Shane Swank wrestles with compartment syndrome, helps Storm Wrestling to win

by Brock Borgeson, sports editor

WebMD describes compartment syndrome as a “potentially life threatening condition in which pressure builds up.”

Apparently sophomore Shane Swank did not catch that report, as he not only wrestled on Saturday night in place of the injured Brian Haynes, but he won through major decision as the Storm won 26-13 over Buena Vista University (2-13, 0-6) Saturday in a match that was originally scheduled for Jan. 6.

For Simpson (7-10, 1-5), this was their first win in conference in 23 matches, the last coming against the Beavers in Jan. of 2012.

“I just had to overcome my fear and help my team,” Swank said.

Swank, the sophomore from Benton, IA Mount Ayr High School had not wrestled in a single match this season after going 13-10 in an injury-shortened freshman year.

Haynes, who is dealing with a hamstring injury at 165 lbs., opened up the door for Swank who had been practicing throughout this week but wasn’t expecting to wrestle this weekend. He did so and was able to get his first win of the season.

“We were considering giving him a medical redshirt,” head coach Nate Hansen said. “But when Haynes went out with injury, I talked to Swank who had been looking good in practice this week.”

A real Kirk Gibson and Willis Reed performance, if you will, in Simpson wrestling this season.

“I was not expecting to wrestle tonight,” Swank said. “I had to get my leg heated and taped up because I have compartment syndrome. But it feels good to get a win and I was happy to get on the mat.”

Both teams earned forfeit wins to start the meet, as Ethan Pellegrino won by forfeit at 125 and Buena Vista’s Ernesto Garcia won at 133.

Garcia was expected to wrestle at 125 although neither team weighted in a 133, giving the Beavers the default win at 133.

At 6-6, it was a dual of two freshmen as Devan Berrian (141) lost to a tough Nashid Barrow, losing 11-4 after giving up a 4-2 lead in the third period.

For the 12-4 Berrian it was not a bad loss as Barrow came in 19-6, winning 11 straight dual meets.

“We felt like we were going to have momentum at the end,” Hansen said. “But it’s scary when you lose early. Devan lost to Barrow, who’s solid. We were winning until a mental lapse in the last minute. You can’t do that, but Devan’s better than that guy.”

At 9-6 in favor of BVU, It was then time for another freshman, Johnathan Melton (149), who won a crucial 9-3 decision over senior Steve Gutschenritter to get Simpson tied up at 9-9.

“149 was an important win,” Hansen said. “Melton did a good job.”

The seesaw battle continued as the 19-5, Jacob Mize (157), who’s balancing his time with a math competition right now, lost a tough 16-5 maj. dec. to Seth Shatto as BVU took the 13-9 advantage.

It would be the Beavers’ last lead though, as Swank came in and stole the momentum from the Beavers, winning a grind-it-out 6-3 match over Matthew Goth.

As Hansen foresaw before the match, Simpson dominated in the heavier weights, winning the final four weights as the Storm went 14-0 to double-up the Beavers 26-13.

At 174, Brett Roberts would roll over Andrew Nelson, 18-5 through major decision, becoming the first Simpson wrestler of the season to reach 20 wins.

Freshman Eric Quador (184) gave the Storm some breathing room, winning 7-2 over Jared Bronaugh to give Simpson a 19-13 lead with two weights remaining.

Spencer Ward (197), the junior from Mundelein, Ill., would seal the deal, winning 15-1 Simpson extended their lead to 10.

With the match all but over at 285, sophomore Colby Vlieger was looking to get revenge on Gable Bonner who had the upper-hand last year.

Vlieger did just that, winning in double-overtime, 2-1 in a defensive struggle that brought Cowles Fieldhouse to its feet at it’s conclusion.

“It’s a conference win, but it’s not any different than when we have a national qualifier, All-American or national champ,” Hansen said. “It’s like, ‘how soon until this is going to happen’ – hopefully sooner than later, but we are going to keep plugging away.”

With their first conference win under their belt, the Storm look to make it two as they host rival Central College at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12 for Senior Night.

Things will likely have a different feel on Thursday as the meet will take place under the spotlight in Hopper Gymnasium.

“Central is a big rivalry match,” Hansen said. “We are going to go after them and we are going to send out a group of guys that are going to be ready.”