Simpson College Wrestling Upgrades


Will Kopp

The largest wrestling mat in Iowa is at Simpson College.

by Will Kopp, Staff Reporter

The largest wrestling mat in Iowa is at Simpson College, located in Hopper Gymnasium after the space’s repurposing. Quick renovations benefitted the men’s and women’s wrestling programs this season and allowed them to utilize their new facility.

The space grew to 8,127 square feet with the addition of four and a half mats, which many players and staff were happy about. Men’s Head Coach Dylan Peters expressed his excitement about the new space.

“Four and a half mats really allows us to open up and wrestle how we want,” Peters said.

With the larger wrestling space in Hopper, the scheduling opened up for the wrestling teams and staff. The new facility was ready for use when the teams returned from their Christmas break. They will continue the rest of their season in Hopper. Athletes on both teams are excited to compete on the new mats.

Women’s wrestling is a new program for Simpson this season. Many of the athletes already on the team are excited to use the new space for many years. Sophomore Kylie Rae Torres of the women’s wrestling team believes the new facility will help to grow the women’s program.

“Right now, our women’s program is pretty small,” Torres said, “As we continue to grow, especially with our 13 new commits, we will have enough room to be able to do so.”

The new mats decrease the risk of injuries during practice and will allow the teams to be more productive with their time. Coach Peters shared his thoughts on what the new space would provide for the program.

“It gives us enough room to recruit the numbers that we want and create a good experience for the athletes,” Peters said.

The old wrestling facility is undergoing renovations for the baseball and softball programs. Batting cages will be installed, giving indoor baseball and softball spaces.

Wrestling, baseball and softball, all using new facilities, will allow those athletes to get the most out of their time at Simpson. Other clubs, programs and athletics around campus have experienced various time issues with their schedules. In Hopper’s absence, Cowles Fieldhouse has taken on more use this spring semester.

Hopper, no longer being a court, pushes other sports and even intramurals to Cowles to practice or compete. Sophomore Maddie Hays, a staff member for Intramurals, explains how Intramurals will deal with the obstacle of reduced space. 

“With Cowles being packed with different sports and not having Hopper accessible, intramurals will be pushed back to later time slots,” Hays said. 

The court space in Cowles is also limited by men’s and women’s gymnastics practice equipment. Due to less indoor space, various teams, organizations, or even classes are left with only two basketball courts.

Teams have been forced to practice as early as 6 a.m. to free up space for other sports later in the day. Stretching these schedules early in the morning and late at night has caused many student-athletes to change their routines to accommodate.