The Red Raider wrestling team traveled south on Highway 60 last Saturday to take part in the Briar Cliff Open at the Long Lines Events Center in Sioux City.
Both sophomore JL Mayo and sophomore Forrest Marx placed fifth in their weight classes.
In the 141-pound weight class, Mayo finished with a 3-2 record, and Marx went 2-2 overall in the 197-pound weight class. The Raiders had at least one participant in every weight class.
“I moved up from the 133-pound class to the 141, so I was really hoping that it would work out,” Mayo said. “I was worried that I would get fatigued during the match with the added weight, but fortunately that did not happen.”
As with many of the tournaments the team has participated in this season, the competition was steep.
Of the 16 teams that participated in the tournament, many are respected wrestling programs from the GPAC, but also NCAA D-I and NCAA D-II.
South Dakota State, Augustana College, Wichita State and Missouri Baptist University were among some of the more stiff and unfamiliar competition.
Opponents such as No. 1 Grand View College, No. 7 Morningside, No. 17 Dakota Wesleyan and No. 13 Midland provided NW with recognizable and formidable adversaries.
“The competition was really tough, like a lot of our meets, but I was really pleased with how we performed as a team,” Mayo said. “Mostly everyone picked up at least one win, and they only placed the top five instead of eight, so I thought we did well.”
With the NAIA qualifier meet less than two weeks away and only one more regular season duel on the schedule, now is the time of the season when a team should be peaking and reaching its full potential.
“We are looking to end the season on a good note,” Mayo said. “Winning some matches against Midland would change up the seedings. I am confident we can get quite a few guys to qualify at Nationals.”
The Raiders will close their regular season out with a trip to battle Midland.
The meet was originally scheduled for Thursday night but has been postponed to a day that is yet to be determined.