DECORAH, Iowa – Freshman Jacob Freeman placed sixth in the 133-pound bracket of the Elite Division and Colby Vlieger placed third in the 285-pound bracket of the Freshmen Division to lead the Simpson wrestling team in the season-opening Luther Open on Saturday.
Seven wrestlers won at least two matches on the day for the Storm.
"We surprised a lot of folks who were expecting the same Simpson wrestling team from last year," head coach Nate Hansen said. "The only people not surprised were us. Today was a measuring stick for the season, and now we know the areas we need to focus on technically as a team."
Freeman lost his first match of the day before getting a pin and a major decision in the consolation bracket. He suffered a 9-4 loss to Matthew Gurule (Iowa) in the consolation quarterfinals before dropping a tight, 9-7 loss to Trevor Pruett (UW-Whitewater) in the fifth-place match.
Vlieger lost his first match of the day as well, then picked up a pair of decisions en-route to a trip to the consolation finals. There, he suffered a 3-2 setback to Nathan Myrice (Iowa Lakes CC).
Shane Swank added a fourth-place finish in the Freshman Division, going 4-2 at 165 pounds. He won his first three matches of the day before losing in the championship quarterfinals.
"We faced some of the best wrestlers in the country across all divisions today," Hansen said. "We need to respond next week and stay on the rise with consistency."
Simpson opens the dual season on Wednesday, Nov. 20 when it travels to Waverly, Iowa to face Wartburg in Iowa Conference action.