Wrestlers place seventh at tourney


by Ashley Van Alstine

The Storm had six freshmen who wrestled at the Simpson Invite on Friday. This early meet helped the team establish goals.

“It’s just going to take some time for everyone to integrate and find their place,” Athletic Director, John Sirianni said. “It’s going to be a challenge this season to get the young kids at a college level, to feel confident to compete at this level.”

The wrestling team is under construction, but heading in the right direction.

“I saw more effort from our guys,” said Ron Peterson, head wrestling coach and assistant athletic director. “When you have a group of young guys who are just starting to wrestle at the college level, it is hard for them to gauge the intensity it takes to win a big match. It comes from experience. We will get there, it is just going to take some time.”

Junior Kellen Delaney and senior Bryan Llewellyn were the top finishers for the Storm, taking third in their weight classes.

“The invite went very well,” Peterson said. “I want to thank everyone who helped in any way. It was super.”

Peterson is in his 11th season as head wrestling coach at Simpson. He holds the school record for the most wins for a coach in a single season. He has had a total of 11 athletes receive All-American honors and 34 wrestlers who have qualified for Division III Championships.

Sirianni said the wrestling team has become strong because Peterson works hard at recruiting as well as helping the wrestlers reach their full potential.

“Ron is a great coach,” Sirianni said. “His relationship with the wrestlers is outstanding. He’s a mentor and a positive role model.”

The team’s overall attitude is positive and hopeful for another successful year.

“I think one of our team’s strong points is that we have five returning seniors, they are like the glue that helps hold this team together,” senior Cole Christensen said. “The second strong point of the team is that there are lots of little things that Ron does that keep the team together and make us stronger.”

Christensen went 1-2 in the 141-pound division at the tournament.

The team hopes to continue the Simpson tradition of being strong competitors.

“Our goals are always to wrestle well at the national tournament,” Peterson said.

The team competes on Saturday, Dec. 10 against Truman State in Kirksville, Mo.