. 13) will be competing.
Top contenders by weight, with d3wrestle.com current rankings is as follows:
125 pound weight class
Last year's CUW Open runner-up Gilberto Camacho of Wartburg (#2), CUW's Sean Ambrocio (#5), Augustana's Jacob Scholten (#9), UW-Parkside's Jake Papke - who placed sixth last year will all contend for the title, along with D3wrestle.com Honorable Mentions Mark Johnson (Elmhurst), CP Poynter (Wabash) and UW-Stevens Point Lance Fabry - who took 8th in the Open last year. A high contender will also be Mankato's David Demo who took second last week at the Luther Open.
133 pound weight class
Elmhurst's Dalton Bullard (#2) was third at the NCAA Division III Nationals last season, CUW's Marcus Lubner (#9), Minnesota Mankato's Aphonso Vruno won the Luther Open last weekend, along with d3wrestle.com Honorable Mention Austin Binish from MSOE and Chris Sokol from Dubuque. Wartburg's Brandon Chicelly was fourth at the Luther Open last weekend. Binish won the Knox Invite last weekend while his teammate Luke Gaeth took second.
141 pound weight class
Minnesota Mankato's Drew Lexvold won the Luther Open last week, while Elmhurst's Ryan Early (#6) and Wartburg's Tommy Mirocha (#7) will be top contenders for the titles at Saturday's Open. Mirocha was second at the Luther Open. D3wrestle.com Honorable Mentions include UW-SP's Jordan Kust - who took third at the UW-SP Open last weekend - and UW-Parkside's Dave Edwards was fifth at the UW-SP Open.
149 pound weight class
Wartburg will bring Brandon Welter, second at Luther Open last weekend, and possibly No. 1-ranked Kodie Silvestri, last year's 141-pound NCAA Division III Champion may make his season appearance. Last year's 141-pound CUW Open Champion Greg Sanders from CUW(#5) and Honorable Mention Mike Grice from Elmhurst will also contend for the title. UW-SP's Shane Sweeney was third at the UW-SP Open last weekend. UW-Parkside's Kory Jauch was fourth at the UW-SP Open and MSOE's Dallas Schurg took third at Knox Invite.
157 pound weight class
UW-Parkside's Dillon Bera, the NCAA Division II runner-up, won the UW-SP Open last weekend, while teammate Derek Davison took third. UW-SP's Ben Strobel (#5) and Wabash's Jake Strausbaugh (#8) - who won the CUW Open at 149 pounds last year - will contend. Dubuque's Ryan Warczynski (HM), Wheaton's Mark Savanok (HM) and Alex Maynard (HM) will be in the mix with Augustana's Alex Bowers - won won the Knox Invite last week. Wartburg's Brett Yonkovic took fourth at Luther Open.
165 pound weight class
Defending NCAA Division III Champion Landon Williams from Wartburg (#1) is coming off a title at Luther Open defeating Minnesota Mankato's Cody Quinn in the finals. Dubuque's Derek Mizauk (#10) took fifth at Luther Open, UW-Parkside's Nick Fishback was third at the UW-SP Open and third at 157 pounds during last year's CUW Open. UW-SP's Jordan Schulte was fourth at the UW-SP Open last weekend. D3Wrestle.com Honorable Mentions include CUW's Leonard Kuspa, Wheaton's Peter Huang - who was second at Knox Invite - and Elmurst's Yousef Al-Ghoul who seventh at the CUW Open last year.
174 pound weight class
Minnestoa Mankato's Brendan Eichmann was second at Luther Open, UW-SP's Ryan Conat (#9) won the UW-SP Open last weekend. Montrail Johnson from UW-Parkside was third at the UW-SP Open and Augustana's Matt Burns (HM) won the Knox Invite. D3wrestle.com Honorable Mentions include Matt McCrary (Wheaton) and Dan Balderas (Elmhurst).
184 pound weight class
Elmhurst Mike Benefiel (#1) transferred from Oklahoma State University and holds the top ranking in NCAA Division III. UW-Parkside's Matt Gille started the season winning the UW-SP Open last weekend. Minnesota Mankato's Aaron Norgren won the Luther Open and Sam Upah (#4) of Wartburg took fourth at Luther Open. Dubuque's Logan Einerson (#6), Wheaton Mitch Steed (#7) and Augustana's returning All-American Jordan Richardson (#10) lost last weekend in the Knox Invite finals to Wheaton's Dan Olsen. D3Wrestle.com Honorable mention Josh Kirkland of Loras will also compete.
197 pound weight class
UW-Parkside All-American Davion Willis won the UW-SP Open and was third at the CUW Open last year. Wheaton's Darren Faber (#8) will contend with D3Wrestle.com Honorable Mention Dustin Wozniak of UW-SP - who placed fifth in the UW-SP Open last week. Wartburg Punahele Soriano took second at the CUW Open last year and fifth at Luther Open last weekend. Minnesota Mankato's Nathan Haynes was sixth at the Luther Open. Loras' Malcolm Watson was second in freshman division at the Luther Open.
285 pound weight class
No. 2-ranked Ryan Fank from Wartburg won the Luther Open and won the CUW Open last year. Fank defeated Minnesota Mankato's Corby Running in the finals of the Luther Open. James Malachek from Parkside was third at the UW-SP Open. Brian Brooks (#8) from Elmhurst and Augustana's John Schraidt (HM) will contend for places. Schraidt was third at last year's CUW Open and Brooks was fifth. UW-SP's Jordan Koranda (HM) and UW-Parkside's Brady Stumpf both placed at the UW-SP Open last weekend. Augustana's John Seaman was second at the Knox Invite last week to teammate Schraidt.
Article written by CUW wrestling assistant coach Bret Corner