By Allix Williamson
NCAA Division III wrestling in the state of Iowa takes off this week as the teams of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference begin the conference dual portion of their season. Conference duals this week include Wartburg/Luther, Simpson/Dubuque, Loras/Buena Vista, and Loras/Central. Coe College will be competing outside of the conference, taking on Augustana (IL). Conference newcomer, Nebraska Wesleyan, will not be competing in a dual this week.
*Match predictions are made based on previous starting lineups and InterMat rankings as of January 9.
Matches to watch:
Wartburg vs. Luther
- 125-Wartburg’s Arnulfo Olea is currently ranked fifth. Olea was on a nine-match winning streak leading up to the championship round of the national duals, where he lost by a score of 9-5 to Augsburg’s Victor Gliva.
- 149-This is a weight where Wartburg has two top-notch options. Two-time national champion, Kenny Martin, has returned to the Knights roster with the start of the second semester. Cross Cannone has held down the 149 spot for the Knights thus far. Cannone is currently ranked sixth.
- 157-University of Iowa transfer, Logan Thomsen is currently ranked first for the Knights. Thomsen is currently undefeated in DIII.
- 174-Returning DIII runner-up, Eric Devos, is ranked #2 for the Knights. Devos is currently undefeated this year with a record of 9-0.
- 184-Justin Kreiter is the lone ranked wrestler for the Norse. Kreiter is ranked #1, with a season record of 9-1.
- 197-Wartburg’s Kyle Fank is currently ranked fifth. Fank earned his 20th victory of the year in the finals of the NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals.
- 285-Wartburg heavyweight Lance Evans enters the rivalry dual ranked third. Evans upset Augsburg powerhouse Donny Logendyke in the championship of the National Duals.
Loras vs. Buena Vista
- 157-Loras’ Jimmy Davis is ranked ninth. Davis was named d3wrestle.com Wrestler of the Week during the week of 12/8/2016.
- 197-Guy Patron represents the Duhawks, ranked ninth at the 197 lb. weight class. Patron is the lone freshman ranked at this weight.
Loras vs. Central
- 125-2016 All-American C.J. Pestano, is ranked fourth for the Central Dutch. Pestano placed first at the Central College Under Armour Invitational over the weekend.
- 133-Dutch sophomore Cam Timok is ranked ninth. Timok has placed first in three tournaments in the 2016-2017 season.
- 141-Central College’s Daniel Radcliffe is ranked tenth at 141 pounds.
- 157-Jimmy Davis of Loras is ranked ninth. Davis is one of two IIAC wrestlers ranked at this weight.
- 165-Ryan Vandall represents the Dutch in the 165 lb. weight class. Vandall is the highest ranked wrestler for Central.
- 197-The 197 lb. match features ranked wrestlers from both programs. Guy Patron is ranked ninth for the Loras Duhawks, while Matt Seabold is ranked tenth for the Central Dutch.
Match of the Week: The 197 lb. match between Loras’ Guy Patron and Central’s Matt Seabold is the lone matchup for the IIAC this week where both wrestlers are ranked.
Dual of the Week: Wartburg vs. Luther is a rivalry that exists far off the wrestling mat. With spirited coaching, ranked wrestlers, and an exciting rivalry, this is guaranteed to be a wild ride!