Seven national top-10 team finishes
GALESBURG, Ill. — It was a .500 outing for the Central College wrestling team in its first action since Dec. 18, as the Dutch went 2-2 at the Knox College (Ill.) Duals Saturday.
The Dutch started slow with a 25-16 loss to Wabash College (Ind.), before doubling back with a 24-16 win over Trine University (Ind.). The third contest was another loss, 17-15 to the University of Chicago (Ill.), but the Dutch finished the day with a 36-3 thrashing of Wis.-Platteville.
“It was an up and down day,” said coach Eric Van Kley. “We were a little inconsistent early. There were matches we thought we should have won that we let slip away, but that fired up our wrestlers and it was encouraging to see a strong performance at the end.”
Van Kley noted the performance junior Jake Crawford (Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) in the Trine match as an early highlight. With Trine in striking difference of the team lead, Crawford recorded a pin and secured the Central victory.
“That was a big win by Jake,” said Van Kley. “He made a great effort on behalf of the team to get the win.”
Against Wis.-Platteville, Van Kley introduced new faces into the Central lineup. Sophomore Chris Hallinan (Waukee) stepped into the 149-pound slot and recorded a 5-3 overtime decision. Freshman Sam Apland (Woodridge Ill., Downers Grove South HS) made his first varsity appearance and fought to a 12-4 victory at 174 pounds.
“Today was a good opportunity to change the lineup,” said Van Kley. “Four duals gives you the chance to try some things out. It was really encouraging to see those guys get success in varsity action.”
Freshman Daniel Page (Yelm Wash., Tumwater HS) compiled a 3-1 record at 125 on the day, as did sophomore Kalen Greiner (Keota) at 133 and junior Joseph Atwell (Jamaica, Panorama HS) at 157. Sophomore Keegan Overbey (Ceres, Calif.) had three wins, but sat out the final match at 149.
Central is back on the mat Saturday when it hosts 10 teams and over 150 wrestlers at the non-scored Central Invitational. With five mats in action, competition begins at 9 a.m. from P.H. Kuyper Fieldhouse.