Wrestling: Wartburg Makes Dual A Knight-Mare For Coe
By K.J. Pilcher and Scott Saville, Reporters
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - One-sided and lopsided.
Top-ranked Wartburg left little doubt about being head and shoulders above the rest of the Iowa Conference.
The Knights won the first nine matches and powered their way to a decisive 29-3 victory over No. 12 Coe Friday night at Eby Fieldhouse. Wartburg (12-0 overall) handed Coe its first Iowa Conference loss, moving into first with a 3-0 IIAC mark and claiming its 160th straight conference dual win.
For the most part, Coe (9-5, 3-1 IIAC) was out-manned. They dominated just about every offensive category, owning a 21-3 takedown advantage. Wartburg had five points each from nearfalls and riding time, while Coe had none. Coe didn't hold a lead in the first 64 minutes of the dual.
"It was good," Wartburg co-head coach Eric Keller said. "Guys went out there and fought their butts off.
"Overall, it was a good team effort. Those are the ones that make you feel good."
The Kohawks put up a challenge in a few bouts, but couldn't score key points to swing it in their favor.
"There were matches on paper that were winnable," said Coe Coach John Oostendorp, whose Kohawks drop from first to third in the conference standings. "There were matches with critical moments in them and we didn't do the right things to win them. Against good individuals you have to take advantage of those opportunities."
Third-ranked Gilberto Camacho opened the dual with an 8-1 decision over All-American Jimmy Gotto at 125 and the Knights didn't look back. Top-ranked 133-pounder Kenny Anderson and Kodie Silverstri (149) posted major decisions, sandwiching Tommy Mirocha's 7-1 decision over Drew Hinschberger at 141.
Cole Welter fought off a late takedown attempt by Dmitri Boyer, holding on for a 5-4 win and giving Wartburg a 20-0 lead halfway through the dual.
Things snowballed for the Knights and it was tough for Coe to slow the roll. It may have contributed to the result but it wasn't a big factor overall.
"They are 18 to 20-year-old kids watching their buddies in front of them, it always helps to get some momentum going," Oostendorp said. "On the other side, each match is an individual match and you have your minutes to go out and do what it takes to be successful."
Coe battled in the next matches, despite Wartburg's top-ranked Landon Williams (165), No. 4 Dylan Azinger (174), No. 5 184-pounder Sam Upah and sixth-ranked Puna Soriano won decisions. Azinger used two third-period takedowns to beat No. 6 Ethan Ball, 7-4. Upah had a takedown and reversal to drop All-American Scott King.
"I don't think it was a lack of fight," Oostendorp said. "Where there guys were good, and their good up and down the lineup, they pulled the trigger at key times."
Alex Burkle was the lone bright spot for Coe. The fourth-ranked heavyweight scored takedowns in the first two periods, adding a reversal in the third to beat No. 6 Ryan Fank, 6-4.
"I still need to get work on the bottom," Burkle said. "I still need to work on my front-headlocks. There were a few moves I could have scored on. We lost the dual, but I got my (win), everybody's got room to improve."
Burkle was fazed by his teammates results, focusing on his preparation.
"I get in my own little zone," Burkle said. 'My brother (and Coe assistant coach) Tyler (Burkle) does a good job coming back here and keeping me calm and talking me through things, keeping my head level."
In the IIAC finals last year, Burkle wrestle Fank in Eby Fieldhouse and suffered a fluke knee injury that cost him a conference title and a chance to compete at the NCAA tournament. He underwent surgery and has rebounded with a 19-4 record this season. He has 90 career wins, which is 18th all-time at Coe.
"He's doing a good job," Oostendorp said about Burkle. "I like where he's at right now."
The Kohawks will look to move on from Friday's performance. They will address the things that are fixable and pouting is out of the question.
"You can't feel sorry for yourself, that's for sure," Oostendorp said. "Go back and go to work."
Both teams will compete at Cornell's Matman Invitational at Small Multi-Sport Center on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m.