WEB EXTRA: Simpson wrestlers host Iowa Conference duals

by Phillip Nicolino

As their conference tournament approaches, the Simpson wrestling team tested their strength against some of the best in the conference at the IIAC Duals.

The Storm, ranked nineteenth in the nation, hosted half of the IIAC Duals this last Saturday. All four of the teams they faced are also ranked nationally. The men came away with a couple of wins, finishing the weekend 2-2.

“We wrestled well for a young team,” said sophomore Bart George. “We lost a couple of close duals that we thought we could have won.”

The weekend started well for Simpson, beating #7 Buena Vista 20-19. George’s 9-7, double overtime win in the last match of the dual propelled the Storm to the win.

“Bart George’s double overtime match was the most important match of the day for us,” said freshman Clint Manny.

Simpson followed that win up with two losses though. The first came at the hands of #10 Luther, 26-15, and then to #8 Loras, 25-13.

“We wish we had won those two, but we had an alright showing,” said senior Justin Song.

The Storm finished up the day beating #16 Coe, 25-20. The win improved the team’s overall record to 19-6 and their conference record to 4-3.

Several people wrestled well for Simpson over the course of their four duals. Manny won all four of his matches including two by pin fall. George and Song each came away with three wins, and both sophomore Jason Mitchell and freshman Quent Christensen won two matches.

“Manny wrestled real well and a few of us went 3-1, but we lost to quality opponents,” George said.

With the conference tournament just a couple of weeks away, the Storm have a few goals in their sight.

“We want to keep working hard and get as many people qualified for the national tournament as we can,” Manny said.

As for the national tournament, the wrestlers that make it to the finals of each weight class of the conference tournament go on to nationals. The guys feel that there is a strong possibility that Simpson could be sending more then just one or two wrestlers.

“I wouldn’t count any of our young guys out,” George said. “We are all capable of showing up and wrestling well enough to make it to nationals.”