Eight Iowa Lakes Community College wrestlers will join a total of 250 wrestlers representing 36 community colleges across the country to compete in the 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association Wrestling Tournament on February 25 and 26 at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Wash.
This year’s field of wrestlers includes four defending national champions. Victor DeJesus of Iowa Lakes Community College will be defending the title he won last year in the 149-pound weight class. DeJesus’ 16-2 record, regional championship, and #1 ranking will allow him a bye in the first round, after which he will face either a Rend Lake or Niagara wrestler in the second round.
“Victor is very healthy and feeling good about his opportunity to win a second national title.” said Head Coach Ty Eustice.
Dan McGillivray, a 165-pound sophomore, won a region title and is 22-6 heading into the tournament. The #4 ranked McGillivray also has a first round bye and will then face the winner of two unranked wrestlers in the second round.
The Lakers third region champ, 184-pound Blaine Conner, brings in a #7 ranking and a first round bye. He will also face the winner of two unranked wrestlers in the second round.
“Dan and Blaine are both peaking at the right time of year, both are very confident and performed comfortably at the regional tourney,” said Coach Eustice.
Regional runner-ups from Iowa Lakes include Andrew Brackins at 125 pounds and heavyweight Matt Wyss who will both face tough first round opponents. Brackins will face a #8 ranked Clackamas wrestler while Wyss will take on a Northwest Kansas wrestler.
Cody Singletary, a 133-pound freshman, draws a first round opponent from Western Wyoming whom he defeated earlier in January by a score of 17-1.
Brock Storm, a 157-pound freshman, opens Friday with a #12 ranked Nassau, N.Y., opponent. Storm suffered an injury in the regional tournament, but will be ready for Friday’s competition.
Jim Doyle, wrestling at 197 pounds, will open with a first round match against a #5 ranked Southwest Oregon opponent.
Coach Eustice is confident the team is well prepared to compete at the national tournament.
“Our team is very well rested and fresh coming into the tourney,” Eustice said. “Each athlete has been working on specific individual techniques to prepare to be at their best this Friday. I am confident all eight guys could find their way onto the podium Saturday.”