The Ellsworth wrestlers saw some of the toughest competition that they will see all year on Saturday. Teams such as Iowa State, Nebraska, Missouri, West Virginia, Minnesota, and many others were in competition with much of their starting line-ups at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open.
"For a freshmen or sophomore to place in a tournament of this caliber, it is impressive," stated Panthers Head Coach Cole Spree.
Emerging as the top performer for ECC was Da'Wayne Robertson, finishing 4th at 125 pounds. Robertson made it to the semifinals with three straight victories before being defeated by eventual tournament champion Sam Brancale (Minnesota). In the consolation bracket Robertson avenged two previous losses suffered earlier in the year by defeating Iowa State's Kyle Larson in an impressive 6-2 decision.
"Overall I think Da'Wayne was impressive all day Saturday and he battled," adds Coach Spree on the performance of his 125-pound wrestler. "It was exciting to see him preform the way that he did. We've known since he came here last year that he was a special wrestler, but it was just a matter of him putting everything together that it takes to be a successful college wrestler. I think he is right there and if he continues to progress some special things could happen this year for him." Robertson has now compiled an 11-5 record on the year.
Other wrestlers with impressive showings included Jacob Igartua (133), Mike Stewart (141) and Matt Hurford (184). Igartua made the quarterfinals with a 22-11 major decision and an 18-3 technical fall before falling in two tough matches. Stewart picked up three wins with a fall and two decisions, coming up a couple matches short of placing. Hurford claimed two victories to start the day before falling narrowly to two Division I wrestlers; his record now sits at an impressive 9-2.
The Panthers will see their first dual meet action on Thursday, Nov. 21, as they travel to take on Minnesota West.
Photo caption: Da'Wayne Robertson finished 4th at 125 pounds