Seven national top-10 team finishes
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — The Central College wrestling team didn’t let a last-minute change of opponents affect it at the Wabash College (Ind.) Max Servies Wrestling Duals, racking up a 3-1 record Saturday.
With snowy road conditions keeping Augsburg College (Minn.) and Muskingum University (Ohio) from making the trip to Wabash, Wis. Platteville and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wis.) were added to the meet. A combined junior varsity squad was also added, but was not included in team scoring.
Central opened with a 33-6 win over the College of Mt. St. Joseph (Ohio) before toppling MSOE, 29-12, and Platteville, 36-3, to start the day perfect. The Dutch fell to Wabash, which ranks No. 23 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association poll, 22-16 in the final matchup.
“I felt really good about things,” said coach Eric Van Kley. “Five duals gets to be a long day. We talked about being consistent and our wrestlers did a good job of that today.”
Junior Joe Atwell (Jamaica, Panorama HS) led the charge for the Dutch, rolling to a 4-0 record at 157 pounds. Van Kley also highlighted freshman Daniel Page (Yelm Wash., Tumwater HS) in the 125-pound division and sophomore Kalen Greiner (Keota) at 133, who both went 4-1.
“Kalen wrestled all five duals in arguably the toughest weight of the day,” said Van Kley. “He got some hard-fought wins. He’s starting to peak at the right time of year.”
Sophomore TJ Peretti (Auburn Wash., Auburn Mountainview HS) was back in the lineup at 141 pounds after rehabbing an injury and also went 4-1.
With five duals on the schedule, Van Kley rotated several wrestlers into the lineup. Juniors Jake Crawford (Altoona, Southeast Polk) and Brandon Burrell (Cedar Rapids, Washington HS) teamed up to keep the Dutch undefeated in the heavyweight division. Crawford was 3-0 while Burrell was 2-0.
“Something we’ve improved at this year is having better depth and we showed that today,” said Van Kley. “We alternated lineups and stayed consistent with the wrestlers we put out there.”
The Dutch are back on the mat Jan. 28 when they host Buena Vista University, Luther College, Loras College and Cornell College for the Iowa Conference duals. Cornell sits sixth and Luther 11thin the NWCA rankings.
Action is set to begin at 9 a.m. from P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. Live stats and a video stream will be available at www.central.edu/athletics.
“We feel really good about the work our wrestlers are putting in and we’re starting to peak at the right time of the year,” said Van Kley. “The guys are excited to be at home; they like competing in front of the home fans. It’s fun to host something as competitive as the league duals.”