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Eric Peterson, Published January 08 2010

Small College notebook: Cobbers off to National Duals

Concordia will test its NCAA Division III Top 10 ranking when it competes at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, which start Saturday at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The 16-team field features seven of the top 10 teams in Division III wrestling, including the Cobbers, who are ranked No. 9 in the latest national poll.

The Cobbers finished fifth at the event last year, which also has Division I, Division II, NAIA, NJCAA and women’s tournaments.

The Cobbers wrestle No. 16-ranked Cornell (Iowa) College at 11 a.m. Saturday in the first round.

“I think it’s important for us to wrestle competitively and to wrestle well,” said Cobbers coach Clay Nagel.

“You’ve got to have a bit of luck and some things go your way. If we compete well, that’s the main thing. As far as placing, we would love to place there like we did last year. That’s a nice honor.”

The Cobbers (8-2) last wrestled at the Vegas Duals on Dec. 20. They went 2-2 at that event, wrestling four teams that were ranked in the Top 20. Concordia lost to Elmhurst (now ranked No. 8) and Wartburg (now ranked No. 5).

Wartburg will also be at the national duals.

Nagel was impressed with Wartburg, which beat Concordia 28-12 at the Vegas Duals.

“I don’t know who they’re trying to kid,” Nagel said. “To me, they’re without a doubt the best team in Division III.”

Junior 141-pounder Ben Anderson (17-3), senior 165-pounder Lane Lunde (19-5), junior 141-pounder Justin Berns (13-0) and freshman 285-pounder Tom Bouressa (10-6) have been solid performers, Nagel said.

Junior 184-pound Phil Moenkedick (17-1) is ranked No. 4 in the latest Division III individual rankings. Anderson is ranked No. 4 at 141. Berns is ranked No. 8 at 149.

“We train for the individual national tournament at the end of the year,” Nagel said. “This is just kind of nice dual tournament that gets us ready for the national competition. … To see that caliber of wrestling to be there around that atmosphere, I think gets your guys ready mentally for the end of the year.”

Other stuff

Minnesota State Moorhead plays at Augustana at 6 tonight in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women’s basketball. The Dragons (10-3, 4-2 NSIC) are tied for third place in the conference with two other teams. The Vikings (10-2, 4-1) are in second place in the NSIC. “It’s kind of like you are in a horse race right now and you want to position yourself so at the end you can make a move to the front of the pack,” Dragons coach Karla Nelson said. “Every weekend seems to be getting bigger and bigger.”

Concordia head men’s basketball coach Rich Glas was credited with one of the best quotes of the decade in a recent Sports Illustrated. The quote was in reference to Glas, when he was at the University of North Dakota, getting his team motivated to play Division I power Kansas. “I told our guys, ‘They put their pants on the same way we do. They just pull them up two feet higher.’ ” … Jason Dannelly of College Fanz Sports Network recently announced his All-Decade NAIA football team. Former Valley City State wide receiver Chauncey Calhoun was named an at-large member to the first-team offense.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.