Storm wrestlers begin 2011 at Quality Hotel Open

Storm wrestlers begin 2011 at Quality Hotel Open

HASTINGS, Neb. - Freshmen Justin Bruce and Jared Bevins wrestled their way to the quarterfinals, leading Simpson at the 2011 Quality Hotel Open, hosted by Hastings College.

In the first meet of the New Year, Simpson faced a field of teams out of NAIA, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division I. Simpson and Buena Vista were the only non-scholarship programs at the meet.

"The trip to Hastings was a good test for our squad after a long Holiday Break," head coach Clint Manny said. "We wrestled a lot of teams we don't see during the season. Any time you can do that, it's a positive learning experience."

Senior 149-pounder Caleb Brus went 4-2 on the day, moving to 12-11 on the season while earning career victory number 85. Brus pinned three opponents before losing to third-seeded Jesse Snider.

Competing at 165 pounds, Bruce earned a pair of decisions before falling to the tournament's No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals. He then lost a close, 5-3 decision to Dakota Wesleyan's Tanner LaValliere in the consolation bracket.

Bevins pinned first round opponent Peter Codella before taking a 9-7 decision against fourth-seeded Joe Kow of Sioux Falls. He lost in the quarterfinals and bowed out of the tournament in the consolation bracket.

"We had several guys wrestle deep into the tournament, but still fell short of wrestling to our full capability," Manny said. "Our focus in the second half of the season is to wrestle with intensity and give 100 percent effort in everything we do."

Simpson travels to Buena Vista for an Iowa Conference dual against the Beavers on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Start time is set for 7 p.m. in Storm Lake.