- KNIA / KRLS - http://kniakrls.com -

Central Earns National Wrestling Qualifer

On par with a goal the Central College wrestling team was presented at the beginning of the season, the Dutch will be wrestling in March.  Behind a stunning performance by Kalen Greiner at 125 pounds in the Iowa Conference Tournament, Central has its first national qualifier since 2004.  The freshman delivered back-to-back overtime wins over a pair of nationally-ranked wrestlers to finish in fourth place in his weight class, earning the berth in the NCAA Division III Championships March 11-12 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.   

Greiner was seeded sixth in what was considered one of the deepest weights in the tourney as five wrestlers were ranked in the top 10 in Division III at 125 pounds.  After being pinned in his opening-round match by No. 2-ranked Mark Kist of Wartburg, Greiner rebounded to pin No. 5-ranked Austin Mogg of Buena Vista 6-4 (OT) – a returning all-America honoree – then pinned No. 10-rated Andre Taylor of Dubuque in the first overtime period (7:51). He then took on yet another ranked foe, 8th-rated Daniel Mendoza of Luther, in the third-place match and was defeated 15-5.
The Dutch were seventh in the team standings for the second straight year but increased their point total from 49 to 83.5, just four points behind sixth-place Luther. Central placed in the top eight at all 10 weights for the first time since 1996. Wartburg retained the title, crowning seven individual champions and racking up 206.5 points while Coe was second with 147.5.
Meanwhile senior Ted Dirkx reached the semifinals at 285 pounds, notching a fall in 1:40 in his quarterfinal round match, before settling for sixth place along with five of his teammates. Also placing sixth were Eric Wilkerson at 141 pounds, Josh Atwell at 157, Reid Imerman at 165, Tommy Van Renterghem at 174 and Greg Barner at 184. Joe Atwell was seventh at 149 pounds, while Bryan Connolly was eighth at 133, and Theron Stewart was eighth at 197.