PELLA — A quartet of pins gave the Central College wrestling team the boost it needed in a 34-13 win over Nebraska Wesleyan University on Thursday night.
The victory was the first in American Rivers Conference competition for the Dutch. The 7-1 overall start to the dual season matches the program’s best start under Van Kley in 2012-13.
“It’s a solid start to the season,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “At the same time, everyone in our program knows there’s a lot of things we’ve got to get better at. We’re committed to working on those things.”
After splitting the first two matches, Central got back-to-back first-period falls from Daniel Radcliffe (junior, 141 pounds, Lockport, Ill., Lockport Township HS) and Rob Areyano (freshman, 149 pounds, Selma, Calif.) to increase the Central lead to 15-6.
“We’ve really continued to emphasize going for the pin and bonus points,” Van Kley said. “We got several in a row tonight.”
A tight loss at 157 pounds was followed by another set of back-to-back first period pins by Jeremy Vester (senior, 165 pounds, Oak Harbor, Wash.) and Jeremy Scheuermann (senior, 174 pounds, Jefferson, Greene County HS),effectively putting the match away for Central.
“You’ve got to give Scheuermann a lot of credit,” Van Kley said. “He’s a senior who has worked extremely hard and got his opportunity to show it tonight. I’m very proud of him.”
The nation’s No. 5 ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, Cam Timok (senior, Glen Allen, Va., Hermitage HS) won 11-6 in his bout. Gavin Babcock (sophomore, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) took a 5-4 decision at 197 pounds while Griffen McBride (sophomore, Pleasantville) earned a 12-4 major decision at 184 pounds.
A month-long layover for the Dutch that lasts through much of December ends with a dual on January 4 against the University of Ozarks at 2 p.m. in H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse. The Central Invitational will take place the following day.
“It’ll be fun to get things rolling second semester with two events at home.” Van Kley said. “We’re excited for the second half of the season.