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Iowa Central Heads to Nationals in Council Bluffs

COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Iowa Central wrestling team already has one national title to their credit this season.

But the Tritons and head coach Luke Moffitt would like nothing more than to secure another here Saturday night when the NJCAA Championships conclude inside the Mid-America Center.

Wrestling begins on Friday at 9 a.m. with the preliminary first and second rounds. Quarterfinals and consolation matches start at 5:45 p.m.

On Saturday, the semifinals and more consolations take to the mats at 9:30 a.m. and run through placement matches. Finals are slated to begin at 6 p.m. that night.

Iowa Central is one of 10 programs who qualified a wrestler at all 10 weights along with ICCAC rivals Iowa Western and Indian Hills. Western Wyoming, Camden County, Harper, Nassau, Pratt, Rochester and Triton also advanced 10, while Clackamas and North Idaho have nine each.

Clackamas is ranked No. 1 in the most recent poll followed by Western Wyoming, Iowa Western, Pratt and Northeastern Oklahoma. The Tritons are seventh and coming off a runner-up finish to the Reivers at regionals.

“I like our chances,” Moffitt said. “We definitely are not going in unprepared. You have to show up and be ready to go. Guys just need to learn from their past mistakes and correct those mistakes.

“There are a number of teams that are probably feeling like they have a chance to win it all, so it is going to take a complete team effort. It all boils down to wrestling hard for seven minutes.”

Former Fort Dodge Senior High standouts Lane and Brooks Cowell will be in action at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively. Lane Cowell meets Jason Cruz of Camden County, while Brooks Cowell takes on Samuel Blackmon from Northwest Kansas Tech.

At 141, Caleb Nadig meets Bronson Richins of Northeastern JC, while Matt Sarbo gets Colby’s Eric Cain at 149. Nathan Napolitano begins his 157-pound title chase against Ethan Ferro from Niagara, with returning qualifier Andrew Gamble battling Wilhem Yasseri of Rochester at 165.

Phil Smith Jr., another wrestler with nationals experience, faces Cale Luthens of North Iowa Area at 174, Quentin Saunders meets Matthew Santos from Otero at 184, John Lovett collides with Kaden Glass of Pratt at 197 and heavyweight Hugo Harp meets Connor Saladin of Garrett.

“It’s going to be a tough tournament like it always is,” Moffitt said. “Every guy goes in with a different plan but the same attitude of imposing their will and making some noise. That’s how you come out on top Saturday night.

“We’re definitely tested with our schedule, trip out to Wyoming and competition at national duals. These guys are ready and excited to get after it.”

The Triton women will also be in action, as nationals are held at the same venue with the same start times. They will have 14 wrestlers competing for medals including Humboldt grad Maria Elizondo and Southeast Valley grad Viatris Scott.

Addisson Hershberger, Anna Sondall, Avery Sondall, Briana Araujo Batista, Bronwyn Brenneman, Dianna Pineda, Hadlie Hood, Kallyn Younger, Krystol Luna, Maranda Bell, Princess Altsisl and Rodlat Adeduntan round out the lineup for Zak Hensley.

Live results will be available on FloWrestling.

Source: Messenger News