Morningside College is ranked No. 7 in the nation in the NAIA Wrestling Coaches Pre-Season Poll released on Oct. 17.
The Mustangs posted a 9-6 record in dual meets last season and won their second consecutive Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) wrestling championship.
Morningside has a definite Akron-Westfield influence for 2012 – 2013 season.
Joe Sievert, a senior from Akron, who had a 30-2 record and is ranked fourth in the pre-season polls at 174 pounds, is back. Sievert had nine falls last season and had a seventh place finish in the NAIA National Tournament. He is an Akron-Wesfield alum and former Iowa high school state champion. Sievert had a 26-0 record with three lopsided wins at the NAIA North Qualifying Group Tournament last season at 174 pounds. He beat Concordia’s Alfredo Torres 18-6 in the championship match.
John Sievert, a senior from Akron, at heavyweight, was fourth in the NAIA North Qualifying Group Tourney. Sievert, then ranked No. 6, won his first match with a 10-4 win against Dakota Wesleyan’s Josh Gappert. Sievert gained his 40th win of the season at the tournament.
Chad Morehead is a senior 165-pounder from Akron who is also an A-W alum.
A-W alum and former Morningside wrestler Chris Utesch is an assistant coach.
The Mustangs’ new head wrestling coach this winter is Jake Stevenson, who was head coach at Wayne State College Club team in Wayne, Neb., for the 2010-2011 season. Stevenson was a four-time NAIA All-American for Morningside and the college’s only NAIA National Champion.
Stevenson posted a 130-25 record during his career for the most wins in school history. He captured the 2007 NAIA 184-pound National Championship when he won a 3-1 decision against No. 1-ranked Joffre Lander of Embry-Riddle University in his title bout to cap a junior season where he had a record of 23-1. Stevenson won his final 11 matches of the season after he returned from a broken jaw he suffered against Austin Hayes of Buena Vista University on Nov. 29, 2006.
Morningside has six wrestlers in the NAIA individual rankings, led by Kory Kistner, a senior from Sioux City, who is ranked second at 125 pounds. Kistner posted a 20-8 record with five falls last season and was the 125 pounds NAIA national runner-up at the NAIA National Tournament.
The Mustangs’ other nationally ranked wrestlers are:
Garret Lambrecht, a sophomore from Wood River, Neb., who is sixth at 141 pounds. Lambrecht had a 22-9 record with 12 falls last season.
Jordan Langley, a junior from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, who is ranked 15th at 157 pounds. Langley had a 22-11 record with 11 falls last season.
Brian Block, a senior from Sibley, Iowa, who is ranked third at 184 pounds. Block ha a 24-5 record with nine falls last season and finished fourth at the NAIA National Tournament.
Jake Parker, a senior from Anthon, Iowa, is ranked 15th at 197 pounds. Parker had a 13-17 record with seven falls last season.
The Mustangs will open the 2012-2013 season on Nov. 10 at the Dakota Wesleyan University Open in Mitchell, S.D.