Mogg claims fifth-place, All-America honors as NAIA championships conclude

Mogg claims fifth-place, All-America honors as NAIA championships conclude

TOPEKA, Kan. – Concordia senior Austin Mogg remained in the hunt for a 125-pound national title when the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships resumed on Saturday morning. While those hopes were quickly dashed, Mogg earned his second career All-America place finish (first at the NAIA level) by claiming fifth.

As a team, the 20th-ranked Bulldogs totaled 20 points for a 22nd-place finish at the championship meet hosted inside the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan.

Mogg (19-9), who burst into Saturday’s semifinals by pinning two top-five nationally-ranked opponents, could not carry over the momentum he built on Friday. He began his day pitted against top-ranked and undefeated Ryak Finch of Grand View. Finch got an early takedown and never let Mogg get on the offensive in a 9-0 major decision.

After then getting wiped out via fall by Embry-Riddle’s eighth-ranked Sean Silva in what had been a close match, Mogg dropped down to the fifth-place bout. That’s where he defeated Southern Oregon’s Jake Stigall (7-2 decision) for the second time at the tournament. Mogg finished his career with 111 wins over three seasons with Buena Vista University and one with Concordia.

“It was tough to bounce back in that last match but he came out and finished strong and got fifth place,” said head coach Dana Vote. “He went out on top as an All-American. That’s huge for him.”

Of Concordia’s six national qualifiers, Mogg was the only one to advance past Friday. Both Austin Fehlhafer (174) and Emilio Rivera (133) were eliminated in the consolation bracket on Friday evening.

The program’s half a dozen national qualifiers and one All-American represents a huge improvement from last season when not a single Bulldog reached the national tournament. With Mogg and Alex Stepanek (141) the only seniors who competed on a regular basis in 2013-14, Vote has high expectations for what his team can accomplish next season.

“We have five guys that were here (Friday) wrestling that will all be back next year,” Vote said. “I think they got hungry and they saw how close we came in some matches. They’re ready to get back to the drawing board and start working for next season already.”

After going from last in the NAIA North Qualifying Group in 2012-13 to second this season, the Bulldogs expect another leap forward in 2014-15.

“I think we can make a huge jump again next year. I really do,” Vote said. “Where we finished, a lot of people would be satisfied but we were actually disappointed with where we finished. We want to crack that top 10 (nationally).”

Team scoring (FINAL)
1. Grand View 193.0
2. Great Falls 84.5
3. Montana State Northern 83.5
4. Southern Oregon 80.5
5. Lindsey Wilson 73.5
6. Cumberland Univ 59.5
6. Missouri Valley 59.5
8. Indiana Tech 56.0
9. Morningside 48.5
10. Campbellsville 41.5
10. Embry-Riddle 41.5
12. Dakota Wesleyan 35.0
13. Simpson 30.5
13. York 30.5
15. Dickinson State 29.5
16. Baker 26.0
16. Menlo 26.0
18. Midland 25.5
19. Cumberlands 25.0
20. Bethany 22.0
21. Hannibal-LaGrange 21.0
22. Concordia 20.0
22. William Penn 20.0
24. Hastings 19.5
25. Benedictine 19.0
25. Life 19.0
27. Missouri Baptist 15.5
28. Oklahoma City 13.5
29. Calumet College of St Joseph 11.0
30. Briar Cliff 6.0
30. Northwestern 6.0
32. Brewton-Parker 5.5
33. Waldorf 4.5
34. St. Andrews 3.5
34. Wayland Baptist 3.5
36. Jamestown 3.0
37. Graceland 1.0
38. Truett-McConnell 0.0
38. West Virginia Tech 0.0

8 March 2014

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Senior Austin Mogg