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Men's Wrestling continues to capture success

Photo by Jeremy Crawford
Photo by Jeremy Crawford

MEQUON, Wis. -- Concordia Wisconsin took another step in the winning direction during the 2019-20 campaign, compiling a 6-4 record in duals and had numerous wrestlers place at tournaments throughout the season.

Head coach Kevin Koch, having completed his third season, continues to build a winning culture in the wrestling room and on the mat during competitions. The Falcons put together a 6-4 record in duals to have their first winning season since the 2014-15 campaign. One of the victories was a narrow 22-20 decision over 17th-ranked Ozarks in a non-conference dual at the Gator Boots Duals in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sophomore Marco Padilla (Elmwood Park, Ill.) and freshman Josh Te Stroete (Cedar Grove, Wis.) each surpassed the 20-win plateau with 27 and 23, respectively. Padilla placed in seven tournaments and won the MSOE Invitational on December 7 after going a perfect 4-0 with each win coming by decision. He also finished second at the CCIW Championship (February 13) and seventh at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional (February 28-29), which is considered the most difficult in the nation.

Te Stroete performed well during his rookie season, starting his year 14-5 through the months of November and December. He went 6-0 in bouts decided by technical fall and 5-1 in those ending in fall, which means 11 of his 23 victories were in matches that scored numerous team points.

Junior Merrick O'Donnel (Huntington Beach, Calif.) compiled 17 wins during the season and sophomore Val Kochiu (Oak Creek, Wis.) had 16 victories. O'Donnell took fifth at the Millikin Open on November 9 to begin the season and placed eighth at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional. Kochiu was seventh at the Millikin Open and fourth at the Al Hanke Invitational, hosted by Elmhurst on January 18. His 16-5 record was compiled through January 18.

Off the mat, Padilla and O'Donnell earned National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-America honors for their efforts in the classroom. Padilla is a marketing major who had a 3.5 grade point average in the fall semester and has a 3.38 cumulative gpa. O'Donnell is a criminal justice and public policy major who had a 3.8 gpa in the fall and has a 3.26 overall gpa.

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