Six Morningside athletes qualified for the upcoming NAIA Wrestling National Championships with top three finishes at the NAIA North Championship Qualifier.
Morningside College finished as the team runner-up and qualified six wrestlers for the upcoming NAIA Wrestling National Championships in the process at Saturday’s NAIA North National Qualifier Tournament in Crete, Neb.
The Mustangs scored 122.5 points to finish second in the eight-team field. The Mustangs edged Midland University by one point for second place and finished 10 points out of first place behind Concordia University.
Logan Moore had the Mustangs’ top individual finish as the champion of the 184 lb. division. Moore was one of six Morningside wrestlers that qualified for the 2017 NAIA Wrestling National Championships to be held March 3-4 in Topeka, Kan.
The Mustangs’ other national qualifiers were Steven Garcia with a second place finish at 149 lbs., Tyler Lashbrook with a second place finish at 157 lbs., Derik Bailey with a second place finish at 165 lbs., Keegan Hessler with a third place finish at 125 lbs. and Dakota Drenth with a third place finish at 149 lbs.
Moore won the 184 lb. championship by forfeit when Nick Null of Northwestern College did not take the mat for the final. Moore won a 13-5 major decision against Christopher Petersen of Doane, pinned Gideon Monette of Hastings College in 5:45 in the quarterfinals and won a 6-1 decision against Concordia’s Joshua Nelson in the semifinals.
Garcia advanced to the 149 lb. final with a 7-2 decision against Preston Jurgens of Doane University in the quarterfinals and a 4-3 decision against Chris Vaughn of Hastings in the semifinals. Garcia lost a 1-0 decision against Midland’s Scottie Bonds in the title bout.
Lashbrook won a pair of decisions to reach the 157 lb. final, where he lost a 9-3 decision against Doane’s Martin Phillips. Lashbrook opened the tourney with a 7-5 decision against Huy Truong of Hastings in the quarterfinals and a 3-0 decision against Skylar Weber of Briar Cliff University in the semifinals.
Bailey advanced to the 165 lb. final with a 2-1 win against Zach Davis of Briar Cliff in the quarterfinals and a 3-0 decision against Austin Moyer of Hastings in the semifinals. Bailey dropped a one-point verdict, 3-2, against Kirk Kaliszewski of Concordia in the championship match.
Hessler advanced to the 125 lb. semifinals after he won a 7-0 decision against Kyle James of Hastings and pinned George Shadbolt of Doane with a fall time of 4:39 in the quarterfinals. A 6-5 loss against Briar Cliff’s Andrew McFarland in the semifinals dropped Hessler into the consolation bracket, where he won a 5-4 decision against Midland’s Hugo Perez and pinned Concordia’s Dmitri Smith in 4:26 in the third place consolation match.
Drenth rebounded with three victories in the consolation bracket after he lost a 13-4 major decision against Briar Cliff’s Zac Funderburk in the quarterfinals. Drenth pinned Elijah Dahl of Northwestern in 1:16 and won a 10-4 decision against Chris Vaughn of Hastings before he needed only 23 seconds to pin Sjon Snitily of Dakota Wesleyan in the third place consolation match.
The Mustangs also had place winning performances from Alexander Schmitz with a fifth place finish at 133 lbs., Jacob Wiley with a fourth place finish at 174 lbs. and Caleb Deemer with a fourth place finish at 184 lbs.