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Johnston, Vlieger highlight seven placewinners at Coe

Johnston, Vlieger highlight seven placewinners at Coe

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Zach Johnston and Colby Vlieger placed second in their respective weight classes to lead a group of seven placewinners for the Simpson wrestling team at the Coe Turkey Invitational on Saturday.

Johnston placed second at 141 pounds and Vlieger took second at 285 for the Storm, who recorded 10 pins on the day. Johnston went 3-0, falling to second due to injury default. Vlieger went 3-1, suffering his only loss in the championship match.

Clayton Fenzl (125) and DeVaughn Scott (197) took third place, Jason Clark (157) had a fourth-place effort, Jason Kiehne (149) came in fifth and Jake Mize (165) took sixth to round out the Storm placewinners.

"This is probably the most successful day we've had since I've been here," fifth-year head coach Nate Hansen said. "I told the guys before the tournament that I didn't care how many placewinners we had at the end of the day, I just wanted them to go out and wrestle hard."

Thanks to a heavy load of competitions early this season -- the Storm have already competed in three duals and two tournaments -- Hansen made the decision to default a few of his wrestlers throughout the day to take care of some nagging injuries.

Johnston was one of those cases. Coming off an upset of the No. 7 wrestler in the country in the dual against Wartburg on Wednesday, Johnston extended his winning streak to four by going 3-0 before bowing out of the finals. Johnston scored a major decision over Alex Costello (Wis.-Platteville) before posting back-to-back pins against Coe wrestlers Brady Ruden and Trey Schuler. 

Simpson's other finalist, Vlieger scored a pin and two decisions before facing off against defending NAIA national champion Dean Broghammer of Grand View. Vlieger lost 9-4, but made the match interesting.

"He gave Broghammer a run for his money," Hansen said. "It's a big confidence boost for Colby not just to make the finals but to compete against one of the best wrestlers in the country. He'll be motivated by that loss."

Simpson's two third-place finishers, Fenzl and Scott accounted for half of the team's 10 pins. Fenzl went 5-1 on the day with three pins, including a second-period pinfall over Coe's Jan Rosenberg in the consolation finals. Scott went 4-1 on the day with a pair of pins, closing his day with back-to-back pins after losing in the semifinals.

Simpson is off until a Dec. 1 dual at Augustana (Ill.).

125—Clayton Fenzl, 5-1 (3rd place) *3 pins
141—Zach Johnston, 3-0 (2nd place) *2 pins, injury default in championship
149—Anthony Derrick, 0-1 *injury default
149—Jason Kiehne, 4-2 (5th place) *2 pins
157—Jason Clark, 4-1 (4th place) *injury default in 3rd place match
165—Austin Stotts, 2-2
165—Jake Mize, 2-0 (6th place) *injury default
174—Cam Wozniak, 0-2
184—Noah Robinson, 1-2
184—Sam Mathis, 0-2
184—Damon Piatt, 0-2
184—Tristan Duncan, 0-2
197—DeVaughn Scott, 4-1 (3rd place) *2 pins
285—Colby Vlieger, 3-1 (2nd place) *1 pin

Storm drop dual to Augustana
December 1, 2016 Storm drop dual to Augustana
Storm compete at Luther Open
November 12, 2016 Storm compete at Luther Open