PELLA— Central College senior wrestler Daniel Radcliffe (Lockport, Ill., Lockport Township HS) took down the top-ranked 141-pound wrestler in Division III Saturday during the American Rivers Conference duals.
Central defeated Buena Vista University 41-6 in the opening match before losing to the University of Dubuque 21-20 and No. 1 Wartburg College 29-15
Against the Knights, Radcliffe corralled an 11-10 decision over No. 1 Brady Fritz. The Dutch senior scored 10 points in the third period for the victory.
“Daniel is trained and prepared for situations exactly like that,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “He knows he has got ability and he showed it today. Especially in the way he came from behind in the final period.”
Radcliffe went 3-0 on the day, including a second-period fall against the Beavers.
“I thought he did a great job of leading,” Van Kley said. “He set the example today with his toughness and his actions. I think it inspired the rest of the team.”
Rob Areyano (sophomore, Selma, Calif.) also went 3-0 for Central at 149 pounds, winning his first two matches by fall in the first period.
“He’s really grown some confidence,” Van Kley said. “He showed a tremendous amount of maturity and poise in that last match against Wartburg.”
With a pin in the final match against Wartburg’s Isaiah Cox, 197-pounder Gavin Babcock (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) avenged a narrow a 3-2 loss he suffered in the Dubuque match.
Central closed the day out on a high note as 285-pounder Duncan Lee (senior, Newton) upset No. 6 Jordan Brandon of Wartburg in a 6-5 decision. Lee was caught and pinned against Dubuque but came back with a vengeance in the finale.
“Both of them had gut-wrenching losses against Dubuque,” Van Kley said. “I’m really proud of the way they came back 90 minutes later and put it all on the line.”
Central will send a contingent of younger wrestlers to the Loras Open next Saturday.
“Everybody in our program has to keep getting better,” Van Kley said. “It’ll be a great shot to see them compete.”