Central uses tourney to prep for sectionals

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Nate Shirbroun finished second in the 170-pound weight class at the Upper Iowa Conference Tournament, held Jan. 29 at Central. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Sean Wilwert goes for the takedown during one of his conference tournament matches.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


The Upper Iowa Conference Tournament took place Jan. 29 at Central, and the Warrior wrestlers took on some of the area’s best. According to head coach Joe Koehn, a majority of the wrestlers outperformed their rankings, but were once again thwarted by slow starts, quick losses and struggles with technique. 


While the team didn’t have any first-place finishers, three wrestlers placed in the top three. Nate Shirbroun finished in second place at 170 pounds, while Daniel Royer was third at 120 and Sean Wilwert came in third at 160. Spencer Heer finished in fourth place at 182 pounds. Placing fifth were Nick Deitchler at 126, Sam Fettkether at 152 and Brandon Whittle at 220. Noah Diersen did not place at 195 pounds.


On the JV/girls side of the tournament, all four Warriors finished in the top three of their brackets. Gabe Erickson placed third in the JV 4 bracket, Maria Medberry second and Rebecca Suhr third in the JV 7 bracket and Brandy Beatty second in the JV 6 bracket. 


“We got off to a slow start but picked it up at the end in the placement rounds. I told the kids I wanted them to place higher than they were seeded. And a majority of them did. I was happy with how they performed. We just can’t have these slow starts. Those can’t happen with postseason coming up next weekend,” Koehn said. 


It wasn’t just the slow starts that prevented the team from placing higher, though it probably contributed to the number of quick defeats as the wrestlers progressed through the tournament and the competition stiffened. As a collective team, the varsity wrestlers suffered four defeats via pin in under two minutes once they hit the quarter final matches, and one of the losses in the semifinals happened in 15 seconds. 


While not commenting on the specifics, Koehn said, “There was some tough match-ups, but those are the kids that we need to compete with if we’re gonna punch our ticket to Wells Fargo Arena. We just need to get stronger and continue to work on our technique…We just need to keep doing what we’re doing and focus on bringing the heat that first match. You can’t have a slow start at sectionals.”


The Warriors will look to avoid the slow starts when they head to MFL MarMac for sectionals on Saturday, Feb. 6. 

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