Four Kohawks reach podium

Ball and Horner cap college careers with wins

Published: March 15 2014 | 3:12 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:39 am in

CEDAR RAPIDS - Coe finished Friday and then started Saturday strong.

The Kohawks tallied nine wins in a 10-match stretch, allowing four wrestlers to earn All-America status at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at the U.S. Cellular Center. They helped Coe secure fourth place in the team race.

In addition to 157-pound finalist Dimitri Boyer, senior Ethan Ball (174) and 197-pound junior Donnie Horner (24-12) placed third and fifth, respectively. Both capped theirseasons with wins and their first trip to the national awards stand.

Ball, a three-time NCAA qualifier, entered as the No. 3 seed, but was upset in the quarterfinals. He closed with our straight victories, ending his senior campaign at 30-7.

Its kind of bitter sweet, Ball said. I would have liked to have won it. In my opinion, I think Im good enough to win it. Two good guys are in the finals, so it didnt work out for me.

Ball is sixth in all-time wins and in the top five for career major-decision wins at Coe. He still felt the sting of missing the finals, but admitted he had more fun wrestled better after his loss eased the pressure of going for a title.

Im proud of what Ive done, Ball said. Im at peace with the whole thing. Obviously, Id like to go out on top winning it, but I guess it wasnt in the cards. I did my best wrestling today.

Sheldon, a junior from Cedar Rapids Kennedy, placed sixth in his first NCAA appearance. Sheldon (28-9) went 3-2 after losing to top-seeded finalist Riley Lefever of Wabash (Ind.). He earned a spot in the championship festivities in front of his hometown crowd.

It feels good to be an All-American, Sheldon said. Im glad I got to wrestle here the second day.

Sheldon will enjoy it for a short time and then start training for a deeper run next year.

I know I have things to work on and that will be the focus, Sheldon said. We can be happy for 24 hours but then we have to start working again.

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