by Megan Disburg

Simpson’s wrestling team is gearing up for the NWCA NationalDuals in Cleveland, Ohio, an event coach Ron Peterson hopes willadd to the team’s already successful season.

“We have Dustin Brewer at 125 pounds, Clint Manny at 149 poundsand Bart George at 197 pounds,” Peterson said of his hopefuls.

The team goes into the national duals Jan. 17 and 18 with a fewwins under their belt. A trip to Florida at the end of Decemberyielded an exciting win at the Citrus Invitational over 15competing teams. Sophomore Dustin Brewer was there to witness thevictory.

“When we won the tournament was the best part [of the trip]. Wewon by quite a bit. It was the best day,” said Brewer.

According to Peterson, 22 wrestlers plus trainers and coacheswent on the trip to Florida. After their win, they took a fewwell-deserved days off to enjoy the area.

“We had two days after the tournament that we got to go to thebeach and all the shops,” Brewer said.

Another win for the team was a little closer to home at theSimpson Invitational held Jan. 10. Out of the 10 teams, Simpsonfinished first.

The team is hoping to keep this momentum going in Cleveland.

“We want to get a good start and be solid in every weight class.If we win those, we will be No.1 in the nation,” said Brewer.

Peterson pointed out there will be 15 wrestlers traveling toCleveland with the coaches and managers. He also added that thistrip is not an expense out of the individual wrestler’s pocket.

“It comes from the yearly wrestling budget and the NationalWrestling Coaches Association also pays part of the cost,” saidPeterson.

With the NWCA competition just days away, the team is trying tostay focused and work as hard as they can.

“A lot of guys on the team stay after practice to work onthings. Everybody’s trying to adjust and fix what needs to befixed. There’s going to be a lot of great competition there,” saidBrewer.

After the national competition, the wrestling season will winddown with several more meets in Iowa.

On March 5 and 6, the NCAA National Championships will be heldin Dubuque, Iowa–close enough for wrestling supporters to go andcheer the team on.