Tritons advance nine to nationals
SPENCER – The Iowa Central wrestling team has been flying under the radar – until Sunday.
The Tritons captured the regional championship on Sunday and advanced nine of 10 wrestlers to the national tournament.
“We always seem to peak at the right time,” said Iowa Central head coach Luke Moffitt. “They didn’t announce the team scores for awhile, and we knew we would be in the running. When they did announce it we were four points ahead and our guys feed off of that.
“This is just the icing on the cake.”
The national tournament will be held in Spokane, Washington on Feb. 28 and March 1.
Iowa Central (150) out distanced tehmselves from runner-up Ellsworth (138) and third place finisher Rochester (133), grabbing three individual regional championships.
Moffitt was also named regional coach of the year.
Darrell Pampkin (133), Bryce Fisher (197) and Malcolm Allen (285) were all regional champions.
“Our champions wrestled really well,” Moffitt said. “Bryce had a tough weight with a returning All-American in the finals. Pampkin was wrestling a kid that they split matches on the season and he pulled it out in crunch time.
“Malcolm continued his dominance. He hasn’t lost to a junior college kid all year.”
Pampkin advanced with a major decision and two decisions. Fisher earned two falls a major decision and a decision.
Allen had two falls and two decisions for the Tritons.
Richie Lewis (157) finished second, while St. Edmond graduate Teddie Harvey (141) and Ryan Niven (165) were third.
Lewis lost to third-ranked Yoanse Mejias of NIACC by a 5-3 decision in the finals.
Also advancing for Iowa Central were Nate Smith (4th at 125), Clarion-Goldfield graduate Marcus Peterson (4th at 149) and Jake Meehan (5th at 174).
Harvey advanced to the semifinal round and lost a 10-3 decision to fourth-ranked Joe Munos of Rochester. Harvey won his quarterfinal match 7-4.
In the consolation semifinals, Harvey won by fall and then defeated Blake Spotts of NIACC by fall to advance.
“Teddie did an awesome job,” Moffitt said. “He beat (Mike) Stewart, who had pinned him earlier in the year. He had been ranked all year and Teddie beat him up and won a physical match. He lost to Munos, but it was a tough match.
“We couldn’t get him (Harvey) seeded, but all that matters is what happens in the end.”
Peterson won his preliminary match but lost in the quarterfinals to NIACC’s ninth-ranked Nosomy Pozo. Peterson then bounced back with three straight victories to advance. He won by three decisions.
“Peterson was wrestling injured,” Moffitt said. “He came out a qualifier in a tough weight class.
“Now we just need to sit back and get rested up.”