Jake Tindle, the Triad High School graduate and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 197-pounder, is returning to the NCAA wrestling finals after qualifying two years ago, when the championships last were held in St. Louis.
The Troy resident sports a 19-10 record, including four victories by major decisions. He’s pitted against 22-5 Kevin Beazley, of Old Dominion, in his NCAA opener Thursday. Beazley is seeded 10th.
Tindle, Southern Conference champion in his weight class, also knows the way to Scottrade Center and the mat finals. He wrestled in them as a sophomore and learned plenty.
“It was really a great experience for me,” said Tindle, who plans to go to medical school after graduation. Tindle added, “It will be a little more business-like for me this time. I’m more of a cerebral wrestler and I’ve had a little problem with being too tentative at times, but I’m going all-out this week. I want to go as far as I can go.”
There’s ample incentive. Since Tindle is from the local area, he should have a host of local fans cheering for him.
“I think it’s cool to be wrestling this close to home,” he said. “It will be great to have friends and family there.”
SIUE head wrestling coach Jeremy Spates says Tindle’s best chance is rooted in the multiple ways he can win a match.
“Jake is a very smart kid and he has a lot of different ways to win. He can scramble and he has good explosive shots to use. He’s really tough on the mats.”
Two other Cougar wrestlers will be in the NCAA finals Thursday.
Freddie Rodriguez, from Lansing, Mich., has compiled a 21-6 record at 125 pounds. He has logged six wins by falls, three by technical falls and six by major decisions.
The two-time SoCon winner, is primed for his second successive berth in the NCAA event. He is riding a nine-match win streak and was selected the SoCon Wrestler of the Month for February.
Jake Residori, out of Shorewood, owns a 19-11 mark at 174 and has five wins by major decisions. It’s the initial NCAA finals appearance for Residori, champion at the recent Southern Conference Championships in Charleston, S.C.
(SIUE Sports Information provided information for this story.)