Central thumps Simpson in conference wrestling finale

By Joe Flaherty, Central Sports Information

PELLA — On the heels of a frustrating few weeks for the Central College wrestling team, the Dutch romped over Simpson College to the tune of 36-14 Thursday night in the final dual of the season.

The Dutch (12-6, 3-5 American Rivers Conference) had lost four of its previous five dual matches, all against ranked opponents. They left no doubt against Simpson (3-12, 1-7 conference) as six of their seven victories were decided by either fall or technical fall.

“Our team showed what they are capable of tonight,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “It was a tremendous crowd in Kuyper tonight and I think we fed off that energy.”

Duncan Lee (senior, 285 pounds, Newton), Nathan Fritz (senior, 184 pounds, Sigourney) and Rob Areyano (senior, 149 pounds, Selma, Calif.) all pinned their opponents in the first period.

“Rob has been unbelievably dominant and he’s getting better every week,” Van Kley said. “Nathan has been a pillar of consistency. The improvement Duncan has made this year has been incredible.”

Central piled up the points with technical fall wins at 133, 141 and 174 pounds. Shandon Akeo (junior, Honolulu, Hawaii, Kapolei HS) toppled his opponent 23-8 at 133 pounds. Daniel Radcliffe (senior, Lockport, Ill., Lockport Township HS) powered his way in a 21-5 victory at 141 pounds and Griffen McBride (junior, Pleasantville) outlasted his opponent for a 17-1 technical fall at 174 pounds.

“We want to wrestle an extremely offensive, aggressive style,” Van Kley said. “It’s a fun style to wrestle and I think we did a much better job of it tonight.”

The only victory for Central not credited with bonus points was Luke Condy (freshman, Memphis, Tenn., Christian Brothers) grinding out a 2-1 victory at 157 pounds.

“That was a guy-check match,” Van Kley said. “It wasn’t flashy at all. He has a good week of practice and did what we asked him to do.”

Central will host the Last Chance Invitational this Saturday at 10 a.m. in H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse. That competition is primarily for underclassman wrestlers.