Two-time All-American Mark Choinski will be among 10 UW-Oshkosh wrestlers competing at this weekend's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Upper Midwest Regional in Eau Claire.
Activity in the two-day tournament begins Friday (Feb. 22) and concludes Saturday (Feb. 23) at UW-Eau Claire's McPhee Physical Education Center. Daily sessions start at 11 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
Joining UW-Oshkosh's group of wrestlers at the event will be representatives from Augsburg University (Minn.), Concordia College (Minn.), Concordia University Wisconsin, Elmhurst College (Ill.), Lakeland University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Pacific University (Ore.), Saint John's University (Minn.), St. Olaf College (Minn.), University of Chicago (Ill.), UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater and Wheaton College (Ill.).
Twelve-time national champion Augsburg University enters this weekend's regional ranked second in Division III by the National Wrestling Coaches Association while UW-La Crosse lists ninth, UW-Whitewater 14th, Concordia College 20th, UW-Oshkosh 21st, UW-Stevens Point 22nd and University of Chicago 24th.
Augsburg University won last year's Upper Midwest Regional in Minneapolis, Minn., with 147 points. The Auggies, last year's national runners-up, were followed in the team standings by second-place UW-La Crosse with 128 points, third-place UW-Whitewater with 93, fourth-place UW-Stevens Point with 79 and fifth-place Elmhurst College with 78.5. UW-Oshkosh finished ninth with 53.5 points.
A total of 30 wrestlers – the top three finishers in each of the 10 weight classes – will qualify from the Upper Midwest Regional to the Division III Championship on March 8-9 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Va.
The 2019 Upper Midwest Regional features UW-Oshkosh's Choinski and 24 other nationally ranked wrestlers. Among them are Augsburg University's top-ranked Lucas Jeske at 165 pounds ,and second-ranked Victor Gliva at 125, Sam Bennyhoff at 133 and Ryan Epps at 157 pounds.
Choinski ranks ninth nationally in the 165-pound weight class this year after participating in the 157-pound weight division the previous three seasons. Choinski's two second-place regional finishes advanced him to the Division III Championship, where he finished sixth in 2017 and fifth a year ago. Choinski, this year's WIAC runner-up, owns a season record of 28-2 (8 pins) and a career mark of 93-17 (26 pins).
Other UW-Oshkosh wrestlers returning to regional action are three-time participant Colten Cashmore and two-time competitors Wesam Alabed and Corey Knudsen. Cashmore possesses a 20-9 record (5 pins) at 184 pounds this season while Alabed is 17-10 (4 pins) at 141 and Knudsen 12-11 (2 pins) at 149. Cashmore and Knudsen both finished sixth at last year's Upper Midwest Regional.
UW-Oshkosh wrestlers making their regional debut this weekend are AJ Schoenfuss (20-9 record, 13 pins) at 125 pounds, Zach McDowell (5-11, 1 pin) at 133, Muzi Sitshela (10-13, 1 pin) at 157, Patrick Reilly (8-8, 3 pins) at 174, Beau Yineman (29-4, 5 pins) at 197 and Jordan Lemcke (22-12, 10 pins) at 285.
Schoenfuss and Yineman finished second at the WIAC Championship held Feb. 8 in Eau Claire while Lemcke placed third, Knudsen fourth, McDowell fifth, and Alabed, Cashmore and Sitshela sixth each.