Seven national top-10 team finishes
PELLA—The No. 29 Central College wrestling team held a 15-13 lead heading into the last match, but No. 3 Coe College pulled out the comeback win, 16-15, against the Dutch Wednesday night.
Central jumped to a 6-0 lead with a pair of wins from lightweights Daniel Page (sophomore, Yelm, Wash., Tumwater HS) and Aaron Anderson (freshman, Clarion, Clarion-Goldfield HS). Page outscored all-American and fourth-ranked Jimmy Gotto 4-2 at 125 pounds before Anderson won by a 6-4 decision at 133.
“You can’t praise those wrestlers enough,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “They got us off to a great start and it means so much in getting the momentum going.”
Ryan Davis (senior, Shreveport, La., Northwood HS) gave the Dutch a 9-3 advantage with a 6-1 decision at 149 pounds.
“That was a big win to keep the momentum on our side,” Van Kley said. “Ryan’s performed well the last two times after a disappointing loss last week, and he wrestled a tough, smart match tonight.”
Trailing 13-9, Tyler Lowy (sophomore, Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird HS) cut the Coe lead to one point with a 3-0 decision at 184 pounds. Theron Stewart (senior, Marshalltown) scored the go-ahead win with a 3-2 decision at 197. Stewart tied the match 2-2 with an escape in the third period before Coe was charged with unnecessary roughness in the final 10 seconds, giving the Dutch a 15-13 dual lead.
But Coe’s Alex Burkle, ranked second at 285 pounds, edged Central’s Jake Crawford (senior, Monroe, Southeast Polk HS) in a 4-1 decision for the dual victory.
“Jake gave a great effort against the No.-2 ranked wrestler in the country,” Van Kley said. “He fought his tail off and just came up short.”
The Dutch are making progress in their rise to the top.
“We’re improving each week and we’ve made great strides to be able to compete with a team like that,” Van Kley said. “It was a great effort and I’m proud of the guys.”
Central travels to Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday for the Auggie-Brute-adidas Open at Augsburg College. The non-scored meet breaks the field into divisions separated by experience levels.