Small College Sports

Coe's Brock Henderson has made strides through hard work

Sophomore 133-pounder is 8-1 and ranked fourth nationally

Brock Henderson, Coe wrestling
Brock Henderson, Coe wrestling

CEDAR RAPIDS — Good has become better.

Coe’s Brock Henderson wasn’t satisfied with his freshman campaign. So, the 133-pounder pushed himself harder and further over the summer and into the start of this season. The results are starting to reflect that hard work.

Henderson scored a first-period technical fall, helping 11th-ranked Coe cruise to a 41-3 victory over Buena Vista in an American Rivers Conference dual Friday night at Kohawk Arena. The Kohawks won nine of 10 weights, improving to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference.

Henderson is 8-1 overall with five technical falls, climbing to fourth in the NCAA Division III national rankings. He dominated Nate Vento, using two takedowns and 14 nearfall for an 18-1 win at the end of the first period.

“I feel confident because I know I’ve worked my butt off,” Henderson said. “I know I’ve been through some really deep waters in the practice room than what I’m going to experience out here, battling with state champs and All-Americans every day.”

Henderson said he has been fueled by the things that didn’t go his way last season when he went 17-10. He needed to get stronger and adapt to the physical nature of college wrestling, using more snaps and hand-fighting.

“I don’t care what level you’re at, it is a big adjustment to college wrestling,” Coe Coach John Oostendorp said. “You get a full season of college wrestling thrown at you and you make adjustments to prepare for the next one. He was good last year but he’s a different level wrestler this year.

“Every part of his life he is extremely focused and driven. It’s showing up in the results, whether it’s school, wrestling or whatever it is.”

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Few have been able to match Henderson’s daily intensity. Oostendorp said nobody gets more out of a week of practice than Henderson, coming in focused and trying to learn as much as possible about the sport to improve, Henderson attributes his ability to push himself and embrace the grind to his faith.

“It frees me up to give it my all,” Henderson said. “I know how tired I get, even if I die or no matter what happens, I’m still going to be all right.

“I can go compete my hardest.”

Henderson was runner-up at the Luther Open, falling to Wartburg’s top-ranked defending NCAA champion Brock Rathbun. He won the Coe Invitational. His most notable win was a 17-15 decision over Central All-American Cam Timok, who is ranked fifth and placed fifth at the 2017 national tournament.

“When you work like that, it’s important to get the results to back it up,” Oostendorp said. “I think you’ll see him continue to develop. He is one of those guys that doesn’t allow himself to not get better by his preparation and commitment.”

Coe had little trouble dispatching the Beavers (1-3, 0-2). Josh Gerke (149) and heavyweight Kaleb Reeves added pins, and Taylor Mehmen won by technical fall at 197 for the Kohawks. Coe 184-pounder Bryce Scott earned a 13-4 major decision over Dylan Huntoon.

Henderson will attempt to build on the strong start heading into a short break before the Desert Duals in Las Vegas in December and the National Wrestling Coaches Association Multi-Divisional National Duals in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 4. The key is to continue current habits.

“Keep doing things right,” Henderson said. “There’s never a wrong time to do something right and never a right time to do something wrong.

“Just keep doing things right." 

AT KOHAWK ARENA

Coe 41, Buena Vista 3

(Individual takedowns in parentheses)

125 pounds — Byron Fleming (BV) dec. Diego Ortega, 5-2 (0,1); 133 — Brock Henderson (C) tech. fall Nate Vento, 18-1 (2,0); 141 — Amier Khamis (C) dec. Colin Stilson, 5-3 (1,1); 149 — Josh Gerke (C) pinned Teyeler Bruch, 4:35 (3,0); 157 — A.J. Patterson (C) won by forfeit; 165 — Nate Olsen (C) dec. Shane Vaughan, 12-5 (2,0); 174 — Jake Voss (C) dec. Brad Kerkhoff, 7-4 (1,1); 184 — Bryce Scott (C) major dec. Dylan Huntoon, 13-4 (5,0); 197 — Taylor Mehmen (C) tech. fall Don Phillips II, 18-0 (1,0); Hwt. — Kaleb Reeves (C) pinned Nick Mitchell, 1:21 (1,1).

MEET STATISTICS

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Takedowns — Coe 17, BVU 3. Reversals — Coe 2, BVU 1. Escapes — Coe 6, BVU 11. Nearfall points — Coe 36, BVU 4. Penalty points (awarded) — Coe 1, BVU 0. Riding-time points — Coe 4, BVU 1. Total match points — Coe 85, BVU 24. Official — Kent Sesker.

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

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