Saying that Campbell’s wrestling team had an exciting weekend in Arizona is an understatement.
The Camels started off the day at Chase Field with a 22-14 victory over No. 11 Iowa State. A close dual with No. 4 Arizona State came down to the last bout, ultimately ending with a win for heavyweight Jere Heino but a loss for the team, 21-18. Ending the day on a positive note, the team defeated Harvard 27-9 with seven individual match wins.
It was also a superb day for individual Camels. After the coaches pulled Jason Kraisser’s redshirt, the freshman earned two falls and a decision. Where Kraisser performed, so did veterans Noah Gonser, Andrew Morgan and Quentin Perez who all earned wins against top-25 ranked opponents.
“Our guys wrestled like they have been most of the season,” said Campbell coach Cary Kolat. “I did not find anything or see anything unexpected. We have many ranked guys in the lineup. They train solid, they compete solid, and they hold everyone accountable. Our staff fully understands that to our alumni, fans, and administrators this is an exciting win for our program and provides even more validation that they have been making the right moves with the Campbell Wrestling program. I’m extremely happy for them and grateful for the support.
“My staff and athletes have worked to put ourselves in this position where we have a chance to win every bout or dual we enter,” Kolat added. “There has been a process to it. We don’t talk about doing our best or wrestling to the best of our ability when training. Those are comfort phrases that allow you a way out. We train our guys to win, we talk about winning, and we come to win. We would be doing a disservice to our athletes if our approach was anything different and I should be removed from leading if that was the approach... The term ‘upset’ is used in journalism all the time. The term upset is upsetting to our team because it suggests other people are working harder and smarter than us.”
Kolat and the Camels will make their home debut this Saturday, beginning their Southern Conference slate with The Citadel at 5 p.m. inside Gore Arena.
“We went 2-1 on the weekend instead of 3-0,” Kolat said. “We have to get better. That’s all there is to it.”