Morningside won the team championship at Saturday’s NAIA North Qualifying Group wrestling tournament and qualified nine athletes for the upcoming NAIA Wrestling National Championships in the process.
Morningside College won the team championship at Saturday’s NAIA North Qualifying Group wrestling tournament in Mitchell, S.D.
The Mustangs scored 128.5 points to reign over the 12-team field by a comfortable margin over runner-up Concordia University, which finished a distant second with 97 points.
Aside from winning the team title, the Mustangs qualified nine wrestlers for the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships to be held March 7 and 8 in Topeka, Kan. Morningside had eight wrestlers qualify by placing in the top four of their respective weight divisions, and Garret Lambrecht, a junior from Wood River, Neb., was awarded one of the tournament’s wild card qualifying spots after a fifth place finish in the 141 lb. division.
Morningside crowned two individual champions in Tyler Lashbrook and Joe Sievert.
Lashbrook, a junior from Wellsburg, Iowa, reigned in the 149 lb. division after he won a 6-4 decision against Midland University’s Tyler Boyer in the championship match. Lashbrook had to win four prior matches to reach the finals. He pinned his first round opponent with a fall time of 4:13 against Ray Feigenbutz of Doane College. Lashbrook won a 9-2 decision against Kenny Pero of Waldorf College in the second round, won a 6-2 decision against Cody Green of Midland in the quarterfinals, and won a 5-4 decision against Enrique Barajas of Concordia in the semifinals.
Sievert, a senior from Akron, Iowa, was the 184 lb. champion with a 13-11 decision against Randall Null of Northwestern College in the title match. Sievert advanced to the finals with a 17-6 major decision against Connor Hovey of Midland and a 5-3 decision against Morningside teammate Rulin Pederson in the semifinals.
Morningside had second place finishes from Harrison Johnson and Tyler Kacmarynski.
Johnson, a senior from Sterling, Colo., was the runner-up at 165 lbs. Johnson opened the tourney with a 5-1 decision against Jarrick Jenson of Dakota Wesleyan University in the quarterfinals and advanced to the finals with a 16-7 major decision against Julian Gallegos of Jamestown College in the semifinals. Trever Devestern of Dakota Wesleyan pinned Johnson in 6:29 in the finals.
Kacmarynski, a senior from Spencer, Iowa, won four matches before he dropped a 7-4 decision against Saia Lotulelei of York College in the heavyweight final. Kacmarynski pinned his first round opponent when he disposed of Doane’s Reid Melani in just 42 seconds. He won a 10-0 major decision against Pedro Garcia of Hastings College in the second round, won a 7-5 overtime decision against Jamestown’s Antonio Lopez in the quarterfinals, and won a 5-1 decision against Midland’s Lonnie Brown in the semifinals.
Rulin Pederson, a junior from Sioux City, placed third at 184 lbs. to give the Mustangs two of the top three finishers in the division. Pederson won his first bout by a 9-5 decision against Tyler Sarringar of Dakota Wesleyan before he dropped a 5-3 decision against teammate Sievert in the semifinals. Pederson rebounded with a 6-5 decision against Brock Binversie of Waldorf in the consolation semifinals and a 15-3 major decision against Hasting’s Joel Hernandez in the third place consolation match.
Nathan Ryan, a sophomore from Moville, Iowa, placed fourth at 133 lbs.; Kevin Olson, a senior from Dallas, Ga., placed fourth at 141 lbs.; and Jordan Langley, a senior from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, placed fourth at 157 lbs. to punch their national tournament tickets.