Seven national top-10 team finishes
PELLA—It was one of the smallest Central Invitationals ever but still among the most productive for the Central College wrestling team Saturday.
That was not only because the Dutch notched four individual championships but because more than 30 Central wrestlers were able to see live action for the first time since Dec. 21. Titles were claimed by Daniel Page (junior, Tumwater, Wash.) at 125 pounds, Aaron Anderson (sophomore, Clarion, Clarion-Goldfield HS) at 133, TJ Peretti (senior, Auburn, Wash., Mountainview HS) at 149 and Tyler Lowy (junior, Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird HS) at 197.
“The biggest thing for us is we’ve been training real hard after coming back after Christmas and we needed some matches,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “It’s just great to have all the guys out there going live and getting an opportunity to see what we’ve been working on in practice.”
There were no team scores in the four-team tourney which included St. Olaf (Minn.), William Penn and Hannibal-La Grange (Mo.).
Page recorded a major decision and a fall in upping his season record to 18-3 at 125 pounds. Anderson captured his second career tourney crown, recording a technical fall and a decision to improve to 13-5. Peretti was 3-0 at 149 pounds, improving to 16-6 for the season, while Lowy posted a fall and a one-point decision at 197 pounds. He’s 18-3 for the year.
“Those four are really setting a great example for the younger guys on the team,” Van Kley said. “They want to be wrestling in March and are working hard to make that happen. Each has some areas to work on but I’m pleased with the progress they’re making.”
Central got second-place efforts from Abe Fernandez (junior, Tampa, Fla., Strawberry Crest HS) at 125 pounds, Jordan Richardson (freshman, Petersburg, Ill., PORTA HS) and David Demmer (junior, Bankston, Western Dubuque HS) at 184. Zach Moss (freshman, Winterset) was third at 165 pounds along with Benny Melisi (freshman, San Marcos, Calif., Chelmsford HS) at 184 and Jaime Miranda (freshman, Aberdeen, Wash.).
It’s a youthful Dutch roster with five freshmen in the regular 10-man lineup so each outing is a precious opportunity for lessons.
“We’re learning how to be more offensive and we made some progress on that,” Van Kley said. “That will be critical in the next two months in conference matches and the regional. We have to learn how to get offensive and I thought we took some positive steps today.”
The intensity will be dialed up Thursday with the launch of the Iowa Conference dual meet season as Central plays host to Loras College. The Duhawks (3-5) took down the Dutch 27-14 last year in Dubuque. Central then treks to Crawfordsville, Ind. for the Max Servies Duals at Wabash College Saturday. Wabash is rated No. 3 in Division III. Saturday’s pairings have still not been released.
“It’s a big week,” Van Kley said. “Loras is a very good team, Wabash is ranked in the top10 and they have a loaded field this year.”