Seven national top-10 team finishes
DUBUQUE—Sophomore Daniel Page (Yelm, Wash., Tumwater HS) knocked off a nationally ranked opponent and scored three wins for Central College as the No. 29 Dutch finished 1-2 at the Iowa Conference wrestling duals Saturday.
Competing at the University of Dubuque, Central was overwhelmed by defending national champion No. 1 Wartburg College 34-6 and 26th-ranked Dubuque 29-12 but rebounded with a 45-0 triumph against Buena Vista University. The Dutch improved to 10-5, achieving the 10-wins mark for the fourth straight year.
Page jumpstarted the day at 125 pounds with a 3-2 upset over Wartburg’s Gilberto Camacho, who is ranked No. 3 in Division III. Page followed with a 3-0 decision against Dubuque and 16-1 technical fall against Buena Vista.
“Daniel had a stellar day and is a great starter for us at the beginning of the lineup,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “He controlled the pace of the match against Wartburg for a big win and followed with two good wins.”
It’s the second ranked opponent Page has conquered. Earlier in the season he defeated fourth-ranked Jimmy Gotto, an all-American from Coe College. Page is 20-5.
Theron Stewart (senior, Marshalltown) also scored three wins at 197 pounds. He improved to 22-3 with a 7-2 decision, 14-0 major decision and 4:30 pin. Stewart has a 71-38 career mark.
“Stewart is a senior that has done everything we’ve ever asked,” Van Kley said. “He got a big decision against Wartburg and helps the team finish strong at one of the upper weights. It’s great to see him wrestling the best of his career.”
Ryan Davis (senior, Shreveport, La., Northwood HS) was 2-1 at 149 pounds. His 18-2 technical fall against Dubuque (8-7) gave the Dutch an 8-6 lead. The Spartans slipped away with two falls and three straight major decisions.
“It was tight against Dubuque but we gave up some bonus points and let a couple swing matches get away,” Van Kley said.
After picking up the two wins against Wartburg (17-0), Van Kley said the Dutch are continuing to gain ground on the Knights.
“Our wrestlers attacked and were in matches,” he said. “They’re an outstanding team and ranked number one in the country for a reason.”
Van Kley was pleased with the team’s effort.
“It was another competitive day in the Iowa Conference and there were a lot of positives,” he said. “We had some really nice wins. We’ve also got some things we want to build on and some areas we know we can get better at before the regional tournament next month.”
Central travels to Indianola Friday, meeting Simpson College at 7 p.m., before making a home appearance next Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. dual against No. 24 Luther College at H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse.