Morningside’s Keegan Hessler and Steven Garcia are both ranked second nationally in their weight divisions.

Keegan Hessler

Steven Garcia

Morningside College is ranked 12th in the nation in the NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Preseason Top 20 Poll released on Oct. 25.

The Mustangs come off a 2016-17 season where they posted a 6-5 record and finished second in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) standings with a 6-1 league mark.

Morningside is the highest rated team among the five schools from the GPAC ranked in the NAIA Preseason Top 20. Aside from the Mustangs, Midland University is ranked 14th, defending GPAC champion Concordia University is 16th and Briar Cliff University and Hastings College are tied for 18th.

The Mustangs have five wrestlers in the NAIA individual rankings, including returning NAIA All-Americans Keegan Hessler, a junior from Scottsbluff, Neb., and Steven Garcia, a senior from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, who are ranked second in the 125 and 149 lb. divisions. Both wrestlers placed sixth in their respective divisions at last year’s NAIA Wrestling National Championships.

Morningside’s other nationally ranked wrestlers are Logan Moore, a senior from Onawa, Iowa, who is ranked fourth at 184 lbs.; Dakota Drenth, a junior from Hartley, Iowa, who is ranked 13th at 157 lbs.; and Jacob Wiley, a sophomore from Sioux City, who is ranked 19th at 174 lbs.

The Mustangs will open the season at the Dakota Wesleyan University Open on Nov. 11 in Mitchell, S.D.

Click here for the complete NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Preseason Top 20.