2013-2014 Elmhurst Preview

ElmhurstCollege-logo[1]Elmhurst College Bluejays
Head Coach: Steve Marianetti
Years at School as head coach: 12th
Career Record at school: 102-42-2
Assistant Coaches: John Jung, Matt Kuschert, Chris Muscia, Dalton Bullard


2012-2013 Dual Meet Record: 12-1
2012-2013 National Qualifiers and All-Americans: Miguel Venecia (125, 5th), Dalton Bullard (133, 7th), Ryan Earley (141, 4th), Joe Rau (184, 1st), Mike Benefiel (197, 1st)

Returning Qualifiers and All-Americans: Venecia

Top returning starters with accomplishments:
Miguel Venecia – 5th @ NCAA Championships (125)
Danny Balderas – 18-5, ranked in top 10 most of year @174
Dan Vargas – 2x NCAA Regional placer, missed large portion of last season due to injury
Alex Maynard – Missed most of year due to injury
Nick Dinardo – 21-14, Regional placer as freshman
James Spangler – 18-13 as freshman

Top incoming wrestlers:
Ryan Prater – Transfer from Illinois, D1 NCAA Qualifier
Lenny Bloom – Transfer from Wisconsin, 2x IL state qualifier
Eddie Greco – 2x IL state placer
Robbie Elsea – IN state placer
Bryce Sellers – IA state placer
Luis Montoya – IL state placer
Bobby Schillinger – IL state placer
Nik Countryman – IL state placer
Alex Fritz – IL state placer
Chris Pajak – IL state qualifier
Shane Vincent – IL state qualifier
John Benson – IL state qualifier

Season outlook:
Elmhurst had the best season in school history last year, finishing 12-1 and bringing home the 2nd place trophy at the NCAA Championships. Mike Benefiel and Joe Rau each won titles as five total Bluejays made the podium after surviving a brutal Midwest Regional. All five qualifiers placed, but only 125 lb. Miguel Venecia returns this season, making a repeat performance in 2014 a challenge. The team will count on seniors like 2x regional placer Danny Vargas and Danny Baldera who spent most of last season in the top ten of the d3wrestle.com rankings. Two freshmen, Nick Dinardo and James Spangler, got valuable experience as starters last year, and each should improve this season. A big addition to the team is former Illinois wrestler and NCAA DI qualifier Ryan Prater. Another large group of state placers and qualifiers will also join the team this year to help make up for the loss of a great senior class.