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Choinski Caps Career With Third Straight All-America Award

Choinski Caps Career With Third Straight All-America Award

UW-Oshkosh senior Mark Choinski capped his decorated career with a third consecutive All-America performance at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championship on Saturday (March 9) in Roanoke, Va.

Choinski reached the quarterfinal round in the 165-pound weight class with two victories on Friday (March 8). After suffering a loss in the quarterfinals, Choinski (38-4) won three straight matches against seeded opponents to finish in third place, marking the best national championship result of his career.

Choinski, unseeded despite compiling a 32-3 record entering the national meet, opened the Division III Championship with a win by fall with 19 seconds remaining (6:41) against sixth-seeded Anthony Arroyo (28-4 record) from Baldwin Wallace University (Ohio).

Choinski then scored a major decision of 19-5 over Brad Kerkhoff (28-12) from Buena Vista University (Iowa) to advance to the quarterfinals, where UW-Whitewater's Nicholas Bonomo (15-7) eked past Choinski, 5-3.

Choinski's successful journey through the consolation bracket began with an 8-4 decision over Jared Walker (31-5) from Washington & Jefferson College (Pa.) and continued with a pin against second-seeded Taylor Shea (42-3) from Roger Williams University (R.I.) and a 10-6 win over fourth-seeded Kyle Hatch (32-6) from Wabash College (Ind.).

In the third-place match, Choinski defeated fifth-seeded Eddie Smith (30-6) from Loras College (Iowa) in a 6-3 decision.

Top-seeded Lucas Jeske (24-0) from Augsburg University (Minn.) won the 165-pound title with a 6-2 decision in the title bout over seventh-seeded Dempsey King (30-6) from Rochester Institute of Technology (N.Y.).

Choinski became the third Titan to secure at least three All-America accolades. He finished fifth in the 157-pound weight class at the Division III Championship last season after placing sixth at 157 pounds in 2017. Former UW-Oshkosh wrestler Rick Gruber was a four-time All-American from 1981-84, and Nazar Kulchytskyy won three straight individual national titles from 2012-14.

Augsburg University won the national team title with 130 points to easily surpass the 66 points of runner-up Loras College.

Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) placed third in the team standings with 63 points. Fourth-place Ithaca College accumulated 59.5 points and University of Mount Union (Ohio) rounded out the top five teams with 58.5 points. Three-time defending Division III champion Wartburg College (Iowa) finished sixth with 52 points.

Choinski's third-place showing allowed UW-Oshkosh to finish 16th in the team standings with 18.5 points.