Pioneers send four to La Crosse

Arneson, Harsh, Goetz and Wedepohl qualify for the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships

After 8 hours and 484 miles, the Pioneer wrestlers arrived at Concordia-Moorhead in western Minnesota. On Feb. 24-25, this was the site of the NCAA Division III West Regional. The Pioneers knew that this would be their last chance to wrestle this season unless they finished third or better in their weight class. The Pioneer wrestlers have four out of 10 wrestlers moving on to the national championships, and the team had one individual champion. In order to qualify for the NCAA Division III National Championships, a wrestler needs to finish third or better. Jon Goetz placed first, Scott Arneson and Grant Wedepohl placed second, and Trevor Harsh wrestled back for third place.

Jon Goetz (25-5) won three consecutive matches to win the 174-pound title. Goetz received a first-round bye, followed by a technical fall in the semifinals and won a 4-2 decision to claim his championship. He is currently a sophomore environmental engineering major and is originally from West Bend, WI.

Scott Arneson (26-12) received a first-round bye, earned a pin in 1:36 in the quarterfinals, earned a 20-3 technical fall in the semifinals, but fell by a major decision of 10-2 in the final. Arneson is currently a sophomore health education student and is originally from Merrill, WI.

Grant Wedepohl (28-8) received a first-round bye, followed by pinning his opponent in the quarterfinals in 1:56, a semifinal decision of 5-0 until losing the final 12-0. He is also a sophomore and an engineering physics major from Reedsville, WI.

Trevor Harsh (11-11) put in a lot of work to qualify for nationals. After receiving a first-round bye, Harsh lost by major decision in the quarterfinals. Harsh would win four consecutive matches to take third and give himself another chance to wrestle this season. He, like the others, is a sophomore. He is also a health education major from Adel, IA.

According to the official Pioneer athletics website, if a wrestler finishes in the top six of their respective weight class, they receive all-regional honors. The seven Pioneers to earn that distinction include the following: Zachary Stenger at 125, Arneson at 133, Harsh at 149, Issac Brosinski at 165, Goetz at 174, Wedepohl at 184, and D’Andre Johnson at 285. Stenger is the team’s only senior and his season has come to a close with a fourth place finish. The NCAA Division III National Championships will be held on March 10-11 at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, WI.