The Iowa Conference has been an elite NCAA Division III wrestling league, but this year wasn’t a banner year.
Just 12 wrestlers of the IIAC’s 27 NCAA qualifiers earned All-American honors. It is the lowest total since the conference had 11 All-Americans in 1995.
Wartburg led the performances with seven All-Americans. Luther had three with Coe and Loras claiming one each.
“I feel the better the conference is the better it is for us,” Wartburg Coach Jim Miller said. “It’s kind of like the Big Ten. The Iowa Conference has been there for a long time. I don’t want to see it drop down.
“Obviously the field is tough”
Coe’s Jimmy Gotto (125) and Wartburg’s Kenny Anderson (133) and Kodie Silvestri (149) all reached the finals.
Wartburg senior 141-pounder Tommy Mirocha and Gilberto Camacho at 125 both placed third.
Loras freshman heavyweight James Buss and Wartburg’s Landon Williams (165) placed fourth.
The Knights’ Cole Welter finished fifth at 157.
Wartburg’s Ryan Fank was seventh at heavyweight, earning All-American honors for the second straight year. Luther’s Evan Obert (133), Kyle Windquist (141) and 197-pounder Trent Flegel all finished eighth.
WORTH A SECOND LOOK
This is the first year the NCAA has utilized video reviews for calls during select tournaments. The review process has been used in Big Ten duals and some Division I tournaments.
According to tournament officials, only one of the 15 reviews requested by coaches was overturned, during the first day of the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
Coaches have three challenges, and doesn’t lose one if a ruling is overturned.
The process can prevent conditioning from being a factor in a match, but some coaches are still gauging its effectiveness.
“It gives guys a big break,” Wartburg Coach Jim Miller said. “It could come at a key time in a match. Obviously, if we can look at it and see that it’s a wrong call. It’s OK. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced it. I haven’t processed it. I can be convinced, I guess.”
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