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College wrestling: Ridgewater 9 gear for national tournament

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Sophomore Ridgewater Warriors' wrestler Klinton Van Heuveln hopes to mop up in his second visit to the NJCAA Tournament but on Tuesday he just felt like cleaning the mat "Because I enjoy it" prior to the last home practice.

WILLMAR — Ridgewater College will supply nine of 251 wrestlers representing 40 community colleges across the country competing in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday and Saturday at the NJCAA national wrestling tournament.

First-round action begins 9:30 a.m. Friday on eight mats at the Jacobsen Exhibition Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds and is set to conclude at 6 p.m. Saturday with the parade of champions.

The Warriors, under head coach Tom Beyer, return four to the tournament: Klinton Van Heuveln, Shane Fesenmaier, Tyrell Martin and Trevor Mahlum.

Van Heuveln fell just short of the top eight last year, losing in double overtime. He leads the Warriors in wins, approaching 40 for the season that began in early November.

Each of the 10 weight classes has a 32-man bracket, averaging 25 wrestlers. Top eight earns All-America designation. The tourney is single division though both a scholarship and non-scholarship team champion will be named.

Warriors matchup Round of 32

125: no entry

133: Frank Wilcek (Ft. Ripley, Little Falls) vs Jeff Rottingen, Bergen NJ

141: Klint Van Heuveln (Pennock, KMS) has bye

149: Dennis Wilson (Dillingham, Alaska) vs Colby Kloetzer, Northwest

157: Shane Fesenmaier (Sauk Rapids) vs Zach Martin, SW Oregon

165: Tyrell Martin (West St. Paul) vs. Bryce Lewis, Colby, Kansas

174: Trevor Mahlum (Murdock,  KMS) vs. Connor Fox, Alfred State

184: Brady Thisius (Wells) vs Landon Keiswetter, Pratt

197: Alex Thurber (Kimball) vs VJ Guillo, North Idaho

Hwt: Zane Peterson (Lakeview, South) vs Ben Tynan, Highland

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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