Dictus a champion after OT thriller

Matthew Kruse

Ben Dictus waited until the last possible moment on Sunday to earn his second trip to nationals. Dictus, the No. 2 seed at 184-pounds, was looking to avenge a double-overtime dual loss to top seed Al Stacilauskas from UW-Stevens Point. Dictus nearly lost the match in the third period when he gave up a takedown to fall behind 3-1. Late in the period Dictus was able to score a reversal to tie the score and hold on to go to overtime. A shot by Stacilauskas was stopped by Dictus and left both wrestlers working for a scoring position. After several moments, Dictus managed to shift his grip enough for the officials to award him with a takedown with only seven seconds left in the period, much to the dismay of the Stevens Point coaches and fans.
Dictus was the top placer for the Vikings, who finished last in the tournament as a team. Half of the team managed to place in the tournament. John Budi placed fourth, while David Quinlan, Ryan Dummann, and Joe Austin all placed fifth. UW-La Crosse, the fourth-ranked team in the nation, dominated the tournament, winning for the eighth consecutive year. La Crosse had seven individual champions, two runners-up, and one fourth-place finisher.
Dictus is the Viking to earn a spot at nationals this year. The champion of each weight class automatically earns a spot, along with six other wrestlers from the conference who are given at-large bids as chosen by the coaches. La Crosse led the WIAC, taking half of the conference’s national spots with seven champions and one at-large bid. The 2005 NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championships will be held March 4-5 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.