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DeVestern, Sarringar win DWU Open wrestling titles

Dakota Wesleyan University’s Trever DeVestern wrestles Alex Evan of St. Olaf in a 165-pound second-round match at the DWU Open Saturday at the Christen Family Wellness Center. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

Coming off appearances in the NAIA national tournament last season, Dakota Wesleyan University wrestlers Trever DeVestern, Kyle Gerlach, Richard Rios and Tyler Sarringar are poised to use each match as a building block to reach nationals again in 2013.

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Saturday all four laid a foundation for what could be a great season as each made it to the finals of the DWU Open at the Christen Family Wellness Center.

Of the four Tigers who wrestled in the finals, DeVestern and Sarringar had their hands raised at the end of their matches.

“It’s good to wrestle all these different schools so you can see all these different styles to get you ready for nationals,” DeVestern said. “It is still a few months away but it will be here before you know, so you have to train hard every day.”

Gerlach dropped the 157-pound championship match to Jonathan Blackwell of Bethany University after being pinned in the third period. Rios lost a 2-1 decision in the 133-pound final to Blake Jans of Augustana College.

“Kyle and Rich were both in close matches,” DWU wrestling coach Matt Sedivy said. “But I think they both did a good job. As a team we still have plenty to work on, but we had a pretty good day. It was really good to get out there and get some mat time.”

DeVestern won five matches en route to claiming the 165-pound title, while Sarringar beat four wrestlers to earn the 197-pound title.

The title was the first of Sarringar’s career. The senior from Pierre won the title after moving up two weight classes. Last season Sarringar wrestled at 174, but moved up to 197 where Sedivy believes he will be really good.

“He is a kid that has a huge gas tank,” Sedivy said. “His conditioning is awesome and he really committed to weightlifting in the offseason. I think those bigger guys are not going to be able to contend with him as the match goes on because he has a really good motor.”

DeVestern is also testing out a new weight class at 165. Last season he reached All-American status, after finishing seventh at the NAIA national tournament. After claiming the 165-pound title Saturday he said that he hopes to get back down to 157 by the time nationals roll around.

“It feels good to have all this hard work start paying off,” DeVestern said. “I am up at bigger weight and hopefully that will pay off.”

Ryan Roach was Wesleyan’s next-highest placer. He finished in fourth in the 157-pound division.