by Steve Peterson
Five Morningside College athletes advanced to the first day quarterfinals at the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships in Topeka, Kan.
The Mustangs’ quarter finalists are Joe Sievert at 184 pounds; Tyler Lashbrook in the 149 pound division; Jordan Langley in the 157 pound division; Rulin Pederson in the 184 pound division and Tyler Kacmarynski at heavyweight.
Sievert, a Morningside senior from Akron, advanced to the quarterfinals with an 11-5 decision against Marcus Zachary of Simpson University. Sievert had a 10-1 record after the win and a No. 3 ranking before he faced second-ranked Cody Linton of Cumberland University in the quarterfinal. In that quarterfinal round, Sievert lost by pin in 4:54 to Linton. Sievert then blanked Taylor Long of Indiana Tech University 7-0 to advance to the consolation bracket quarterfinals and had an 11-2 record.
Morningside had five athletes advance to the quarterfinals but only one was able to break through to the semifinal round in Friday evening’s action at the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships in Topeka, Kan.
The Mustangs’ semifinalist is Lashbrook, a junior from Wellsburg, Iowa, who won a 4-2 decision against ninth-ranked Colin Merkley of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in his 149 pound match. Lashbrook, ranked fifth in the nation, extended his winning streak to 19 matches and was 26-6 record before a Saturday morning semifinal round bout against second-ranked Jake Williams of Cumberland University, who had a 35-2 record.
Sievert lost by fall in 4:54 against second-ranked Cody Linton of Cumberland in the 184 lb. quarterfinals.
Third place finish
Sievert, ranked third nationally in the final NAIA regular season poll, began Saturday’s action with a 13-4 major decision against fifth-ranked Jacob Abrams of Southern Oregon University, followed by a 6-4 decision against fourth-ranked Christian Mays of Grand View University.
Sievert concluded his wrestling career with a win as he defeated Trey Hicks of Life University by a 7-3 decision in the third place consolation match in the 184 pound division.
“We’re very proud of Joe. He’s our only three-time All-American. He was motivated. He’s had some great national tournaments. Anytime you get to the national tournament you’re going up against some talented opponents,” said Morningside Head Wrestling Coach Jake Stevenson.
Joe’s older brother John Sievert, last year’s National Champion at 197 pounds, and an assistant coach, and Athletic Director and ex Morningside Head Wrestling Coach Tim Jager took the coaching duties for some of Joe’s matches as the Mustangs’ Pederson also was at 184 pounds.
“I think that the coaching staff was pretty happy with how the weekend went,” said Stevenson.
Earns All-America Honors
Sievert was one of four Morningside wrestlers to earn all-America Honors at the tournament. The Mustangs’ other All-Americans were Tyler Lashbrook, a junior from Wellsburg, Iowa, with a sixth place finish at 149 pounds; Rulin Pederson, a junior from Sioux City with a sixth place finish at 184 pounds; and Jordan Langley, a senior from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, with a seventh place finish at 157 pounds.
Sievert won three matches in the March 8 consolation bracket to finish the season with a record of 14-2.
Sievert earned All-America honors for the third time in his career after a third place finish at 165 pounds in 2010 and a seventh place finish at 174 pounds in 2012. He compiled a 98-16 record during his Morningside career for sixth place on the Mustangs’ all-time victory list.
Sievert is an alumni of Akron-Westfield Community School and was a state champion as a senior at 160 pounds for the Westerners.
Congratulations, Joe, on representing A-W and the Mustangs in outstanding fashion through the years.