Wrestling starts season off strong

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Michael Scarponi 

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Baagii Boldmaa

Doane’s wrestling team is off to a strong start. The team placed three wrestlers in the top three spots at the Baker Invite and two in the top four at the Grand View Open. The Tigers also received votes in the coach’s preseason national poll.

At both meets, sophomore Baagii Boldmaa led the Tigers in finishes. Boldmaa is ranked eigth in the nation for his weight class in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics after receiving 54 points in the preseason poll. The ranking is based on a panel of head coaches representing each of the eight conferences in the NAIA. Individuals receive 20 points for a first-place vote, 19 for a second-place vote and so on down the list. The same methodology is used for the team’s ranking.

At the season-opening Baker Invite, Boldmaa went 3-0 in the 141 weight division to win the title. He won the opening match by pin and then followed up with two decision victories by scores of 11-5 and 7-2 in the semifinals and finals.

Following that performance, Boldmaa placed third at the 141 open division in the Grand View Open. According to Doane Athletics, the GVO had wrestlers from National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I all the way down to the junior college level. Boldmaa went 4-1 at the event, losing to the University of Iowa’s Justin Stickley in the semifinals before bouncing back with two back-to-back decision wins to claim 3rd place on the day.

Freshman Michael Scarponi also had a strong opening couple of tournaments after placing second in the Baker Invite and fourth at the GVO, both in the 165 weight division. Scarponi went 2-1 at the Baker Invite with a major decision victory 13-2 and a 6-5 decision win before losing to Baker’s Isaiah Luellen in the championship, 9-4.

At the GVO, Scarponi went 3-2. He started off with another major decision 10-1 before knocking off his next opponent 3-1. Scarponi then lost in the semifinals by tech fall 17-2. He bounced back with a win in overtime in the consolation bracket to earn a spot in the third-place match, where he eventually fell 9-1 to Iowa State’s Caleb Long 9-1.

According to the stat sheets for both meets, the Tigers have now had 31 individual wins with 38 individual losses through the first two meets. Matchups, where Tigers wrestled a teammate at the tournament, counted as one individual win and one individual loss in these totals.

Doane’s matchups this week include a dual at Midland University Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and the University of Nebraska at Kearney Holiday Inn Open on Nov. 23, starting at 9 a.m.