Wrestlers prepare to hit the mats


by Ben Frotscher

A multitude of experience is what gives wrestling coach RonPeterson hope that his team will perform up to some very highexpectations.

“Our goal is to be one of the top teams in the country,” saidPeterson. “It is time for this team to step up.”

The way to be at the top is to compete against the cream of thecrop and this is exactly what the team is doing. The Storm will becompeting in the Division III National Duals, which features thetop 16 teams in Division III.

Wartburg has won the past 11 Iowa Conference Championships andhas seven returning All-Americans on this year’s squad. Last year,Wartburg had all 10 of its wrestlers earn All-American honors andwon the NCAA Division III Championships.

To combat these tough opponents, Peterson mentioned threewrestlers that will certainly help the Storm’s chances of winningand breaking multiple school records: junior Clint Manny, seniorBart George and sophomore Brett Christensen. All three of thesewrestlers are ranked towards the top of their weights in thecountry.

Manny is ranked second at 149-lbs. and is a returningAll-American. Manny finished fourth at the Division IIIChampionships and compiled a 36-6 record and 16 pins last year.

George is ranked third at 197-lbs. and is coming off a 38-11record and 14 pins a year ago. He placed seventh at the NCAADivision III Championships and is a returning All-American for theStorm.

Christensen is currently ranked fourth at heavyweight in thefirst preseason poll. He compiled a 34-11 record last year with 15pins and received a wildcard to the NCAA Division IIIChampionships.

Peterson was very happy with recruiting not only someoutstanding freshmen, but also some talented transfer students.

“We had an outstanding freshmen class,” said Peterson.

He is currently in his ninth year at the helm for Simpson andhas had the most wins of any Simpson wrestling coach in historywith a 135-61-1 record.

Sophomore Dustin Brewer transferred from the University ofNorthern Iowa where he compiled an 11-8 record at 126 lbs., whilefreshman Tyler Grieser was a four time state qualifier in highschool and compiled 134 wins in his high school career.

Simpson is currently ranked seventh in the first preseason pollsreleased this year and has not won a conference championship since1991.

Even though practice just started on Oct. 27, Peterson wants tobreak the record for number of wins in a season and for the highestplace Simpson has finished at the Division III NationalChampionships.

The record for wins in a season is 23, which was set in the1997-98 and the 2001-2002 season, while the highest finish at theDivision III National Championship was fifth in 1998.

Last year, the Storm went 19-8 overall with a 4-5 record in theIowa Conference and placed 14th in the NCAA Division IIIChampionships.