The Wartburg wrestling team opens the Division III wrestling championships today in Cedar Rapids as the favorite to win the school’s tenth national title. This will be the final national tournament for Knights coach Jim Miller, who is retiring after this season.
Miller says he’s tried to approach this year’s championships just like every other year. “Same thing every time, and nothing’s different. It comes up a lot, but as far as our preparation and outlook, nothing’s different,” Millers says. “It’s in the back of my mind, I don’t want to get ahead of myself either in the coaching thing, let’s just win the next match. If you do that, hopefully everything will work out. But you’ve got to take care of the little things before you can do the big thing.”
The Knights have a wrestler qualified for nationals at every weight class, something Miller says has helped keep the intensity up in their workouts the past week. He says it’s hard leaving somebody behind and their biggest goal was to get everyone to nationals and he says it gives them “more bullets than everybody” when it comes down to the competition.
The regional qualifier that Wartburg’s wrestlers went through earlier this month was their first true individual tournament since early December. Miller says that there is a slight change in the mindset wrestlers take to an individual event, but they have to remember that team points are very important as well.
Wartburg has won the last two Division III team titles, as well as four of the last five championships.
By Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls