C.J. Pestano ’18 became the second three-time All-America performer in Central wrestling history with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Division III meet in Cleveland, Ohio, March 9-10.
Pestano spent much of the year ranked No. 1 at 125 pounds after finishing second nationally in 2016 and fourth last year. He was unbeaten until taking an injury default in the Division III regional title match. He was seeded first at the national tournament but, limited by injury, fell in the opening round before battling back with a gritty effort. He closed at 30-4 for a 107-19 career record, ranking eighth on Central’s career wins list.
His performance let Central tie for 34th in the team standings.
It was an otherwise youthful squad for Central, which continues its wrestling ascent. Central had two other NCAA qualifiers in Jeremy Vester ’19 at 165 pounds and Nathan Fritz ’20 at 174. The Dutch will also return Cam Timok ’19, who was an All-America honoree at 133 pounds last year but sidelined by injury this season.
Central posted a 6-4 dual mark and finished fourth in the powerful Iowa Conference. The Dutch were among four nationally-ranked league schools.
For more Central athletics updates, visit athletics.central.edu.