Seven national top-10 team finishes
PELLA—The Central College wrestling team won the first six matches and the nightcap in a 29-11 Iowa Conference dual win over Simpson College Thursday.
Wrestling their first competition in nearly two weeks, the Dutch (5-9 overall, 1-5 conference) scored bonus points in three matches, including back-to-back tech falls by 149-pounder TJ Peretti (senior, Auburn, Wash., Mountainview HS) and 157-pounder Ryan Vandall (freshman, Phoenix, Ariz., Moon Valley HS), and received one forfeit to build an insurmountable 26-0 lead.
And bonus points were exactly what coach Eric Van Kley wanted to see.
“It was a nice win,” Van Kley said. “We wrestled aggressively for the most part, but we let a few slip away late in the dual. The difference tonight was we scored the bonus points.”
Van Kley credited 285-pounder Edwin Etienne (freshman, Lehigh Acres, Fla., Riverdale HS), who opened the dual with a tone-setting 8-2 decision over Colby Vlieger.
Daniel Page (senior, Tumwater, Wash.) and Aaron Anderson (sophomore, Clarion, Clarion-Goldfield HS) wrestled up one weight class at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively, after Simpson forfeited the 125-pound bout. Page scored an 11-1 major decision over Sam Reichenbacker, while Anderson won by 8-1 decision over Jeff Sand.
“We feel good about our lower weights,” said Van Kley. “We have a number of good wrestlers at 125 and 133 and Simpson was open at one of those spots. We benefited from our depth and flexibility tonight.”
The Storm (3-13 overall, 0-7 conference) won the next three bouts, but 197-pound transfer Matt Seabold (freshman, Burlington) capped the victory with a decision over Jared Bevins in the final match.
“It was good to see Matt get the decision,” Van Kley said. “He wanted to open that match up, but he’s young and still getting his feet under him. He gives us another option, which is nice.”
The win sets up a rematch Feb. 14 at Pella to determine seventh place in the conference. And if the fans are anything like they were Thursday, it will be a very exciting scene.
“It was the best crowd since I’ve been here,” said Van Kley. “We can’t thank the other Dutch teams and community enough for supporting us.
“It’s a lot of fun to wrestle in that atmosphere.”
It’s a short turnaround for the Dutch, who travel to Decorah for tomorrow night’s league dual against No. 13-ranked Luther College (14-6 overall, 4-2 conference). The Norse won more matches (6-4) at last season’s dual, but Central scored bonus points in all of its wins en route to a 22-21 upset of its nationally ranked (No. 23) counterpart.
“Tomorrow will be another tough dual,” said Van Kley. “It’s that time of year in our conference where we have some big individual matches. And we need wins.”