SEWARD, Neb. – A pivotal day of conference duals will take place on Tuesday as eight matchups are slated for that day in Sioux City, Iowa. As part of the GPAC Duals Day event, the Concordia University Wrestling team will go up against Dakota Wesleyan and No. 12 Morningside. The venue for these duals will be the Long Lines Family Recreation Center. Head Coach Chase Clasen’s squad owns a dual record of 2-0 with wins over Midland and Hastings.
GPAC Duals Day – Tuesday, Nov. 22
4 p.m. – Concordia vs. Dakota Wesleyan
7 p.m. – Concordia vs. Morningside
In GPAC duals so far this season, the Bulldogs won six of 10 matches at Midland and defeated the Warriors, 28-17, on Nov. 1 and then took seven of 10 matches at Hastings and rolled to a 36-10 victory on Nov. 10. The following Concordia competitors went 2-0 in those duals: Grant Wells (125), Creighton Baughman (141), Issiah Burks (165) and Stephen Duffy (184). A Lincoln Lutheran High School alum, Wells is one of four Bulldogs with exactly four wins on the season. The others are Jack Hedke (285), Thomas Ivey (133) and Garret Moser (197).
Baughman is the one Concordia wrestler currently ranked nationally. He is rated No. 20 in the NAIA at 141 pounds. The following Bulldogs are ranked at the conference level: Wells (fourth at 125), Baughman (second at 141), Burks (fourth at 165), Jose Sanchez (fifth at 174), Hunter Weimer (sixth at 174) and Duffy (fourth at 184). As a team, Concordia is ranked sixth in the GPAC.
Dakota Wesleyan looks to be an improved squad in year one for Head Coach Martin Mueller. In their only dual so far this season, the Tigers were clipped at Northwestern, 21-19. Two DWU wrestlers are ranked nationally: Aric Williams (No. 25 at 149) and Kaleb Bigelow (No. 22 at 165). Bigelow is rated No. 2 in the GPAC while Williams is rated fourth. In addition, Seth Caro checks in at No. 6 in the GPAC at 125 pounds.
A former NAIA national champion wrestler himself, Jake Stevenson is in his ninth season leading the Morningside program. The Mustangs boast seven nationally ranked wrestlers: Evan Shell (No. 19 at 125), Taylor Vasquez (No. 9 at 133), John Diener (No. 9 at 149), Noah Styskal (No. 19 at 157), Caleb Connor (No. 9 at 165), Hayden Wempen (No. 7 at 184) and Hunter DeJong (No. 9 at 285). Morningside has taken part in two tournaments this season but has not yet competed in a dual. During the 2021-22 season, the Mustangs went 5-3 in GPAC duals and placed in a tie for third in the standings. Morningside won the GPAC title as recently as the 2018-19 season.
Following, the two duals on Tuesday, Concordia will take the rest of Thanksgiving week off from competition. The Bulldogs will make their first home appearance on Dec. 2 when they welcome Bethany College (Kan.) to Friedrich Arena for a dual.