DUBUQUE, Iowa -- The Simpson wrestling team travels to the Five Flags Center this weekend to take part in the NCAA Lower Midwest Regional on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25.
The Storm will send nine wrestlers to Dubuque for a chance to qualify for the national tournament, which will be held March 9-10 in Cleveland, Ohio. In order to qualify, a wrestler needs to finish in the top three of his weight class.
"We need to wrestle the way we're capable of," head coach Nate Hansen said. "We have to wrestle to our potential and we'll send multiple guys to the NCAA Tournament. I fully believe any one of our guys has the ability to finish in the top three in the region."
In all, 17 teams will compete at the Lower Midwest Regional. All nine schools that comprise the Iowa Conference will take part in the regional, which is one of six being held nationally. In addition to the nine IIAC programs, Augustana (Ill.), Cornell, Huntingdon, MacMurray, Millikin, North Central (Ill.), Ozarks and Westminster (Mo.) will compete.
For the first time, the tournament will be held over a two-day period. The first round gets underway at 1 p.m. Saturday with the final rounds taking place Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.
On the Mat
125 — Jacob Irwin, 8-21
133 — John Gioffredi, 14-6
141 — Alek Ziegler, 18-15
149 — Blake Bauer, 12-18
157 — Jaret Probasco, 0-7
174 — Kobey Bosworth, 12-8
184 — Noah Robinson, 23-13
197 — DeVaughn Scott, 27-10
285 — Sam Mathis, 6-21
• Simpson is looking to send its first wrestler to the national tournament since Curtis Barber qualified back in 2007. The Storm haven't had an All-American since 2006.
• Three Simpson wrestlers competed at the regional meet last year. Jacob Irwin is competing at 125 for the second year in a row, Noah Robinson is back in the 184-pound bracket and DeVaughn Scott looks to make waves at 197. John Gioffredi (133), Alek Ziegler (141), Blake Bauer (149), Jaret Probasco (157), Kobey Bosworth (174) and Sam Mathis (285) are making their first trip to regionals.
• DeVaughn Scott is having one of the best seasons by a Simpson wrestler in recent memory posting a 27-10 mark on the year with 18 pins. He posted a 6-2 mark against IIAC wrestlers and closed the season winning 7 of 8. He won the Central Invite on Jan. 6 and earned IIAC Wrestler of the Week honors Jan. 21 after going a perfect 4-0 with four pins at the IIAC Duals. His 27 wins are the most by a Simpson wrestler since Caleb Brus also won 27 in 2008-09.
• John Gioffredi enters the weekend riding a nine-match winning streak. The junior transfer went 14-6 on the season and a perfect 7-0 in the IIAC. He spent time at both 133 and 141 on the season, but will compete at 133 this weekend, where he went a perfect 10-0 on the year.
• Sophomore Noah Robinson enjoyed a breakthrough season by going 23-13, reaching the podium in all six tournaments throughout the season.