SEWARD, Neb. – Second-year head coach Dana Vote will take a quintet of Bulldogs to the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships. The 57th annual event will take place March 7 – 8 at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan. The first of four sessions is set to get underway at 10 a.m. CST on March 7.
On Thursday, the NAIA officially named Concordia’s Austin Mogg (125), Emilio Rivera (133), Enrique Barajas (149), Austin Fehlhafer (174) and Ken Burkhardt Jr. (197) as national qualifiers. All five received bids to nationals by placing in the top four of the NAIA North Group Qualifying Tournament held on Feb. 22. Rivera won the 133-pound title and was named the GPAC Wrestler of the Year on Wednesday.
All five will be making their first appearances at the NAIA national championships. However, all have experience competing under the spotlight. Mogg earned NCAA Division III All-America honors in 2010, Barajas and Rivera are former junior college All-Americans and Burkhardt Jr. and Fehlhafer have three combined high school state runner up finishes to their credit.
As a team, the Bulldogs have cracked the top 20 in the NAIA for the first time this season. New rankings released on Wednesday placed Concordia at No. 20 nationally. In addition, all five national qualifiers appear in the top 16 of their respective weight classes.
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video streaming company of 17 select NAIA National Championship events, will be broadcasting the title bouts (Session IV) of the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships on March 8. Packages can be purchased for $9.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.
For additional information on the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships, click here.
Bulldog national qualifiers
125 – Austin Mogg, Sr. | 16-7 | 4 pins | ranked No. 12 nationally
133 – Emilio Rivera, Jr. | 22-6 | 6 pins | ranked No. 6 nationally
149 – Enrique Barajas, Jr. | 18-14 | 5 pins | ranked No. 13 nationally
174 – Austin Fehlhafer, Fr. | 27-9 | 19 pins | ranked No. 10 nationally
197 – Ken Burkhardt Jr., Fr. | 21-16 | 7 pins | ranked No. 15 nationally