The numbers all added up for the Muhlenberg wrestling team in 2006-07.
The Mules had four national qualifiers and a three-time
All-American and finished number two in the Centennial Conference
in one of their best seasons ever.
The seventh four-time champion in CC wrestling history,
Loesch won the Chris Clifford Memorial Award as the senior with the most
career points at the conference tournament. He also was awarded an NCAA
The team accomplished all it did with a starting lineup that included only
two seniors, pointing to a future filled with more big numbers.
Muhlenberg showed its potential in the early-season tournaments, crowning
at least one champion at each. Sophomore 141-pounder Rob Kein took
first place at Kings, and three weeks later he won another title at
Messiah, defeating the top-ranked wrestler in Division III in the process
and earning Most Outstanding Wrestler honors.
Sophomore Billy Hall, who began the season competing against Kein
at 141, found success when he dropped back down to 133, earning a national
ranking after joining Kein in the winners circle at Messiah.
Senior Matt Loesch (197) made his season debut in January, his
return to the mat delayed by an injury suffered while playing football,
and won his first tournament, the Roger Williams Mid-Winter Classic.
Junior heavyweight Joe Tartar, also back from an injury that caused
him to miss the entire 2005-06 year, captured his first career tournament
title at Roger Williams.
Hall and Tartar won their weight classes to lead the Mules to first place
at the Washington & Lee Invitational their first regular-season
tourney title in 15 years. A Muhlenberg wrestler placed in the top four at
all but one of the 10 weight classes.
A 6-4-1 dual-meet season, which included an 18-18 tie with 27th-ranked New
York University, set the stage for the CC Championships. Muhlenberg gave
four-time defending champion Ursinus a run for its money, but ended up
finishing second by 11 points its first time in the runner-up spot
since 2002. And whereas the Bears did not win any weight classes, the
Mules crowned four champions (Hall, Kein, Loesch and Tartar), all of whom
earned bids to the NCAA Division III Championships.
Senior 125-pounder Michael Tenenhaus recorded a pin in
his final home match and ended his career with 30 wins.
Although Muhlenberg had one of the largest contingents at nationals (only
five schools sent more than four wrestlers), only Loesch found success,
finishing sixth to become the first three-time All-American in CC history.
Loesch ended his brilliant career with a record of 90-16, including a 40-0
mark against CC opponents. Hall and Tartar both went 24-7 on the season
and tied for the team lead with 13 pins, while Kein finished at 23-4.
Junior Joseph DeCampo (20-11 at 149) and sophomore Matt Horn
(20-12, third in the CC at 184) also reached the 20-win mark, and
sophomore Justin Fitch was 19-12 at 174 in his first season as a