Seven national top-10 team finishes
DUBUQUE—Junior Daniel Page (Tumwater, Wash.) punched his ticket to the NCAA Division III Championships for the second consecutive year with a runner-up finish in the 125-pound weight class at Saturday’s NCAA Central Regional.
The finish earns him a spot in the March 14-15 national tournament at Cedar Rapids. The Dutch finished ninth in the team standings with 33.5 points. Top-ranked Wartburg won the team title with 159 points, followed by Coe with 127.
Page qualified with a 3-2 decision over Cornell’s Ben Rosen in the semifinals before succumbing to Wartburg’s Gilberto Camacho by 12-4 major decision in the 125-pound championship bout. Following a first-round bye, Page won by 7-0 decision over Loras’ Rudy Johnson in the quarterfinals to advance.
“We’re excited for Daniel,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “He had an outstanding day. The final was not really indicative of his effort. He won two hard-fought matches to reach the national tournament and I’m really excited for him.”
It’s the second consecutive trip to the national meet for Page, who improved to 27-5 on the season after Saturday’s 2-1 showing. Page qualified last year with a 24-6 overall record and won two matches before being ousted.
“I’m really looking forward to the national tournament,” said Van Kley. “Daniel’s experience from last year will help a lot and we’re thrilled for him to have another chance at it.”
Tyler Lowy (junior, Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird HS) reached the 197-pound semifinals with wins over Dubuque’s Nathan Cristion and Simpson’s Jared Bevins, but was unable to advance any further. Lowy opened with a first-round, 11-4 decision over Cristion and a fall over Bevins in the quarters. But a 7-3 setback to Wartburg’s Punahele Soriano in the semifinals forced Lowy into must-win matches in the consolation bracket. Lowy won by 6-1 decision over Luther’s Tyler Walls in the consolation semifinals, but dropped the third-place match to Coe’s Donnie Horner by 17-5 major decision.
“Tyler had a tremendous season,” Van Kley said. “It’s disappointing that it had to end, but he really battled throughout the day. His semifinal match was a great effort. I’m proud of his improvement over the past year.”
Both Page and Lowy were named all-Iowa Conference for their performances.
Ryan Vandall (freshman, Phoenix, Ariz., Moon Valley HS) was a two-match winner at 157 pounds. Vandall won by fall in 2:23 over Simpson’s Clay Harris in the first round. After suffering a quarterfinal loss, Vandall won by 6-0 decision over Buena Vista’s Drake Swedlund. But a consolation setback ended his day.
Aaron Anderson (sophomore, Clarion, Clarion-Goldfield HS) and Sam Apland (junior, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) each tallied one consolation win on the day at 133 and 174 pounds, respectively.
“We battled well and competed overall,” said Van Kley. “It’s a tough regional and wins do not come easily. We wrestled well and had some close matches."