DES MOINES - The Iowa Central wrestling team started its trek back to the top with two victories in the first round of the NJCAA National Dual tournament here on Saturday.
The Tritons toppled No. 11 Rochester 34-18 and beat No. 20 Harper 21-18 in the quarterfinals.
"We're kind of laying low and people aren't expecting anything from us,'' said Iowa Central head coach Luke Moffitt. "Our guys came out and put forth a good team effort.
"We did what it took to win.''
Iowa Central will now face second-ranked Northwest Wyoming in the semifinals at 11 a.m. The other semifinal will be No. 4 Clackamas and fifth-ranked Ellsworth at 11 a.m.
"Northwest Wyoming owed us a home dual, so it's kind of nice to face them,'' Moffitt said. "They're a tough team, but I have a feeling our guys are going to respond.
"I'm hoping our guys come out and give them a run.''
Malcolm Allen pushed the Tritons into the semifinals with an upset victory at 285 pounds.
With the team score tied at 18 it came down to Allen (ranked 10th) against Harper's seventh-ranked Lavontae Cobb. Allen pulled out a 6-4 decision to seal the victory.
"Malcolm shut the door in that final dual,'' Moffitt said. "Our guys just wrestled tremendously.
"The guys that we thought had tough matches and could go the other way came through.''
No. 12 Darrell Pampkin (133), No. 6 Richie Lewis (149), Corbin Farrell (165), Christopher Whilden (174) and Gunnar Clark (184) earned victories. Pampkin picked up a fall.
The Tritons had little trouble with Rochester, winning seven of the 10 matches, four by fall, a tech fall and two decisions.
Nate Smith (125), St. Edmond graduate Teddie Harvey (141), Lewis (149) and Christopher Whilden (174) all earned falls.
Ryan Niven (157) had a technical fall and Bryce Fisher (197) and Allen earned decisions. Lewis, Whilden and Allen were all 2-0 on the day.
"Allen, Lewis and Whilden all had big days,'' Moffitt said. "Teddie had a come from behind victory for us as well.''