Wrestlers head to conference championships


by Cassie Norman

The Simpson wrestlers will make the trip to Pella on Feb. 16 at 9 a.m., where Central College will host the Iowa Conference Championships.

Last year, Simpson placed fifth at the conference championships and sent three wrestlers to the national tournament, where they placed sixth.

The team is looking to continue and improve on the success of last year. Several wrestlers are in good position to place well and make it to the national tournament held this year in Trenton, N.J.

In the national ratings, senior Dustin Brewer is ranked second and senior Brett Christiansen is ranked seventh. A number of others have good records, which makes them contenders to advance.

Assistant coach Rick Schweitzberger feels good preparation leads to good results.

“We expect them to go out and work hard,” Schweitzberger said. “If they prepare mentally and physically, good things can happen.”

The season up until this point has been a rough road full of ups and downs. While the team has done well in some meets, they have also struggled due to sickness and injuries.

Coach Ron Peterson would like to see as many wrestlers as possible in the national tournament. More importantly, he wants the team to perform well.

“If we’d had a whole lineup, we’d have been good, but we’ve had a lot of injuries and sickness,” Peterson said. “We haven’t been able to get any consistency.”

Brewer recognizes the difficulties the team has faced due to people having to sit on the sidelines.

“With injuries we don’t have as many people in the room,” Brewer said. “It’s hard to get workout partners.”

The lack of teammates working out may have affected the squad, but the rest of the team has stepped up to the challenge and filled the spots when necessary.

“The back-up guys have done a good job,” Christiansen said.

As the end of the season nears, the team would like to put all the injuries behind them. They have been working hard in preparation for the conference championships. The coaches are dedicated to getting the team in the best condition possible.

“We’re trying to get ready for a peak performance,” Peterson said.

The Simpson wrestlers have been holding two practices a day, focusing on conditioning and a little technique. To keep the wrestlers fresh, the practices have been shortened in length, but not in intensity. Now is the time when the wrestlers have to be in their best shape, not only physically but mentally.

“You’ve got to be ready. In this league everybody’s good,” Schweitzberger said. “You don’t want to lose because you’re in bad shape.”

According to Schweitzberger, the championship meet can create an atmosphere where anything can happen and he wants the team to be prepared.

“The only thing that matters,” Schweitzberger said, “is what happens at the end of the season.”