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Bluejays wrestling: Goodwin earns trip to national meet

SPENCER, Iowa — Finishing with a pair of wins and a pair of losses on the day, Ben Goodwin earned himself fourth place at 174 pounds in Sunday’s National Junior College Athletic Association’s North Central District Wrestling Meet and also received a trip to Spokane, Wash., for the national tournament, scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 1. 

At the district meet, held at Spencer High School, Goodwin opened his tournament by decisioning Iowa Central sophomore 11-5 and then fell to NIACC sophomore Thomas Daniels by 8-3 decision.

Goodwin responded to the loss by winning a 6-4 decision over Jake Meehan of Iowa Central and subsequently losing in the third place match to Brandon Sorenson of Iowa Lakes by a first-period fall.

The top four individuals in Goodwin’s weight class advanced to state. West’s Mike Tanner, at 149 pounds, became the only other Bluejay wrestler to win a match at districts when he beat Iowa Central’s Josh Greetan by 13-5 major decision in the seventh-place match.

Kareed Williams (125), Jared Nickman (157), Zelius Morrow (197) and Josh Valandra (285) were each winless for the day.

Nickman, a strong wrestler for the team, battled a knee injury all week and was ultimately unable to recover.

Overall, Minnesota West wrestling coach Bob Purcell said it was a frustrating outcome for the team, but there are always positive takeaways.

“Tanner ended his sophomore year with a win, which was nice to see,” Purcell said. “For Josh, heavyweight was a tough weight class. There were nine wrestlers and eight went to nationals.

“Ben did not wrestle to his potential, but he made it,” Purcell added. “That’s what counts. It was just one of those days.”