A total of 14 Concordia University Bulldog wrestlers placed in the Bethany College Swede Open in Kansas over the weekend.
Teammates Adam Joseph (Hastings, Neb.) and Jake Williams (unattached - Rio Rancho, N.M.) both advanced to the finals at 133 pounds. Williams upped his record to a perfect 9-0 with a pair of decisions and a fall. Joseph improved his season mark to 9-1 with a major decision over Wichita State, and decisions over York and Bethany College. Both Joseph and Williams were recognized as co-champions at 133 pounds, as the championship finals were not contested.
Alfredo Torres, wrestling unattached, won the championship title at 184 pounds. Torres won his opening round match over Pratt Community College by fall in 2:19 and then won an 8-5 decision versus Bethany College in the semifinals. In the finals, Torres claimed a hard fought 3-1 decision versus Joe Pace of Baker University. For the Junior College All-American, it was his first collegiate championship.
Alex Stepanek (St. Paul, Neb.) is out to a fast start. Stepanek made the finals at 141 pounds for the second straight week. Stepanek picked up falls against Benedictine College and Bethany College, and had an 8-5 decision over Baker University before losing a 4-0 decision in the finals versus Bethany College. Stepanek is now 7-2 on the season.
Brandon Starkey (St. Paul, Neb.) had another solid outing at 149 pounds. Starkey placed fourth and had a 3-2 record on the day. Starkey has upped his all-time win mark to 61 as a Bulldog.
Freshman Traven Claflin (Sumner, Neb.) had a strong showing at 157 pounds. Claflin had a 20-7 major decision over Baker University and a 3-2 decision over Wichita State to advance to the championship finals where Claflin fell to Colby Crank of Baker University. Claflin is 7-3 on the season.
Freshman John Frerichs (Sumner, Neb.) placed fourth at 157 pounds, up a weight class from his normal weight of 149. Frerichs increased his season record to 8-4 with three solid wins in the tournament, including two decisions and a fall.
Seth Crane (North Platte, Neb.) continued his winning ways at 184 pounds. Crane recorded three wins on the day, including a 6-3 decision over Matt Atwood of Baker University in the bronze medal match. Crane is 6-3 on the season.
Wrestling unattached was Julian Silva (Covina, Calif.) at 197 pounds. Silva claimed a bronze medal for the second straight weekend, upping his season record to 9-2. Also wrestling unattached was sophomore Dillon Heesch (Dayton, Iowa). Heesch, a finalist for the second straight weekend, lost the finals match to the same opponent (Dylan Berg of Baker University). Heesch is 7-2 on the young season.
“We are very happy with the results this weekend,” noted head coach Doug Reese. “The team took to heart the message we were preaching and the corrections to technique we make in practice. It all added up to team success on Saturday. I was most happy that we won 68 percent of the matches in the third period. That shows our toughness and conditioning level makes a difference.”
A number of other Bulldogs placed including:
125 - Brandon Roath (Lincoln, Neb.) 5th
157 – John Frerichs (Sumner, Neb.) 4th
165 - Nick Sheppard (Edgewood, Colo.) 5th
174 - Ryan Perez (unattached – Lake Charles, La.) 6th
184 - Kale Hintz (Hebron, Neb.) 5th
285 - Hunter Cummins (Farmington, N.M.) 6th
The Bulldogs travel to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on Friday night to dual Lakeland College. Concordia then travels to Mequon for the Concordia University, Wisconsin Open for a 23-team tournament on Saturday.