Seven national top-10 team finishes
GALESBURG, ILL.—In a solid, season-opening effort, the Central College wrestling team had 10 placewinners in the Knox (Ill.) Invitational Saturday.
At 157 pounds, Joseph Atwell (junior, Jamaica, Panorama HS) took runner-up honors and Josh Atwell (senior, Jamaica, Perry HS) finished fourth. Joseph was 3-1 and Josh was 3-2, notching two falls in 3:52 and 1:56.
“Both Atwells had a really good weekend,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “They wrestled smart and are getting better at eliminating mistakes and going into their offense.”
Central also fared well at 184 pounds. Top-seeded Greg Barner (junior, Audubon) placed third, rallying after an early loss to finish 5-1, and Tyler Lowy (freshman, Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird HS) was fifth at 3-2.
“Greg showed a lot of heart, taking a tough loss and coming back to finish second,” Van Kley said. “He showed a lot of determination and perseverance.”
Van Kley was encouraged by a strong performance at 125 with Bryan Connolly (sophomore, Naples, Fla., Gulf Coast HS) placing third at 3-1 and Daniel Page (freshman, Yelm, Wash., Tumwater HS) finishing fifth at 3-2.
“It’s great to have two lightweights we’ll be able to lean on throughout the season,” Van Kley said. “A lot of teams struggle to find that and for us to have two is a real positive.”
At 197 pounds, Dan Gordon (senior, Anchorage, Alaska, Diamond HS) placed fourth (2-2) and Theron Stewart (junior, Marshalltown) finished fifth (2-2), posting two falls in 6:12 and 4:00. Ryan Davis (junior, Northwood, La.) was fourth (3-2) at 149 and Reid Imerman (senior, Guthrie Center) was sixth (4-3) at 165.
Twelve schools competed at the tournament and no team scores were kept.
“Overall it was a balanced effort throughout the weights and a good starting point for the season,” Van Kley said.
Central opens its dual meet season at Wheaton (Ill.) Tuesday at 6 p.m.
“Wheaton will be a tough team,” Van Kley said. “We saw them today and they’re much improved. It’ll be a good meet to start the year with to see where we’re at.”