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Central’s Atwell Qualifies for National Meet, Dutch Perform Well at Conference Tourney

For the second straight year, Central College will be wrestling in March.  Junior Joseph Atwell muscled his way through the bottom half of the 157-pound bracket at the Iowa Conference Tournament Friday, knocking off a nationally ranked opponent and avenging a first-round loss to grab a spot in the NCAA Division III Championships March 9th and 10th at La Crosse, Wisonsin.

Atwell, seeded fourth at 157, was defeated 7-2 in his opening-round match by Chris Gansen of Loras. He rebounded with a 5-4 victory over Simpson’s Brian Haynes before scoring a 6-4 upset over Cornell’s Nicholas Loughlin, who is ranked No. 8 in Division III. Atwell then met Gansen in the third-place match and reversed the previous outcome, posting a 9-2 win.  

Heading into the tournament’s finals, the Dutch were sixth in the team standings with 76 points. Dubuque was fifth with 90 and Wartburg was in the lead (163) followed by Coe (145). Central placed in the top seven at all 10 weights.