The Hastings College wrestling team sent its seniors out on top Thursday night by defeating Concordia University 21-12.
Concordia held a 9-6 lead after five matches when Hastings College’s Tim Rice defeated Austin Fehlhafer by pin at 174 pounds. Then, an ensuing Concordia forfeit gave the Broncos a comfortable lead before the night’s final match.
“You know it’s nice to recognize the seniors. They’ve done a lot for the program,” said Hastings College head coach Shawn Kelley. “Garth (Ginder) and Cameron (Mettenbrink) have been our two 149-pounders all year and bumping up to 157 for the team because our two 141’s are legitimately two of our best guys in the room, so we want to have them both wrestling in the duals. It’s just nice that they can remember their last year as they won their last match of the year. ”
The match started out with competitive duals with the first five matches resulting by decision by each of the opposing teams.
Concordia’s Kodie Cole (133) defeated Aaron Tarin to give the Bulldogs the early lead. Alec Chanthapatheth (141) answered back for the Broncos by defeating Alex Stepanek.
Enrique Barajas (149) put Concordia back on top by beating Blake Fruchtl for his first conference loss of the season. Hastings College’s Connor Blanco (157) tied the match by defeating Tommy Bailey just before Concordia took back the lead at 9-6 when Billy Behle (165) defeated Garth Ginder.
“The first five matches were all great,” said Concordia head coach Dana Vote. “We just came up short in a few of them and we’ve got to find ways to finish matches before next week.”
Rice then took the first lead for the Broncos by pinning Fehlhafer. Joel Hernandez did not have to wrestle for Hastings due to a forfeit by Concordia, which gave the Broncos six points.
Grant Harrill (197) earned another win by decision over Ken Burkhardt Jr. to give the Broncos the lead at 21-9.
“You know any time you get extra team points it changes the whole complexity of the dual,” Kelley said. “That is what we missed on Tuesday night. We didn’t score enough team points, but we had enough wins. We won five of the nine matches, but we didn’t have enough team points so any time you have a guy go out it gets the team fired up when we have good performances.”
In the final match of the night Calvin Ervin (285) lost by decision to Ceron Fransisco and as a result that gave the Broncos their second win of the season over Concordia, who sits No. 2 in the GPAC.
“We’re going to get back in and work hard tomorrow and give them the weekend to rest and we will come back and get to a schedule next week,” Kelley said. “It’s been a long season so the guys need their rest. We have torn their bodies down all year, and we need to stay up on conditioning but let our muscles rest. It’s kind of a fine line.
“The biggest thing is it’s the do-or-die season. It’s the playoffs or whatever you want to call it. It’s either they wrestle well next week or they aren’t going to nationals.”
Hastings College will head to Mitchell, S.D., Feb. 22 for the NAIA North Qualifier regionals
125 — Open
133 — Kodie Cole, Concordia, defeated Aaron Train, Hastings College, 7-3
141 — Alec Chanthapatheth, Hastings College, defeated Alex Stepanek, Concordia, 5-2
149 — Enrique Barajas, Concordia, defeated Blake Fruchtl, Hastings College, 5-3
157 — Connor Blanco, Hastings College, defeated Austin Starkey, Concordia, 11-9
165 — Tommy Bailey, Concordia, defeated Garth Ginder, Hastings College, 8-6
174 — Tim Rice, Hastings College, pinned Nick Sheppard, Concordia, 1:58
184 — Joel Hernandez, Hastings College, won by forfeit
197 — Grant Harrill, Hastings College defeated Ken Burkhardt, Concordia, 8-7
285 — Ceron Francisco, Concordia, defeated Calvin Erven, Hastings College, 12-8