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Montini grad among Elmhurst College's two wrestling national champions

Former Bronco Mike Benefiel won DIII title at 197 pounds

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 4:57 p.m. CST

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Elmhurst wrestling team capped a record-breaking season with a second-place finish at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships with two Bluejays winning individual national titles.

Montini grad Mike Benefiel (197 pounds) and Chicago native Joe Rau (184) both won individual national titles. Five Bluejays earned All-American honors by placing in the top eight, setting a new school record.

Rau was the top seed at 184 while Benefiel was seeded fourth at 197. Facing second-seeded Alex Coolidge of Cornell College in the championship final, Benefiel struck for a quick takedown and led 2-0 after one period. Benefiel landed another takedown in the second period to go up 4-0 and tacked on a third takedown in the third period to earn a 7-3 victory.

Benefiel also took home the NWCA award for Most Falls in the Least Amount of Time, totaling three pins in 5:56.

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