Seven national top-10 team finishes
PELLA—Central College is 29th in the National Wrestling Coaches Association preseason top 30 coaches’ poll.
The Dutch return five starters from last year’s 13-11 club that improved to sixth in the rugged Iowa Conference.
Defending national champion Wartburg College is in the No. 1 spot, followed by Augsburg College (Minn.). Central is among five conference schools in the rankings. After Wartburg, Coe College is No. 3, Luther College is No. 9 and the University of Dubuque is No. 21.
Eric Van Kley is in his sixth season as head coach. Inheriting a squad that hadn’t reached the .500 mark in six seasons, Van Kley has steadily turned the program around and guided the Dutch to three consecutive 10-win dual seasons. Last year’s 13 wins were the most since 1993-94 and after a six-year drought at the NCAA tourney, Central has appeared at the last two meets.
The Dutch open the 2012-13 campaign Wednesday with a home dual against No. 19 St. Olaf College (Minn.). The Oles edged the Dutch 24-15 last year. Wednesday’s dual is set to begin at 7 p.m. at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. A live video webcast can be accessed through www.central.edu/athletics.