Hamilton’s Jacob Sterenberg’s move down to the 171-pound weight class from 215 helped the Hawkeyes defeat Holland. (Photo by Nancy Deters)

Sterenberg helps propel Hawkeyes to win over Holland

Leo Martonosi

Several wrestlers came through in crunch time for the Hamilton wrestling team. But the Hawkeyes wouldn’t have been in the position to pull out its 37-32 victory over Holland if it wasn’t for Jacob Sterenberg.
“We had a good idea how the match was going to go,” said Hamilton coach Gregg Stoel. “I don’t think they expected Sterenberg to move down to 171.”
Sterenberg has spent most of the season wrestling at 189 and 215 pounds.
“All I did was what coach asked me to do,” Sterenberg said after his win at 171 propelled the Hawkeyes to the come-from-behind OK Green dual over the visiting Dutch on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Holland came into the match with an impressive overall 12-1 record.
“Jake wrestled great, but I’m sure a lot of people didn’t expect this,” Stoel said of his team’s ninth dual match win in 14 tries. “(Sterenberg’s) win was a match-changer.”
The first person to greet Sterenberg was Hamilton assistant coach Chris Myers, who had a reason for playfully messing with Sterenberg.
“He played football for me,” Myers said.
Sterenberg had to pay a big price to get down to the weight Stoel wanted to collect what he called one of his “biggest wins on the mat ever.”
“I limited the amount of food I normally have and did a lot of running,” he said of his recent weight loss.
Sterenberg would like to stay at 171, but said that decision is not up to him.
“It’s up to my coach and what he thinks is best for the team,” Sterenberg said after improving to 13-2. “Both of my losses were at 215.”
The win by Sterenberg was the first of five straight victories for Hamilton, which enabled the Hawkeyes to capture the thrilling triumph.
Holland coach Nick Lewin praised Stoel for the strategy of moving down Sterenberg to 171.
“Coach Stoel is a really good coach and Hamilton always seems to have a very good team,” Lewin said. “Some of his kids stepped up like some of our kids. It was just a very good match between two very good teams.”
Stoel was pumped with his team’s performance.
“It’s exciting to see these kids grow as a team and become better wrestlers,” he said. “Each match we are finding new confidence and finding out what we need to do in order to improve. One of our non-starters, Noah VanderJagt stepped in and recorded a tech fall. Our kids are excited about wrestling and that makes coaching a lot of fun. “
Double winners for Hamilton, which easily disposed of Wyoming 72-10 in its other match, were Ethan Dams (103), Wolfgang Hills (119), Jordan Dams (125), Trevor Blood (130) , Kameron Thurston (145), Seth Buresh (189) and Sterenberg.


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