Sports / The Prairie Fire / January 19, 2011

Fire roundup: wrestling and academic honors for athletes

After a strong showing at the Chuck Porter Duals, senior Edel Vaca kept the momentum going at the Manchester College Mat Classic.

Vaca, a senior competing in the 133 lb. class, was seeded third in the tournament. After receiving a first-round bye, Vaca dominated J.T. Rowe of North Central College 15-1 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Vaca faced Ethan Harris of the University of Indianapolis—a Division II school. Harris defeated Vaca 7-2.

Vaca ultimately claimed third place with two wins in the consolation bracket, punctuated by a 7-1 decision in the finals. Vaca is now ranked in the “honorable mention” level of rankings compiled by

Freshman Eric Steingruber also had a strong showing on Saturday, finishing in fifth place in the 149 lb. bracket. Junior Charley Deutsch also finished fifth at 141 lbs. Junior James Wagner took fourth place in the heavyweight bracket, losing 5-1 in the third place match.

The Prairie Fire finished in seventh place of 11 teams overall. They will be back in action next Saturday at the Monon Bell Duals in Crawfordsville, Ind.

Knowlton honored by Midwest Conference

Claire Knowlton, a senior from Westlake, Ohio, was awarded the 2010 Ruth Petersen award by the Midwest Conference. The award is given to the junior athlete with the best grade-point average earned while lettering in two sports.

Knowlton, previously a recipient of the K-Club for Women Award at Knox, was surprised to learn she had won.

“I had no idea that I’d won it,” Knowlton said. “Coach [Dan Zierfuss] told me to look on the website, so it was a nice surprise. But the more I’ve learned about the award, the better I feel about the honor.”

Women’s soccer recognized for academic success

The National Soccer Coaches of America (NSCAA) honored Knox’s women’s soccer team for its academic accomplishments in 2009-2010, giving them the NSCAA Team Academic Award. Nationwide, 444 women’s teams were recognized for compiling a team grade-point average above 3.0. Knox was one of just four Midwest Conference teams to receive the honor.

Kevin Morris

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