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Mustangs compete at NAIA Wrestling National Championships

March 2, 2018, in Athletics, Wrestling

Morningside’s wrestling season ended when the Mustangs’ three competitors were eliminated in Friday’s action at the 2018 NAIA Wrestling National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Mustangs’ Steven Garcia and Keegan Hessler finished one victory shy of earning NAIA All-America status when they lost in consolation round 4.

Garcia, ranked fourth nationally in the 149 lb. division, opened the tourney with an 8-3 victory against Chandle Michael of Southern Oregon before a 6-3 loss against fifth-ranked Devin Reynolds of Grand View dropped him into the consolation bracket. His season ended with a 7-4 loss against ninth-ranked Austin Roper of Benedictine.

Garcia, a two-time NAIA All-American at Morningside, finished the season with a 24-6 record and closed out his career with a 93-4 record for eighth place on the Mustangs’ all-time victory list.

Hessler, ranked 12th nationally in the 125 lb. division, opened the tourney with a 12-1 major decision against Chandler Strand of Embry-Riddle. A 10-7 loss against third-ranked Jacob Seto of Missouri Valley dropped Hessler into the consolation bracket. Hessler posted a pair of consolation bracket victories against nationally ranked opponents when he pinned eighth-ranked Koby Milner of Reinhardt in 2:21 and won a 13-2 major decision against 13th-ranked Nick Kunz of Montana State-Northern. Hessler’s season ended with a 3-2 setback against fourth-ranked Matthew Nguyen of Grand View. Nguyen placed fourth at last year’s national tourney.

Hessler finished the season with a record of 14-7.

Devin Phaly, a junior from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, was eliminated in the 125 lb. division after he suffered an 8-0 opening round loss against fifth-ranked Olson Delisca of Southeastern University and an 8-3 setback against Dylan Pelland of Baker University. Phaly finished the season with a record of 23-17.

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