Central Wrestlers Win Two Weight Classes At Auggie Adidas Open

MINNEAPOLIS — The Central College Wrestling team was able to come on top in two weight classes at the Auggie Adidas Open hosted by Augsburg College (Minn.)Saturday.

It’s the second time the Dutch have achieved the feat this year, having previously done it at the Platteville Invitational on November 7. The field at this tournament was loaded with talent, including members of Augsburg’s 2015 NCAA Division III Championship team.

“We’re really intentional about getting up to Augsburg just for the quality of competition,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “We not only want to wrestle great competition in the Iowa Conference but also outside the conference. To have success at a tournament like this reiterates the fact that the expectations level of our program continue to rise.”

At 125 pounds, the AJ Pestano (senior, Torrance, Calif.) and CJ Pestano (sophomore, Torrance, Calif.) shared the individual crown, both going 3-0 to reach the title match in the Gold Bracket. The brothers are able to push each other in practice on a regular basis and have spurred each other to high levels of success.

“There’s a little bit of a competitive rivalry with those two,” Van Kley said. “They both feed off the success that the other one has. There’s a really close relationship between the two and I think they’re success is contagious with each other.”

Ryan Vandall (junior, Phoenix, Ariz., Moon Valley HS) won his second title of the season at 165 pounds. Vandall went 3-0 and defeated Zak Benitz of Upper Iowa in the final. Vandall was the starter at 149 pounds last year, but the move up has been beneficial for the junior.

“Moving up two weight classes has been really good for him,” Van Kley said. “He put a tremendous amount of time and energy into the weight room over the summer and he’s wrestling with a lot of confidence. He’s winning hard-fought matches the right way.”

In the 285 pound silver bracket, Jaime Miranda (junior, Aberdeen, Wash.) went 3-1 to take second. He came up on the losing end of the title bout against Logan Linderbaum from Minnesota State, but Van Kley was pleased with Miranda’s effort.

“Jaime had a great day,” he said. “He lost a close match in the finals to a pretty talented guy. He’s wrestling with more composure and consistency each and every week.”

In total, nine Dutch wrestlers were place-winners on the day.

“We’re competing extremely hard and committed to the little things,” Van Kley said. “We’ve just got to continue to get better and stick to the process.”

Central returns to the mat for an 8 p.m. dual against Augustana (Ill.) in Indianola on December 3.

Story provided by  Joe Flaherty

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