Larry Happel, Assistant Athletic Director
PELLA — A wealth of Central College wrestlers had top-three finishes Saturday at the Under Armour Invitational, but 141-pounder Daniel Radcliffe (senior, Lockport, Ill., Lockport Township HS) stood alone as an individual champion en route to Central’s fifth straight home invitational crown.
The Dutch totaled 112.0 points in the team standings, 11 in front of the second-place team from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Radcliffe punctuated his 4-0 day with a first-period fall over Hunter Luke of North Iowa Area Community College, the No. 2 ranked wrestler in NJCAA competition.
“I thought he was really on today,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “He was getting to his attacks and got better as the tournament went on. It goes back to the work and preparation he’s put in all year.”
Three other Central athletes advanced to the title bout before taking second place. Rob Areyano (sophomore, Selma, Calif.) went 3-0 at 149 pounds before taking a medical forfeit in the final. Griffen McBride (junior, Pleasantville) picked up a pair of victories before also taking a medical forfeit in the finale. Duncan Lee (senior, Newton) went 3-1 with a pair of technical falls but lost 3-1 in an overtime final.
“We have some good depth,” Van Kley said. “We’ve got a big conference dual coming up so we want to make sure everyone is healthy and ready to go.”
At 184 pounds, Cooper Stigsell (so., Litchfield Park, Ariz., Verrado HS) had a pair of falls on his way to a third-place finish. He only lost to the champion from Briar Cliff University.
“He showed up and got us some bonus points,” Van Kley said.
Twins Luke and Levi Condy (freshmen, Memphis, Tenn., Christian Brothers) won titles in the silver brackets at 157 and 165 pounds, respectively.
The dual between Central and Loras is set for 7 p.m. next Thursday in P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.
“Today was a good starting point. I think it shows our guys are doing a lot of things right but it also shows we have a lot of things to improve upon. I’m proud of our guys and how we are coming together as a team. It’s going to be a second half.”