By Steve Peterson
John Sievert, a 197-pound senior from Akron has been named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Wrestler of the Year to highlight the Mustangs’ representatives named to the 2012-2013 All-GPAC Wrestling Team as selected by the league’s head coaches.
Morningside Head Coach Jake Stevenson was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Wrestling Coach of the Year after he guided the Mustangs to a 12-4 dual record, including a perfect 6-0 mark in GPAC competition to win the conference championship in his first season. The Mustangs captured their third consecutive GPAC title and finished second at the NAIA North Regional Qualifying Tournament on Feb. 16 in Fremont, Neb.
Sievert has a 17-2 record this season with seven falls and was the 197-pound champion at the NAIA North Region Qualifier Tournament, and the Briar Cliff University Open. He has an 82-32 record for his career and is Morningside’s all-time leader with 43 career falls.
“John has done a good job this year where we needed him in duals, also going at heavyweight when Tyler Kacmarynski hurt a knee. John’s two losses were in the first tournament of the season. At nationals he will wrestle well and has a great chance to meet his goal of being an All-American and in the finals,” said Stevenson.
A second former Westerner, Chad Morehead, a senior at 165 pounds, was named All-GPAC Second Team. Morehead has a 25-10 record with two falls.
Morehead had a 5-1 record at the NAIA North Region Qualifier at 165 pounds. He ended the tournament with a 4-2 win against Steadman Wang of Hastings College.
“Chad controlled the matches after the first round and in the third place match he put his opponent on his back to go up 4-2. Chad has wrestled well this year,” said Stevenson.
Sievert and Morehead will be two of the 10 Mustangs competing in this weekend’s NAIA Wrestling National Championships to be held March 1 and 2 in Des Moines.
Sievert is joined on the All-GPAC First Team by Mustang teammates Brian Block of Sibley, Tyler Kacmarynski of Spencer and Rulin Pederson of Sioux City. Morningside’s Garrett Lambrecht and Nathan Ryan were named to the All-GPAC Second Team. Kory Kistner, a senior 125 pounder from Sioux City, and Jordan Langley, a junior 157 pounder from Sergeant Bluff, were each named to the All-GPAC Honorable Mention List.