Five Mustangs qualify for NAIA Wrestling National Championships
Jay Sornson, Garret Lambrecht, Steven Garcia, and Rulin Pederson all qualified for the 2015 NAIA Wrestling National Championships with top four finishes at Saturday’s NAIA North National Qualifier tournament in York, Neb.
The Mustangs’ Jared McCoy also qualified for the national tournament as a wild card.
Sornson, a freshman from Nebraska City, Neb., had the Mustangs top individual finish as the runner-up in the 165 lb. division. Lambrecht, a senior from Wood River, Neb., finished third at 141 lbs.; Garcia, a freshman from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, finished fourth at 149 lbs.; and Pederson, a senior from Sioux City, finished fourth at 184 lbs.
McCoy, a sophomore from Climbing Hill, Iowa, placed fifth at 197 lbs. and was awarded one of the tournament’s wild card qualifying berths for the national tournament.
Their efforts led Morningside to a fifth place finish in a 14-team field. Concordia won the team title with 165 points, followed by Dickinson State, 120.5; Midland, 91.5; York, 85.5; Morningside, 76; Briar Cliff, 73.5; Northwestern, 63; Jamestown, 59; William Penn, 47; Dakota Wesleyan, 42.5; Hastings, 41; Doane, 40; Waldorf, 35.5; and Graceland, 15.5
Sornson, ranked 14th in the nation, won three matches to reach the 165 lb. title bout before he lost by a 17-2 technical fall against eighth-ranked Michael Nord of Jamestown, a setback that ended an 11-match winning streak for Sornson.
Sornson pinned each of his first two opponents with fall times of 3:49 against Jarred Becker of Waldorf and 4:17 against Jonah Hoshino of Midland in the quarterfinals. Sornson won an 8-7 decision against sixth-ranked Taylor Hodel of Dickinson State in the semifinals.
Lambrecht opened the tournament with a 5-4 decision against 13th-ranked Josh Lopez of York and then pinned Alec Chanthapatheth of Hastings in 4:48 in the quarterfinals. Lambrecht rebounded with two victories in the consolation bracket after he dropped a 12-2 major decision against fifth-ranked Scottie Bonds of William Penn in the semifinals. Lambrecht routed Lopez by a 13-4 major decision in the consolation semifinals and pinned Chanthapatheth in 2:35 in the third place consolation match.
Garcia, ranked 15th in the nation, won an 8-4 decision against Martin Phillips of Doane in the quarterfinals before a 6-5 loss against 11th-ranked Seth Ehlang of Dickinson State dropped him into the consolation bracket. Garcia won a 4-3 decision against Connor Blanco of Hastings in the consolation semifinals and lost 4-0 against 10th-ranked Jr. Lule of Concordia in the third place consolation match.
Pederson, the nation’s seventh-ranked 184 pounder, won by fall in 5:00 against Coleman Westerby of Hastings and won a 10-3 decision against Daniel Harvey of Briar Cliff in the quarterfinals before he lost 6-3 in overtime against Randy Null of Northwestern in the semifinals. Pederson lost a 2-0 decision against fifth-ranked Sterling Terry of Midland in the consolation semifinals and won by medical forfeit against Tyler Schaefer of Northwestern in the fifth place consolation match. Pederson won a 3-2 decision against Austin Fehlhafer of Concordia in a consolation match for fourth place.
McCoy lost a 4-0 decision against third-ranked Kolton Kerston of Midland in the 197 lb. quarterfinals. McCoy rebounded with a 14-3 major decision against Midland’s Adam Ball in the consolation bracket before he dropped an 11-8 verdict against York’s Logan Paul Eickhof in the consolation semifinals. McCoy won a 4-2 decision against Briar Cliff’s Jordan Watkins in the consolation match for fifth place.
The NAIA Wrestling National Championships will be held March 6-7 in Topeka, Kan.