The Baker University wrestling team has done its fair share of traveling in the past week and a half, as the Wildcats competed in two duals and one tournament in the span of six days.
Baker started out its road stretch by defeating Wayland Baptist College 40-3 Dec. 3 in Amarillo, Texas. BU began the dual with an 18-0 advantage after three members of the Wayland Baptist team were forced to forfeit. BU won every match, except for one, in the 37-point victory.
"It was a good team effort," head coach Jimmy May said. "I thought the kids all wrestled hard. It was a long trip."
Although the team won the dual convincingly, sophomore Jarell Price still believes the Wildcats have room for improvement.
"There are better things to come with this program," Price said. "We are just focused on the second semester because there are better things to come."
Since the team had three competitions in six days, May split the team up into two squads by having some wrestlers go to the two duals and the others go to the Simpson Invitational in Indianola, Iowa.
Nineteen wrestlers traveled to the Simpson Invitational, which was composed primarily of NCAA Division II and Division III schools.
"I think, overall, that the team did well there," May said. "I had my two assistant coaches go there with them, and they said that the kids all wrestled hard."
May sent a few of the younger wrestlers on the team to Indianola, and he was pleased with their effort.
"I mean, I thought we did all right," sophomore Ethan Becker said. "(Sophomore) Travis Shadrach ended up placing the highest, and he did really well. Other than that, I know a few people kind of had an off day, but everyone else just kind of did average."
Baker then had what May considered to be one of the team's toughest duals of the season against William Penn University Tuesday in Oskaloosa, Iowa. BU defeated William Penn 25-18. The team will face William Penn again Feb. 9 in Collins Center.
BU is now 3-0 in duals this year with wins coming against Calumet College, Wayland Baptist and William Penn.
"I think we are right where we should be," May said. "I like the direction we are going. I think it is just a matter of continuing to stay focused and to work hard."
The next tournament for the team is the Viking Warrior Open on Jan. 2 in Freemont, Neb.