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ISSUE 120 VOL 7 PUBLISHED 11/10/2006

Winter Preview, Wrestling: Beyond a rebuilding year

By Monica Southworth
Staff Writer

Friday, November 10, 2006

The second season of a new era has begun for the St. Olaf wrestling team. Last season was a rebuilding season, however, results were fitter than in the past.

In the spring of 2004, Coach Sean Ahrar was hired from the discontinued Carleton team to turn the Ole team around. After one season, Ahrar has the program moving in the right direction.

“"We’'ve grown and we will continue to grow,”" Ahrar said. “"With only one recruiting season, we've doubled and I’'m looking to do so next year.”"

With the size of the team doubled and the numbers of wrestlers in each weight class vastly increased, Ahrar pointed out the opportunity this creates for his team.

“"When we have competition in the practice room, we become more competitive with other schools,"” Ahrar said.

Of the 16 players on this year'’s team, only six are seasoned Oles while the other 10 are either first-years or transfer students.

“"We have a lot of hard workers and a lot of talent. We’ll be successful in the future,"” Ahrar said.

This season, Ahrar says he wants to have individuals qualify for the Division III National Championships and to win at least 75 percent of duel matches.

Last year, transfer student Steven Wood '‘07 took fifth in the NCAA regionals at the University of Chicago in February. Ahrar expects Wood to go as far if not further this season. Tom Kopietz '’08 (165), Jake Lambers ’'07 (174) and George Jimenez ’'08 (184) will also have considerable impact.

“"We’re 100 percent better than the last year or the previous year,"” Ahrar said.

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