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SIUE Wrestlers Prepare for Grand View Open

Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Thirty-one teams, including SIUE wrestling, have signed up for Saturday's Grand View Open at the Charles S. Johnson Wellness Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

SIUE joins fellow Division I schools Iowa State, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, South Dakota State, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin, and Iowa that will be sending representatives to the tournament.

"There are some really good teams coming to the tournament, but we don't know which teams will be sending their whole teams," said SIUE Head Coach Jeremy Spates.

Spates said Dakota Leach, Drew Vrbenec, Brandon Brindley, Karsten Van Velsor, Logun Taylor, Jake Vitale, Lucas Volpe, Matt Lester, Jake Residori, Josh Wood, Chris Johnson, and David Devine will compete for the Cougars.

Leach provided a spark in SIUE's last match against Southern Conference opponent Chattanooga. Spates said that could be some momentum for the 4-11 Leach at 125 pounds.

"He's been wrestling really tough all year with a lot of tough losses. Coming out with that big win (against Chattanooga), I'm hoping that will be a turning point for him," said Spates.  

It will be the first appearance of the season for Wood, who won 15 matches last season at 197 pounds. It will be the second appearance of the year for Lester, who transferred to SIUE from Oklahoma.

"We're excited to see some of these guys who have been out. Hopefully we'll wrestle well and get back on the right track," said Spates.

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