Seven national top-10 team finishes
DUBUQUE —Central College closed its dual wrestling season with a 25-12 setback at No. 21-ranked University of Dubuque Wednesday, but it was nonetheless the school’s most successful dual campaign in 17 years.
The loss dropped the Dutch to 13-11 (.542), still their highest winning percentage since posting an 11-5 mark in 1994-95 and their highest win total since a 14-7-2 campaign in 1993-94.
Central notched three victories against the nationally rated Spartans. Freshman Daniel Page (Yelm, Wash., Tumwater HS) was a 4-2 winner at 125 pounds, senior Josh Atwell (Jamaica, Perry HS) recorded a fall in 3:47 at 149 pounds and freshman Tyler Lowy (Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird HS) notched a 4-1 decision at 184 pounds. Page improved to 22-15 on the year while Lowy is 19-12.
Atwell, 14-9, recorded his seventh fall of the year.
“I could not be prouder of the way he’s wrestling as he wraps up a tremendous career,” coach Eric Van Kley said of Atwell. “The senior leadership he’s showing on and off the mat are invaluable to our program.”
Nonetheless, Van Kley was looking for more from his squad Wednesday.
“We had three swing matches that came down to the end and we lost all three,” he said. “Dubuque’s a solid team but we’ve got to get over the hump with teams like that.”
That’s a different answer than Van Kley would have given a couple years ago. When he took over in 2007-08, he inherited a squad that had endured a 0-18 season the previous year. But as his rebuilding program begins kicking into high gear, expectations are changing.
“That shows the progress in the program,” he said. “We battled a nationally ranked team pretty well, but we’ve got 10 disappointed guys heading back tonight. But we’ll regroup and get ready for next week.”
The Dutch will turn their focus to the Iowa Conference tournament at Cedar Rapids Feb. 24, where Central will try to improve on last year’s seventh-place finish. With four league teams ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA Division III and five squads in the top 25, moving up in the standings is a tough slog. The league tourney also serves as the qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championships at La Crosse, Wis. March 9-10.
“Our goal definitely is we want to improve in the team standings,” Van Kley said. “But we also want to keep wrestling in March. The guys have great attitudes, they’re working hard and we want to keep wrestling as long as we can.”
University of Dubuque 25, Central College - 12
125--Daniel Page (C) dec. Nicholas Rivera), 4-2; 133--Chris Sokol (UD) dec. Kalen Greiner, 4-0; 141--Seven Furseth (UD) dec. TJ Peretti , 6-0; 149--Josh Atwell (C) won by fall over Brian Travis, 3:47; 157--Derek Mizaur (UD) won by major dec. over Joseph Atwell, 13-4; 165--Ray Bryant (UD) dec. Reid Imerman, 7-5 (OT); 174--#6 Logan Einerson (UD) won by fall over Tommy Van Renterghem, 4:15; 184--Tyler Lowy (C) dec. Matt Manning (UD), 4-1; *197--Sam Johnson (UD) dec. Dan Gordon, 4-1; 285--Dave Vinton (UD) won by decision over Jake Crawford, 4-2.
*meet started with 197-pound match