RYAN REEBENACKER, TRUMPET SPORTS WRITER
The No. 1 Wartburg wrestling program cruised to three-straight wins in the American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) Duals on Saturday. The Knights posted wins over the University of Dubuque, Buena Vista University and No. 20 Central College by an overall margin of 114-27.
In the first contest of the day, Wartburg routed the University of Dubuque, 41-9. Kobey Pritchard ’22 set the tone for the Knights early with a third period fall over Aaron Black at 125 pounds to put Wartburg up 6-0. Following a Dubuque pin at 133 pounds, Brady Fritz ’22 picked up a technical fall at 141 pounds to put Wartburg ahead, 11-6.
The Knights only lost the 149-pound match the rest of the way and earned pins from Martine Sandoval ’20 at 157 pounds and Paul Calo ’23 at 174 pounds to round out the win against the Spartans. The Knights carried the momentum into the Buena Vista matchup by winning the first eight weight classes, starting with a decision for Dylan Albrecht ’23 over Byron Fleming.
After two consecutive tech falls at 133 and 141, the Knights found themselves on a 13-0 run. That lead only grew after a 149-pound pin by Brock Rathbun ’21 over the Beavers’ Collin Stillson to put the Knights up
19-0. The Beavers did not get on the board until the 197-pound matchup, which saw Don Phillips II beat Mehrshad Bashang ’23 by a 7-2 decision for Buena Vista’s only individual win.
Coming in with a 38-3 team score, Jordon Brandon ’21 won by fall for the Knights at heavyweight. Wartburg moved into the final match of the A-R-C duals against No. 20 Central, which once again allowed Pritchard to start the match. The sophomore picked up a pin in less than a minute to put the Knights up 6-0. No. 1 Kris Rumph ’22 followed up with a fall of his own at 133 pounds over Eric Santana of the Dutch. At 141 pounds, No. 1 Fritz was upset by No. 10 Dan Radcliffe by a 11-10 decision to award Central its first team points and make the score 12-3.
The Dutch and the Knights dueled down the stretch of the match, and the Dutch earned decision victories at 149 and 285 pounds and a fall at 197 pounds. Nonetheless, the Knights emerged victorious, 29-15
The Knights retain a perfect dual record of 14-0 and will face Coe College next at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, in Cedar Rapids.