The wrestling team has been on top of their game this year, and hope to continue winning at GPAC. Photo courtesy of Lyric Allen.
By Elisha Meyer
Championship weekend in Sioux City, Iowa is quickly approaching for the Bulldog wrestling team, which is in position to claim its first ever postseason Great Plains Athletic Conference championship in program history.
Coach Levi Calhoun’s squad has succeeded in various ways throughout the season. The team has already continued its trend of more than 10 wins in a season, making this season the fourth one in five years to do so. A 12-2 record makes this the second-winningest wrestling team in program history, just behind the 13-4 record posted in 2015-16. The team finished the season with the only undefeated record in the GPAC at 8-0, the first perfect mark for the Bulldogs since the 2016-2017 season.
Concordia also claimed solo possession of the regular season GPAC title, making this the second year in a row it has taken at least a share of the title. This was awarded to the team Jan. 31 following a dual win against Dakota Wesleyan University that clinched the championship.
The arrival of former Husker senior Tanner Farmer in the second semester helped the Bulldogs end their regular season on a very high note. Since the heavyweight’s highly anticipated debut against Ottawa University on Jan. 9, the team has won each of its last seven duals. Farmer went without a loss as well, posting a perfect 12-0 record in his time at Concordia.
Other wrestlers have brought the Bulldogs success on the mat. Seasoned veterans such as seniors Darrin Miller (195) and Cameron Devers (157) continued to make their presence known. Junior Gabe Grawford (157) broke through a few times for the Bulldogs this year to upset ranked opponents, even while just managing an 11-9 record. Young wrestlers such as sophomore Mario Ybarra (125) began to take the spotlight as well. Ybarra finished with an impressive 17-7 record.
The season accomplishments by the team as a whole were recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, who released new conference rankings on Feb. 4. The Bulldogs finished the regular season atop the conference standings with 183 points. The team has a comfortable 23 point lead in front of Briar Cliff University and a 63 point lead over Northwestern College.
The Bulldogs looked to take their regular season success into the postseason. The GPAC championships are set to be held on Feb. 21-22 in Sioux City, Iowa.