Garcia named to All-GPAC First Team
Steven Garcia was named to the 2016 All-Great Plains Athletic Conference Wrestling First Team as selected by the league’s head coaches.
Garcia, a sophomore 149 pounder from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, has a 24-5 record with seven falls to lead the Mustangs in victories. Garcia pinned three of his four opponents en route to the 149 lb. championship at last Saturday’s NAIA North National Qualifier Tournament in Seward, Neb., and will take a seven-match winning streak into the NAIA Wrestling National Championships on March 4-5 in Topeka, Kan.
Garcia was also named to the All-GPAC First Team last year as a freshman.
In addition to Garcia, the Mustangs placed Dakota Drenth and Keegan Hessler on the All-GPAC Second Team, while Kyle Fowler and Jared McCoy received honorable mention All-GPAC recognition. All four qualified for this year’s NAIA Wresting National Championships with top three individual finishes at the NAIA North National Qualifier Tournament.
Drenth, a freshman 157 pounder from Hartley, Iowa, has a 19-12 record with a team-high 11 falls. Eight of his falls have come in the first period, including six within the first two minutes. Drenth lost a 10-9 decision against Austin Starkey of Concordia University in his first match at the NAIA North National Qualifier before he rebounded with four straight victories, including an 18-8 major decision against Starkey in the third place consolation match.
Hessler, a freshman 125 pounder from Scottsbluff, Neb., ranks among the Mustangs’ leaders in victories and falls with a 16-6 record and six pins. Three of his last four victories have come by fall, including two at the NAIA North National Qualifier, where he was the 125 lb. runner-up.
Fowler, a freshman 149 pounder from Elk Point, S.D., has a 10-6 record with two falls. Fowler was the runner-up at the NAIA North National Qualifier, where he had a six-match winning streak end when he lost against the Mustangs’ Garcia in the championship match.
McCoy, a junior 197 pounder from Climbing Hill, Iowa, has a 14-7 record with three falls and finished third at the NAIA North National Qualifier.
Morningside finished second in this season’s GPAC standings with a 5-2 record and was also the runner-up at the NAIA North National Qualifier.
Click here for the complete 2016 All-GPAC Wrestling Team.