For the fourth year in a row, the Loras wrestling program will be represented on the national stage as senior Steven DeWitt and junior Nick Steger both qualified at the Central Regional Tournament on February 28. The 2015 Division III Wrestling Championships will be held March 13-14 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.Steger entered the weekend poised to capture his first regional championship as the No. 1 seed. With a perfect 22-0 record, Steger was the unanimous favorite to come away with the crown. After first and second round wins, Steger met his match in the semifinals.
Nashid Barrow of Buena Vista put a stop to Steger’s streak, handing the Dyersville native his first loss with a pin in the second period. Remaining undeterred, Steger returned to the mat and posted back-to-back pins to finish third and earn himself a trip to nationals, finishing the day at 25-1 overall.
Much like Steger, DeWitt was the early favorite in the 157# bracket thanks in large part to his 28-2 record. Prior to the regional, DeWitt faced his toughest competition of the year in Drew Waggenhoffer of Wartburg. On February 13, the two went toe-to-toe in the Loras College Athletic & Wellness Center with DeWitt coming away the victor.
A 12-4 major decision over Trevor Engle of Cornell and a 3-2 win over Reed Van Anrooy of Luther set the table for a rematch with Waggenhoffer for the regional crown. This time, the scoring was less frequent, but the result remained the same, as DeWitt won 5-2.
Following the conclusion of the tournament, DeWitt was named Outstanding Wrestler.
Steger and DeWitt have another week of practice before they make their way to Pennsylvania, where they will face off against 14 national qualifiers from the other four regional competitions.