Simpson wrestlers battle nation's best at Iowa Conference Duals

INDIANOLA - The Simpson wrestling team squared off against three of the nation's top teams Saturday at Cowles Fieldhouse in the Simpson section of the Iowa Conference Duals. The Storm came away winless, falling to No. 1 Wartburg, No. 5 Coe and No. 25 Dubuque.

The Simpson section of the IIAC Duals also featured 13 individuals ranked in the NWCA Individual Poll and nine returning All-Americans, including two national champions.

The Storm (2-12, 0-7 IIAC) began the day with a 49-0 loss to the top-ranked Knights (20-1, 8-0 IIAC). Although unable to come up with a win, Simpson got strong performances out of freshman Justin Bruce and senior Jordy Ammons. Bruce fought to a 6-4 decision against Landon Williams at 165 pounds and Ammons lost a narrow, 2-0 decision to Ben Scott at 174.

Simpson picked up its two wins on the day against the Spartans (6-5, 2-2 IIAC). Freshman Derek Entz won by fall over Ben Schneider at 141 pounds, needing 4 minutes, 4 seconds for the pin. At 149 pounds, senior Caleb Brus notched career win No. 95 with an 8-7 sudden victory over Derek Mizaur.

In the final match of the day, the Storm couldn't break through against the Kohawks (14-5, 4-1 IIAC) but nearly produced an upset. Facing the second-ranked wrestler in the nation at 165 pounds, Bruce was tied with Nick LeClere in the third period before last year's fourth-place finisher at nationals escaped with an 8-6 decision.

Simpson closes the book on the regular season Feb. 9 when it hosts Central in the final dual of 2011 at 7 p.m. in Hopper Gymnasium.