National academic laurels for Central wrestlers

By Joe Flaherty, Central Sports Information

PELLA — The Central College wrestling team landed multiple student-athletes on the National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-Americans list for the fourth consecutive season.

C.J. Pestano (junior, Torrance, Calif.) and Nathan Fritz (sophomore, Sigourney) received the honors. Fritz is a first-time winner while Pestano has been on the list all four years.

To qualify for the award, a wrestler must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher and either place in the top six at the NCAA Division III regional or win more than 67 percent of his matches.

Fritz (19-3) won tournament titles at the Millikin Open and Central Under Armour Invitational. Finishing third at the NCAA Division III Lower Midwest Regional earned the 174-pounder his first trip to the national meet. An athletic training major, Fritz has a 3.22 GPA.

Qualifying for the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships for the third year in a row, Pestano (27-1) is the No. 1 seed at 125 pounds. The two-time All-American carries a 3.23 GPA as a physics major with a mathematics minor.

Pestano, Fritz and Jeremy Vester (junior, 165 pounds, Oak Harbor, Wash.) will compete at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships starting Friday morning at 11 a.m. (EST) in Cleveland, Ohio.