DES MOINES, Iowa – The Bulldogs went up against perhaps their stiffest competition all season at Saturday’s Grand View Open in Des Moines, Iowa. Senior Brandon Starkey turned in the best day amongst the nine grapplers that head coach Dana Vote took to central Iowa to compete.
The Bulldogs tested their mettle against individuals from NCAA Division I schools like Illinois State, Missouri, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa and Wisconsin and NAIA No. 1-ranked Grand View. Considering the loaded field, Concordia competed admirably.
Two of the Bulldogs’ three wins on the day came against NCAA Division I foes. Wrestling at 157, Brandon Starkey came up with a 5-3 decision over Missouri’s Patrick Whitener. At 141, junior Alex Stepanek seized a 2-0 decision over Illinois’ State’s Kyle Carstens.
The other win belonged to heavyweight Frank Ayala, who recorded the team’s only fall of the day when he pinned Hannibal-LaGrange’s Mike Wright in 6:05.
Ayala, Starkey and Stepanek each ended up getting eliminated from their respective brackets in their matches immediately following victories. All ended up bowing out in the consolation rounds.
Concordia will now have four GPAC duals before heading to Fremont, Neb., for regionals on Feb. 16. The Bulldogs will dual both No. 17 Dakota Wesleyan and No. 7 Morningside on Tuesday in Fremont. Concordia’s final home match of the season will be held Feb. 7 when Hastings visits Walz Arena.