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Iowa Lakes Wrestlers Finish 12th At Nationals
March 6, 2018

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COUNCIL?BLUFFS - The Iowa Lakes Community College Wrestling team finished 12th at the National Junior College Athletic Association's National Tournament recently. The Lakers also had two wrestlers earn All-American honors for their finishes at the Nationals.

Earning All American Honors were David Hollingsworth, wrestling at 149 pounds, on his fourth place finish, and teammate Bunmi Smith, at 165 pounds, who finished seventh in the Nationals.

For David Hollingsworth, the tournament started with a win over fourth-ranked Brent Evans of North Idaho by a 13-4 decision. In the second round, Hollingsworth defeated fifth-ranked Mark Voss of Ridgewater, but in the quarterfinal round, the Laker wrestler would be pinned by the eventual champion, Kenny Astle of Western Wyoming.

In the Consolation round to be an All-American Hollingsworth defeated Sam Naddy of Itasca by a 12-5 decision to move to the Consolation Quarterfinals. Hollingsworth defeated John Reina of Niagara in a 5-0 decision and in the Consolation Semifinals, he defeated third-ranked Jasiah Williams of Clackamas with a 7-5 decision.

But in the Consolation finals match, the Laker wrestler was pinned by top-ranked Kendon Lee of NEO to finish fourth in the Nationals.

At 165 pounds, Bunmi Smith began his tournament run with a 12-4 decision win over Austin Howard of Southwestern Oregon, but in the second round, Smith lost to eventual National Champ Troy Keller of Niagara by an d11-2 decision.

Dropping into the consolation brackets, Smith earned a win by fall over Elijah Hollins of Rochester in 2:23 of their match and then earned a 13-1 decision victory over Richard Dralu of Northland. In the All-American qualifying round, Smith earned 4:56 win by fall over Gage McBride of Barton. Moving in to the Consolation quarterfinals, the Laker wrestler would lose a 5-2 decision to Jacob Swift of North Idaho.

Wrestling for seventh place, Smith would earn the placement with an :18 win by fall over Justin Anderson of Northeastern.

Other finishes recorded by Iowa Lakes wrestlers at the National included 125 pounder Kevin Saravis, who went 1-2 in the tournament. Jordin James, wrestling at 133 pounds, finished 3-2 in the tournament, while 141 pounder Anthony Fisher went 1-2. At 157 pounds, Anthony "Kaz"?Maia finished 3-2 and Isaiah Cox, wrestling at 184 pounds, went 2-2 to round out the Iowa Lakes Effort.

"It was not the national tournament we were capable of having and that is disappointing," admitted Iowa Lakes Wrestling Coach Cody Alesch."We opened up going 7-0 in the first round so we came out strong, however we seemed to forget we needed to follow that up with second round, hard-fought matches. All five guys who did not earn All-American had guys either at this tournament we beat or earlier in the year we beat All American in their weight classes. "

Alesch continued, "at the national tournament, you have to be ready for war, match after match, and as a team we were not able to do that. David Hollingsworth battled from the first whistle and got the results in his first national championships. To come in unranked and defeat three top-ranked guys is very solid and he earned it. Bunmi Smith competed hard and just found a couple tough matches he could not overcome, but he continued to battle to earn his first All-American honor."

Reflecting on the season, Alesch is already looking ahead to the 2018-19 mat season for the Lakers. "We return five of the seven wrestlers next year and we are excited to bring them back and lead next season. Our two sophomores who were All-Americans as freshman battled hard, but both came up one match short of earning their second All-American honors. But, we are very proud of both Isaiah and Kaz and all they've given to Iowa Lakes wrestling the past two seasons. We did not get the results we wanted but I am confident all the guys will move forward and take a lot from the tournament to improve both as men and wrestlers."

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