Five Wrestlers Place at BVU Open


Tanner Frost, Staff Writer

Last Saturday, Dec. 2, the Buena Vista wrestling team hosted 16 other squads in the Lamberti Recreation Center in the annual BVU Open tournament.

With over 300 wrestlers participating in the Open, every Beaver wrestler had the chance to face a variety of competition from Division 2 schools from schools like Upper Iowa, to IIAC rivals, and even NJCCA participants such as Ellsworth.

With a 9-hour-long tournament looming over the Beavers, they decided they were going show the visiting schools what Division 3 IIAC wrestlers were made of.

Twelve Beavers wrestled in the Open and five placed in the tournament. This also included of a pair of runner-ups: freshman Schuyler Spurrier (133) and junior Carson Rhoads (149). The other place winners included: Nate Vento (125) in 3rd, Johnathan Tuttle (149-B) in 5th, and Riley Altenburg also in 5th (149-C).

Other final records on the day for BVU included: Andrew Hoffman at 1-2, Shane Vaughan at 1-2, Kevin Pape at 2-2, Tyler Puls at 2-2, Don Phillips II at 3-1, and Nick Mitchell at 1-2.

Heading into his final, Schuyler Spurrier had bagged a pair of wins with a 8-2 decision over Joshua Badillo of Iowa Central, as well as a pin in the 2nd period over Matthew Masatani from Central College. However, he came up just short in his championship match in a 6-3 decision against Tracy Davis of Iowa Lakes.

Meanwhile, Carson Rhoads fought his way into the 1st place matchup after winning a decision of 10-4 against Wayne State’s Ethan Fitzler, and also pinning Iowa Central’s Darin McGrone in the 2nd period. After a long fought match with Wayne State’s Hunter Weiss, Rhoads came up just short in an 8-7 decision, but nabbed the 2nd place spot.

The team’s lone senior leader Tyler Puls said the Beavers’ performances in the Open set the stage for the rest of their season.

“The team performed well overall. We executed well on the technique we have been working on. We were able to find what works well for us and able to find areas we need to work on. The success we had at the open will carry over into the rest of our season,” he said.

The wrestling team followed the home tournament with a home dual against fellow IIAC team Coe College on Wednesday. Coe, ranked #15, came out on top by a 38-7 margin. Highlights for the Beavers included wins by juniors Shane Vaughan and Brad Kerkhoff. The 8-2 decision was Vaughan’s 8th win of the season.

In an interview after the dual with BVU Athletcis, Head Coach Jeff Breese noted that this was the most competitive his team has been against a tough Coe opponent in at least two years.

“I though our effort was good. I thought our fight is getting better. Maybe we don’t have the manpower we need yet, but what we’re doing is progress,” Breese said in the interview.

Beaver wrestling is back in action at home again on Saturday when they host a dual with non-conference opponent, St. Olaf. Match time is 4:00 p.m. in the Lamberti Recreation Center.