Wrestler wrap up month of tough competition

by J.C. Blomstedt


The No. 11 Simpson wrestling team has had a busy month competing against some of the top teams in the nation.

The team traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., over Christmas break to contend in the Citrus Invitational and Citrus Duals and to Cleveland, Ohio, last weekend to compete in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Cliff Keen National Duals.

On Dec. 29, the Storm wrestlers competed in the 12-team Citrus Invitational and finished in second place with 104.5 points. John Carroll won the invitational with 130.5 points.

Champions for the Storm were junior Cole Christensen, who was declared winner over teammate junior Chase Weller at 141 pounds, and sophomore Kellen Delaney, who won the 157-pound weight division. Sophomore Jared Burma also placed sixth at 141 to make three Simpson wrestlers in the top six at 141 pounds.

“It’s nice to get three guys to place in one weight class,” Christensen said.

Runners-up for the Storm included senior Quent Christensen, who finished second in the 133-pound weight division and Weller at 141 pounds. Junior Brett Christensen finished third at heavyweight while sophomore J.T. Jordan and junior Cody Downing placed fourth at 157 and 184 pounds respectively.

On Dec. 30, the Storm wrestling team posted a 3-1 record in the Citrus Duals. The Storm lost to John Carroll, 18-15, beat St. John’s (Minn.), 25-12, Heidelberg, 25-6 and Rose-Hulman, 36-12.

Senior Clint Manny led the way for the Storm by winning all four of his matches, two by way of pins. Brett Christensen won three of his four matches with one pin. Delaney, Cole Christensen and Nate Broghammer all won two of their three matches.

“I thought we wrestled pretty well in Florida,” Coach Ron Peterson said. “We got some experience with teams that we won’t see except at the national tournament.”

After the team returned home from Florida, it had an up-and-down time before heading to Ohio.

The Storm won over Williams and pulled out a victory at its own Simpson Invitational. However, it stumbled to No. 2 Wartburg and to No. 4-rated NAIA opponent, Dana.

At the National Wrestling Coaches Association Cliff Keen National Duals in Cleveland on Jan. 21, the Storm went 1-2. The team lost to John Carroll, 22-11, beat Baldwin-Wallace, 43-6 and lost to the College of New Jersey, 22-13.

Leading the way for the Storm was junior Dustin Brewer, who won all three of his matches at 141 pounds.

Other notable performers included Quent Christensen and Jordan, who were both winners of two matches at 133 and 165 pounds respectively.

Two other Storm wrestlers won two of their three matches: Manny at 149 pounds and junior Cody Downing at 184 pounds.

Although the team was able to put up some wins, Peterson was hoping for more success stories to tell.

“It wasn’t the performance we were looking for,” Peterson said. “We were hoping to be more competitive with the top teams and we’re going to have to regroup and be ready for the Conference tournament.”

Cole Christensen agreed with his coach, saying that the team is determined and he believes his teammates will be able to regroup and put up a fight at their upcoming conference meet.

Christensen said he hopes the team will finish their season as one of the top teams in the nation.

The Storm is in action next at the IIAC Duals on January 29 in Cedar Rapids.