Last weekend, eight men from the Red Raider wrestling team traveled south to the Missouri Valley Invitational wrestling tournament. This year brought the toughest competition ever seen in the tournament. The Raiders finished twenty-fourth overall out of a total of 43 teams.
The Missouri Valley Invitational consisted of two days of competition. After a tough first day of competition, the Raiders advanced junior Dante Preciado, junior Andrew Null and junior D’rell Gist to the second day of the invitational. Each of these wrestlers had a chance to place; however, Null was the only Raider to place, finishing in seventh. Null went 5-2 in the tournament, collecting two falls and two major decisions.
The team as a whole went 15-16 in the tournament.
“The numbers may not show it, but these guys are making strides and learning to fight,” head coach Rik Dahl said. “We will spend the week ironing out some little things and focusing on winning those tight matches as we prepare for four big GPAC duals over the next two weeks.”
The teams ahead will prove to be tough opponents for the Raiders as they compete for a GPAC title. The Raiders are currently ranked first in the GPAC, followed by Morningside in second place, Concordia in third place and Midland in fourth. Northwestern, Morningside and Concordia are all undefeated in the GPAC competition.
On Saturday, the Raiders will take a full lineup to compete at Morningside College in the GPAC duals in Sioux City, where they will face Morningside College, Midland University and Dakota Wesleyan. Following soon after, the Raiders will compete at home against Concordia at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31.