WAVERLY, Iowa -- Billerica native Kenny Anderson of Wartburg College will be wrestling for his third straight NCAA Division III championship this weekend in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Anderson was a three-time Mass. state champion for Billerica High School. He won the 2011 NCAA crown at 125 pounds and last year won it at 133 pounds, his current weight.
"Going into nationals, I know I have a bulls-eye on my back," said Anderson. "This is the last tournament of my career and I will do whatever I can to win the title."
Anderson has battled injuries all season and suffered two losses as a result, a rarity for a man who entered the season 66-1 in his college career. But he rebounded and captured the NCAA Regional title and will go into the D3 championships as the wrestler to beat at 133 pounds.
Anderson avenged both of his earlier losses in the Regional and was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler. In the final he won despite suffering a cut over his eye that required bandaging.
"I think the pressure was more on (my opponents) as they knew I was hungry in those rematches," said Anderson. "For me, revenge was motivation."
Wartburg College is located in Waverly, Iowa, the heart of wrestling country. The Knights will be chasing their fourth straight NCAA championship. It would also be their ninth in the last 12 years.