INDIANOLA, Iowa – It took a little longer than he would have liked, but Simpson head wrestling coach Nate Hansen got the milestone win he had been waiting for on Saturday.
Simpson won five straight matches to close the dual and the third-year coach picked up his first Iowa Conference win, 26-13 over Buena Vista at Cowles Fieldhouse.
The Storm (7-10, 1-5) trailed 13-9 after five matches but swept the second half of the dual, snapping a 23-match conference losing streak and pushing the team's win total to the highest in nine seasons. Simpson's last conference win came on Jan. 24, 2012, a 27-12 win over Buena Vista.
"It's about time," Hansen said after the dual.
Despite missing two seniors due to injury and forfeiting a weight, Simpson didn't miss a beat. Lineup regulars Brian Haynes (165) and Ethan Calvert (197) sat out, but Shane Swank and Eric Quador answered the call.
"It was nice to have two underclassmen step up and get wins," Hansen said. "When you have a long season, there are going to be times when you are out and banged up. But we've got guys that will battle when they are asked to."
Replacing Haynes at 165, Swank was responsible for swinging the momentum of the dual in Simpson's favor. In a 1-1 dead-heat with Matthew Goth and just over a minute left in the match, Swank scored a reversal to take a 3-1 lead. Goth returned the favor 30 seconds later, but Swank got a second reversal with 21 seconds left and tacked on a point for riding team, edging Goth 6-3.
With Simpson now trailing 13-12, Brett Roberts carried the momentum with an 18-5 major over Andrew Nelson at 174, giving the Storm a 16-13 lead. Then Quador – replacing Calvert in the lineup – held on for a 7-2 win over Jared Bronaugh at 184. Wrestling up a weight, Spencer Ward had little trouble with Jake Staudt at 197, scoring a 15-1 major.
With a 23-13 lead and a dual win already locked up, Colby Vlieger put an exclamation point on the win with a 2-1, double-overtime win over Gable Bonner. The match meant a little more to Vlieger, who lost to Bonner in last year's meeting.
"We had [the dual] locked up," Hansen said. "Colby could have gotten pinned and we still would have won, but I'm so glad he finished. Last year he lost to [Bonner] in overtime and I felt like we handled him tonight."
The dual began with the teams exchanging forfeits. Buena Vista was without a 125-pounder and Simpson was absent at 133. The first contested match came at 141, featuring conference unbeaten Nashid Barrow of Buena Vista and Simpson's Devan Berrian.
Berrian led the match for six minutes before Barrow came away with an 11-4 win.
"You just have to wrestle seven minutes," Hansen said. "He's got to learn from that, but it was an encouraging match."
Jonathan Melton got Simpson on the board with a 9-3 decision over Steve Gutschenritter at 149. At 157, Jacob Mize got an early takedown against Seth Shatto and had visions of a pin, but Shatto responded and came away with a 16-5 major decision.
125: Ethan Pellegrino (SIMP) over (BUVI) (For.) 133: Ernesto Garcia (BUVI) over (SIMP) (For.) 141: Nashid Barrow (BUVI) over Devan Berrian (SIMP) (Dec 11-4) 149: Jonathan Melton (SIMP) over Steven Gutschenritter (BUVI) (Dec 9-3) 157: Seth Shatto (BUVI) over Jake Mize (SIMP) (MD 16-5) 165: Shane Swank (SIMP) over Mathew Goth (BUVI) (Dec 6-3) 174: Brett Roberts (SIMP) over Andrew Nelson (BUVI) (MD 18-5) 184: Eric Quador (SIMP) over Jared Bronaugh (BUVI) (Dec 7-2) 197: Spencer Ward (SIMP) over Jacob Staudt (BUVI) (MD 15-1) 285: Colby Vlieger (SIMP) over Gable Bonner (BUVI) (TB-1 2-1)
Simpson hosts Central for Senior Night on Thursday, Feb. 12 in historic Hopper Gymnasium.