The wrestling team at California Baptist University is preparing to take its first step towards the playoffs by competing in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo. Feb. 3.
Lancers wrestling earned second place with a total of 100.5 points in last season’s RMAC Championship, Feb. 4, 2017. Returning Lancer standouts, such as Nick Fiegener, junior business administration major, and Daxton Gordon, sophomore biology major, who earned first place in the 184-pound and 149-pound weight classes, respectively, in last season’s RMAC tournament, will try to help improve this year’s placement in the RMAC Championship.
Christian Smith, senior kinesiology major, said he and the rest of the Lancers are preparing for RMAC by working hard every day.
“We have two-a-days on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Smith said. “We are focusing on the technique that we need to work on and struggling with and executing on that.”
Smith said succeeding in RMAC is good for upcoming rankings in the NCAA Division II Super Regional Tournament and the NCAA Division II Championship.
“It is a good place-setter to see where we are with competition,” Smith said. “I’d like to go to RMAC and win that. Next step is regionals and come up to nationals and win.”
Nolan Kistler, senior criminal justice major, said the Lancers have been practicing the technical aspects of wrestling to prepare for RMAC.
“Now, it’s just sharpening those skills and making sure we’re in shape because this championship is very high-altitude,” Kistler said. “It’s harder to breathe in Colorado and staying away from injuries.”
Kistler mentioned what he and the rest of the team need to do to succeed in RMAC.
“We all need to focus on scoring as much as we can individually,” Kistler said. “We need to focus on being offensive and try to dominate in this championship.”
Kistler said he thinks RMAC is important because it is great for the national rankings.
“How we do at the RMAC will determine our seed in regionals,” Kistler said. “Better ranking means better placement at regionals.”
Kistler also said his goals are to win the final championships.
“My goals are to win regionals and nationals and become a champion in those tournaments,” Kistler said. “Hopefully, our team can earn a championship as well.”
The RMAC Championship for wrestling will take place Feb. 3 in Colorado Springs and the Lancers will try to dominate in this tournament to get to the next step in postseason.