Brandon Starkey places fifth at Buena Vista Open

By on Dec. 8, 2012 in Wrestling

Brandon Starkey places fifth at Buena Vista Open

STORM LAKE, Iowa – Head coach Dana Vote brought the Bulldogs back to his alma mater on Saturday as part of the Buena Vista University Open in Storm Lake, Iowa. Senior Brandon Starkey emerged from the dust with a fifth-place finish while wrestling for the first time this season at 149. Both junior Alex Stepanek (133) and senior Frank Ayala (285) dropped fifth-place bouts of their own en route to claiming sixth place.

The tournament field included representatives from NAIA No. 1 Grand View (Iowa), No. 6 Morningside, No. 16 Midland, No. 20 York, (RV) Northwestern, (RV) William Penn (Iowa), (RV) Central Baptist (Ark.), Briar Cliff and NCAA schools Augustana (S.D.), Northwest Missouri, Southwest Minnesota State, Wayne State and host Buena Vista. No team scores were kept.

Starkey, who entered the day with a record of 3-4 at 157, placed at a tournament for the second time this season and for the 11th time in his career by winning four matches on the day, including a 4-2 decision over Morningside’s Taylor Phipps in his final competition of the day. He began the day by breezing past Briar Cliff’s Evan Lynn 16-1 for a technical fall victory before taking down Midland’s Nick Schroeder (8-7) and William Penn’s Lane Colwell (9-2) in the consolation bracket.

Stepanek, a St. Paul, Neb., native nearly fought his way to the finals of the consolation bracket before falling in a narrow 2-1 decision to Central Baptist’s Antonia Rivera in the fifth-place match. Stepanek pushed his season win total to 12 by grabbing five more wins on Saturday. He defeated a host of conference opponents in Morningside’s Carter Tegeler (pin; 3:45), Briar Cliff’s Albert Voss (pin; 4:43) and Hunter Langley (pin; 4:11) and Northwestern’s Richard Ortiz (6-4).

Ayala remained in the championship bracket by scoring pins over his first two opponents in Midland’s Micah Kekela (3:22) and Buena Vista’s Gable Bonner (3:52) before getting bounced to the consolation bracket. Like Stepanek, Ayala lost by a single point (1-0) in the fifth-place bout in which Briar Cliff’s Brian Ervin served as the opponent.

A total of nine wrestlers represented Concordia at the event with seven of the nine winning at least one match on the day. Overall, Bulldog wrestlers went 18-20 with 10 pins and one win by technical fall. Chandler Brandert (141), who went 3-2 with a pair of pins on the day, and Austin Starkey (157), who went 2-2 with one pin, joined Brandon Starkey, Ayala and Stepanek as Concordia grapplers with multiple wins at Buena Vista.

GPAC wrestlers who claimed individual crowns included Briar Cliff’s Joseph Weber (149), Midland’s Sterling Terry (157), Morningside’s Rulin Pederson (174), Midland’s Kolton Kersten (197) and Morningside’s Tyler Kacmarynski (285).

Concordia is back on the road next Saturday when it will compete at the Raven Duals hosted by Benedictine College (Kan.). The event will get started at 9 a.m. in Atchison, Kan.