Morningside College wrestler John Sievert, a senior from Akron, was the 197 pound champion at the NAIA North Region Qualifier tournament held Feb. 16 in Fremont, Neb.
Sievert won a 15-8 decision against Bradlee Carls of York College in the title bout. Earlier in the tournament he pinned Skyler Carroll of Dickinson State University in 2:36, won a 20-8 major decision against Jade Hoisington of Dakota Wesleyan University in the quarterfinals, and won by injury default against Morningside teammate Chris Bridgeford in the semifinals.
Sievert’s performance led the Mustangs to a runner-up finish in the 11-team tournament behind team champion Dickinson State University.
With the championship, Sievert advances to the 2013 NAIA Wrestling National Championships to be held March 1 and 2 in Des Moines.
Also advancing from a third place finish will be former Westerner teammate Chad Morehead at 165 pounds with a third place finish.
Sievert came into the NAIA North Qualifier ranked seventh at 197 pounds. Morehead was ranked 16th at 165 pounds.
Sievert had an 11-match winning streak before the NAIA North Qualifier. He had a career record of 78-32 at Morningside to place 10th on the all-time victory list.
Morehead had a 20-9 record with two falls at 165 pounds before the tournament.
Morehead had a 5-0 record in the consolation bracket after he lost a 3-1 overtime decision against Nicholas Hutcheson of Dakota Wesleyan in the opening round.
Morehead started his victory run with a 15-0 technical fall against Peter Greimann of Concordia University followed by a 12-1 major decision against Jonathon Gonzalez of Jamestown, a 7-3 decision against Ryan Roach of Dakota Wesleyan, a 2-0 decision in a rematch against Hutcheson in the consolation semifinals, and a 4-2 decision against Stedman Wang of Hastings in the third place match.
Other Mustangs’ qualifiers in the top four of their weight classes are Kory Kistner with a second place finish at 125 pounds and Tyler Kacmarynski at heavyweight. Rulin Pederson was third at 174 pounds. Brian Block was third at 184 pounds. Garret Lambrecht at 141 pounds and Bridgeford at 197 pounds were fourth.
In addition to the eight automatic qualifiers, the Mustangs’ Nathan Ryan and Kevin Olson received wild card berths into the national tournament.
Kistner, a senior from Sioux City, was the highest ranked competitor in the NAIA North Region field with a No. 3 national ranking. Kistner advanced to the 125 pound championship match with an 11-4 decision against Tony Blessie of Hastings College and a 13-4 major decision against Sean Blumhard of Jamestown College before he was pinned in 2:52 by Dickinson State’s Bryden Lazaro in the finals.
Kacmarynski, a junior from Spencer, Iowa, pinned Northwestern College’s George Portillo in 3:43 in his opening round match. Kacmarynzki won a 3-1 overtime decision against Abram Reynolds of Briar Cliff University to reach the finals, where he lost by fall in 47 seconds against Dickinson State’s Jose Lopez.
Pederson, a sophomore from Sioux City, won his opening round match by fall when he pinned Concordia’s Kale Hintz in 2:52. Pederson added an 8-4 decision against Tyler Sarringar of Dakota Wesleyan in the quarterfinals before he suffered a 3-1 overtime loss against Anthony Pike of Waldorf College in the semifinals. Pederson rebounded with a 9-4 decision against Connor Hovey of Midland in the consolation semifinals and a 5-2 decision against Sarringar in the third place match.
Block, a senior from Sibley, won a 13-3 major decision against Briar Cliff’s Daniel Harvey in the quarterfinals before he lost by fall against Morningside teammate Andrew Anthofer in the consolation semifinals and pinned Waldorf’s Brock Binversie in 2:14 in the third place match.
Lambrecht, a sophomore from Wood River, Neb., pinned each of his first two opponents with fall times of 2:37 against Devin DeRocher of Briar Cliff and 6:31 against Westley Negley of York before a 4-2 loss against Brad Steele of Dickinson State in the semifinals dropped him into the consolation bracket. Lambrecht pinned Midland’s Nick Schroeder in 4:48 in the consolation semifinals and lost by fall in 1:35 against Blake Fruchtl of Hastings in the third place match.
Bridgeford, a freshman from Mondamin, Iowa, opened the tournament with a 7-1 decision against Jordan Watkins of Briar Cliff before he lost by injury default against Sievert in the semifinals. Bridgeford pinned Forrest Marx of Northwestern College in 4:37 in the consolation semifinals before he lost a 7-6 decision against Kevin Keisler of Dickinson State in the third place match. The loss in the third place match set up a fourth place match against Jade Hoisington of Dakota Wesleyan, where Bridgeford won an 8-5 decision.