The Ellsworth Community College wrestling team qualified all ten of their wrestlers for nationals in the 2019 District wrestling tournament held on Sunday, Feb. 10. ECC Head Wrestling Coach Cole Spree also received Iowa Community College Athletic Association (ICCAC) honors being named Coach of the Year.
Four of the ten wrestlers took first place in their weight classes. All four went 2-0 for the day and had a bye in the first round. Hector Candelaria (Phenix City, AL) at 133 lbs. won his first match 14-5 by major decision and 3-1 decision to win his weight class. Zack Donathan (Mason, OH) at 141 lbs. won by fall in the Semifinals and by decision 5-2 in the final match. Cardeionte Wilson (Miami, FL) won 4-3 by decision and won in a second tie-breaker 7-6 to win the 149 lbs. class. Charles Griffin (Baltimore, MD) placed 1st at 285 lbs. when he won by decision 5-2 and 6-5 by decision.
Myron Crawford (St. Charles, MO), Jordan Shahrikian (Roscoe, IL) and Bryce Pilcher (Cedar Falls, IA) all placed 2nd in their weight classes. All three wrestlers had byes first round and went 1-1 for the tournament. Crawfod at 174 lbs. won 12-4 by major decision and then lost 10-2 by major decision. Shahrikian at 184 lbs. won 3-2 by decision and then fell 3-1 by decision. Pilcher won 5-4 by decision and then lost by technical fall in the final match.
Carter Cox (Atlantic, IA) finished 3rd at 125 lbs. wrestling 2-1. He won by decision 3-1, lost by fall in the Semifinals, received a bye and then won by decision 6-4 in the final match of the day. Zach Garza (Dumas, TX) finished 4th for the day going 1-2. He won by fall in his first match and then lost in the next two matches but finished the day with a win 0-2 by rule. Khanden Howse (Chicago, IL) placed 3rd at 165 lbs. going 2-1 for the day. Howse received a bye the first round and then fell in his first match of the day. He then won by injury and by decision 7-2 in the final match.
Ellsworth finished second in team standings with 154 points. Other team standings included Iowa Central at first with 163.5. NIACC with 115.5, Iowa Western 114 and Iowa Lakes with 102.
"The guys were rewarded today for the commitment they have made," commented Spree. "We were able to keep all 10 guys alive for the National Tournament which was the goal. I'm excited to get back to work for the next couple weeks and make the improvements that need to be made before Nationals."
The Panthers will compete in National Wrestling in Council Bluffs, IA on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2.
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Photo Caption: ECC's Hector Candelaria took 1st place at 133 lbs.