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Iowa State set to host Wartburg in November wrestling dual

Knights announce first dual against an NCAA Division I foe since 2011

Wartburg College's Brock Rathbun (top) and Loras College's Brice Everson compete in their championship match of the NCAA
Wartburg College’s Brock Rathbun (top) and Loras College’s Brice Everson compete in their championship match of the NCAA DIII Lower Midwest Regional Wrestling tournament on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at Five Flags Center in Dubuque. (NICKI KOHL/TELEGRAPH HERALD)
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Wartburg has been a perennial NCAA Division III power.

The Knights will take on a new challenge next season.

Wartburg announced that it will wrestle against Iowa State on Nov. 6 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The dual will be the Knights’ first against an NCAA Division I foe since a one-point loss at Wisconsin in 2011.

The news come at a time wrestlers are still reeling from the NCAA Championships being canceled in March. Wartburg Coach Eric Keller said he has heard from each of his wrestlers about the opportunity.

“It gives them something to be excited about,” Keller said. “It lifts them up and gives them something to look forward to.”

Keller said he and Iowa State Coach Kevin Dresser hadn’t previously discussed the two programs meeting. Dresser reached out and asked about his interest. Keller immediately jumped at the opportunity.

“They’ve done a great job rebuilding their fan base,” said Keller, noting he has been contacted by both Wartburg and Iowa State fans about the dual. “They do a good job with their duals.

“For me, it was a no-brainer. It’s good for wrestling in the state of Iowa. It generates a lot of excitement. People are fired up about it.”

Wartburg was 16-1 last season, winning its 12th National Wrestling Coaches Association Multi-National Duals title in January. The Knights had their 220-dual and 26-year American Rivers Conference/Iowa Conference win streak snapped by Loras this season.

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Iowa State finished 10-5 in duals, including 7-1 in the Big 12. The Cyclones qualified nine wrestlers for the canceled NCAA Championships, placing second in the conference tournament team race.

Wartburg is 0-2 all-time against Iowa State. The last meeting was a 23-16 Cyclone victory in 1996.

The Knights are 12-11-1 against D-I programs. Their last dual victory over a D-I team was over Portland State in 2001.

Iowa State’s home schedule was shared on the program’s Twitter page. The graphic displayed conference home duals against Utah Valley, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Northern Colorado. Other non-conference duals for the Cyclones include Purdue, Arizona State and Missouri.

The dual against Purdue is expected to be held at Humboldt High School in December. Dresser and Purdue Coach Tony Ersland were Humboldt preps before wrestling at University of Iowa.

Read the full news release from the Wartburg Sports Information Department:

Wartburg Wrestling Schedules Dual Match at Iowa State

WAVERLY, Iowa — The Wartburg wrestling team has scheduled a dual match at Iowa State University next season, set to take on the Cyclones on November 6, 2020 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

Wartburg, ranked tied for second in the final Division III National Wrestling Coaches Association team rankings, will face a Division I opponent for the first time since 2011, a 17-16 tiebreaker loss at the University of Wisconsin.

Iowa State, eight-time NCAA Champions, took second at the Big 12 Championships this season. Wartburg is 0-2 all-time versus ISU, most recently a 23-16 loss in 1996, a season in which the Knights went on to earn their first NCAA National Championship in program history.

The Knights are 12-11-1 all-time against Division I schools, with the most recent victory coming against Portland State in 2001.

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Wartburg finished the 2019-20 campaign with a 16-1 overall record while claiming the 12th NWCA National Dual Championship in program history while five Knights were named NWCA All-Americans.

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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