Triton College hosts Central District Wrestling Tournament
Triton College hosts the National Junior College Athletic Association's (NJCAA) Central District Wrestling Tournament on Sunday, Feb. 10, in the Robert M. Collins Center gymnasium located on the east side of Triton's main campus, 2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove. The first matches begin at 10 a.m., and the tournament will last throughout the day.
This will be the 10th consecutive year Triton has hosted the Central District Tournament, which determines who will qualify for the NJCAA National Tournament on Feb. 22-23 in Des Moines, Iowa. The top four wrestlers in each of the 10 weight classes will advance to the nationals. In addition, an undetermined amount of "wildcard" qualifiers will advance based on the total number of entries into the national tournament. The Central District consists of community colleges with wrestling programs from Illinois and Michigan.
The eight community colleges with wrestlers competing in the tournament, include Harper College (Palatine), Kennedy-King College (Chicago), Lincoln College (Lincoln), Muskegon Community College (Muskegon, Mich.), Rend Lake College (Ina), Triton College (River Grove), Waubonsee Community College (Sugar Grove), and Wilbur Wright College (Chicago).
Currently, Muskegon is ranked ninth in the NJCAA Wrestling Coaches Association poll. Harper, Lincoln and Rend Lake each received votes in the poll released on Feb. 4. Of the wrestlers competing, 14 are ranked individually in their respective weight classes by the NJCAA.
The Trojans will have wrestlers competing in all 10 weight classes and look to at least match last year's total of seven wrestlers qualifying for nationals.
Triton had three wrestlers place in their final tune-up before regional's at the Harper Open held on Feb. 2 in Palatine. Travis Fuller (Sandwich) at 149 and Chad Kirkhove (Milan, IL) at 184 each placed fifth and both are expected to contend for national tournament spots. Sophomore Jason Dellesandro (Fenwick) took sixth at 285.
Denzel King (York) who leads the squad in takedowns with 31 should be in the mix to qualify at 125. King in December was the champion at Triton's Art Kraft Memorial Tournament. Another Kraft tournament champion Nikko Liotta (Mather) hopes the home mat advantage will earn him a national tournament spot at 133.
Don McGregor (Riverside-Brookfield) looks to add to his team-leading 12-win total at 157 and qualify to nationals in the process. John Marino (York) has a strong chance at punching his ticket to Des Moines at 165.
For more information on the Central District Tournament, contact Triton College head wrestling coach and Athletic Director Harry McGinnis at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3784, or visit www.triton.edu/athletics.