Wrestling Opens 2017-18 Season Nov. 4

Nov 3, 2017

Live Video Link for Yellowjacket Open

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque Spartan Wrestling start their 2017-18 season this weekend at Dr. Bob Kellogg MacMurray Open in Jacksonville, Ill. (9:00 a.m.). and at the Rochester Community and Technical College Yellowjacket Open in Rochester, Minn. (10:00 a.m.) on Saturday, Nov. 4.

“The IIAC is the best conference in DIII wrestling with a steady supply of NCAA Champions and All-Americans coming from our conference consistently at the NCAA Championships," stated head coach and current President of NWCA Division III Wrestling, Jon McGovern. I am excited about the wrestlers on our team this year and the energy going into the season.  We have a lot of new faces along with some seasoned veterans on the team.”  

The annual Iowa Conference duals will bring the conference's nine institutions into action on Saturday, January 20. Five teams (Coe, Loras, Luther, Nebraska Wesleyan, Simpson) will face off against each other at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, while the other four teams (Buena Vista, Central, Dubuque, Wartburg) will compete at the Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. 

The path to the 2018 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships will begin with the NCAA Lower Midwest (formerly Central) Regional on February 24 and 25 at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque, Iowa. The Lower Midwest Regional is hosted by Loras College. The top three wrestlers from each weight class earn the privilege to compete at the NCAA Championships. Additionally, the top three wrestlers at each weight class, from the IIAC, earn All-Conference honors.

A year ago, the Iowa Conference claimed 24 of the 30 national qualifying spots available to the Central Region. Of those 24, 16 captured All-American honors. The IIAC saw four wrestlers compete in the championship match with Wartburg's Eric DeVos earning a national title at 174lbs. The 2017-18 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships will be held March 9-10 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Iowa Conference and Go Cedar Rapids will host the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in 2020 and 2022 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

In the Rankings: The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) released its preseason rankings October 20, 2017. The Iowa Conference has four teams ranking in the top 15. Wartburg College is ranked No.1 after concluding the 2016-17 season with a National Championship. After a sixth-place team finish at the NCAA Championships a year ago, Loras College begins the 2017-18 season ranked No.3. Coe College is ranked at No.14 and Central comes in at No.15. 

Individually, the Iowa Conference has 15 wrestlers in the NWCA preseason rankings. At 125lbs. CenTral's CJ Pestano is ranked No.3 and at 133lbs. Cam Timok of Central is also ranked third. Clint Lembeck of Loras is ranked No.3 at 141lbs. 149lbs. should make for a great IIAC match-up with Wartburg's Cross Cannone ranked No.1 and Coe's Cole Erickson ranked No.2. At 157lbs. we see another one-two IIAC ranking with Wartburg's Logan Thomsen owning the No.1 spot and Loras' Jimmy Davis ranked at No.2. Also ranked at 157lbs. is Quincy Kalkbrenner of Dubuque, who sits at No.8. Bryce Scott of Coe is ranked No.9 at 165lbs and teammate Jake Voss is ranked No.6 at 174lbs. Wartburg's Tyler Lutes comes in at No.9 in the 184lbs. weight class. Once again, we see an IIAC one-two ranking, this time at 197lbs, where Guy Patron Jr. of Loras sits at No.1 and Kyle Fank of Wartburg comes in at No.2. At 285lbs. Wartburg's Lance Evans is ranked No.2 and Loras' Quin Gilliam is at No.8. 

2017-18 IIAC Wrestling Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank  School (1st place votes) Points 2016-17 Dual Meet Record 
1.   Wartburg (8) 64 20-0, 8-0 IIAC (IIAC Champions) 
2.   Loras (1) 56 12-7, 7-1 IIAC  
3.   Coe 49 11-8, 5-3 IIAC  
4.   Central  45 10-2, 6-2 IIAC  
5.   Luther 35 9-8, 4-4 IIAC  
6.   Dubuque 30 7-11, 3-5 IIAC  
7.   Simpson 19 6-9, 2-6 IIAC  
8.   Buena Vista 17 2-7, 1-7 IIAC  
9.   Nebraska Wesleyan 9 1-9, 0-8 IIAC 

 2018 NCAA Wrestling Regionals