Central College with Trio of Titles at Pointer Open

By Joe Flaherty, Central Sports Information

Pella, Iowa January 05, 2019 - Central College Under Armour Wrestling Invitational. Photo by Dan L. Vander Beek

Gavin Babcock,  Photo by Dan L. Vander Beek Photography

STEVENS POINT, WIS. — Winning the three heaviest weight classes, the Central College wrestling team kicked off the 2019-20 schedule Saturday at the Pointer Open.

There were no team scores kept at this tournament.

Nathan Fritz (senior, 184 pounds, Sigourney)Gavin Babcock (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) and Duncan Lee (senior, 285 pounds, Newton) all went 3-0 to win individual crowns.

“We really finished strong in the finals,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “All of them were very competitive matches and they had to dig deep. We have confidence in those upper weights and we know we can really count on them.”

Rob Areyano (sophomore, Selma, Calif.) was the runner-up at 149 pounds. Shandon Akeo (junior, Honolulu, Kapolei HS) and Daniel Radcliffe (senior, Lockport, Ill., Lockport Township HS) had third-place finishes at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively.

“Each of those guys wrestled really competitively,” Van Kley said. “Wrestling is a little unique with the overlap between Division I and III schools. All three of those guys lost against unattached wrestlers from the University of Wisconsin.”

Central unveiled several key members of the freshman class in the first meet of the season. 141-pounder Ryne Mohrfeld (Lisbon) was the top finisher among the group, placing sixth.

“Out freshman learned a lot today,” Van Kley said. “We’ll keep encouraging them and help them grow from it. I’m proud of how they competed.”

Sophomore Samuel Zook (Oak Harbor, Wash.) also had a third-place finish at 285 pounds. Four other Central wrestlers had fourth-place finishes: Chase Poston (sophomore, 125 pounds, Olympia, Wash.)Collin Groleau (senior, 165 pounds, Peru, Ill., LaSalle-Peru Township HS)Chance Benadum (junior, 174 pounds, Dos Palos, Calif.) and Griffen McBride (junior, 184 pounds, Pleasantville).

Central hosts William Penn University for a dual Thursday night at 7 p.m. inside P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.

“We’re excited to start the dual season,” Van Kley said. “Our guys love competing in front of our home crowd. It will be a fun atmosphere Thursday night.”