SIOUX CITY, Iowa – After a couple of grueling GPAC dual victories on Thursday, Concordia wrestling took a group of just 11 grapplers to Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday for the Briar Cliff University Open. While several standouts such as Austin Fehlhafer, Austin Mogg and Emilio Rivera took the tournament off, Ken Burkhardt Jr. and Kodie Cole enjoyed solid days as both placed fourth in their respective weight classes.
“I thought Kodie and Dmitri (Smith) had the best days,” Vote said. “Cody had a good day and got a win over an All-American in Aspen Kmiec of Midland. That was a big one for him. And Dmitri wrestled tough. It was a good overall day.”
Cole (133) went 2-2 on the day with his other victory coming over top-ranked Grand View’s Angelo Crinzi. Meanwhile, Smith (125) piled up four wins on Saturday after slipping in his his first match. His first victory came by fall over Northwestern’s Maxwell Klarenbeek.
Similarly, Burkhardt (197) won four-straight bouts after dropping down to the consolation bracket. The Milford native picked up a fall over Steven Barraza of Northwestern. Burkhardt ended up dropping an 11-4 decision to Grand View’s Derrick Hawkins in the third-place match.
A good portion of Bulldogs who helped the team to statement wins over No. 17 Dakota Wesleyan and No. 21 Midland on Thursday did not participate in the open. With the most important portion of the season coming up, Vote wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to rest up a few key guys.
All in all, Saturday’s efforts were a solid way to end a terrific week for the program.
“It was a good week. We’re starting to come together at the right time,” Vote said.
Concordia (8-7, 4-1 GPAC) has a light week coming up as they are in action just once – on Tuesday when they travel to Northwestern (4-5, 3-3 GPAC) for a conference dual at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs sit in second place in the GPAC standings.