DES MOINES, Iowa -- Morningside, Briar Cliff and Northwestern all are sending wrestlers to the NAIA National Championships, which start on Friday in Des Moines.
Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. on Friday. The first two round of the champions and consolation brackets are scheduled for Friday at the Jacobsen Exhibition Center. The championship semifinals and all remaining consolation bracket matches will take place during session three at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Championship matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday and are available on ESPN3.
Preliminary brackets have been released and are subject to change.
Morningside is sending six wrestlers to the NAIA national championships. It's the most wrestlers the Mustangs have sent to nationals since 2014 when they sent seven.
Senior Keegan Hessler is making his fourth trip to nationals and he was an All-American in 2017. Hessler is a No. 3 seed at 125 pounds and he is 24-5 on the season. He faces Southeastern's Jaaziel Santana, who is 19-6. If Hessler wins, he faces Southern Oregon's Franisco Barerra, who is 13-9.
Senior Dakota Drenth is making his third trip to nationals. Drenth, wrestling at 149 pounds, is 24-9 on the season and faces Embry Riddle's Berit Sturgeon, who is 19-8, in the first round. If Drenth wins, he could face No. 2 seed Devin Reynolds, of Grand View, in the second round. Reynolds is 22-2.
Junior Kyle Fowler is making his second trip to nationals. Fower, who will wrestle at 157 pounds, is 24-10 on the season and earned a first-round bye. He could face No. 2 seed Brandon Weber, of MSU-Northern, in the second round. Weber is 25-5.
Junior Jacob Wiley will wrestle at 184 pounds and is 23-8. He received a first-round bye and faces top-seeded Antonio Stewart in the second round. Stewart is 21-0.
Senior Caleb Deemer will wrestle at 197 pounds and he is 20-9. He faces 11th-seeded Riley Williams, of Wayland Baptist. Williams is 22-5.
Sophomore 285-pounder Phil Rassmussen is seeded 11th and is 23-11 this season. He faces Bethany's William Mason, who is 19-10, in the first round. If Rassmussen wins, he faces sixth-seeded Bryson McGowan, of Oklahoma City, in the second round. McGowan is 13-9.
Northwestern is sending four wrestlers to the national tournament.
Junior Andrew Null is a returning All-American for the Red Raiders and competes at 165 pounds. Null, who is 19-5, faces Benedictine's Tyler Harris, who is 4-3, in the first round. He could face seventh-seeded Jacob Gross, of Indiana Tech, in the second round. Gross is 18-6.
Senior Austin Boles is making his second trip to nationals. He is 22-10 and received a first-round bye at 125 pounds. He could face top-seeded Justin Portillo, of Grand View, in the second round. Portillo is 18-6.
Junior Dante Preciado is back at nationals for the second straight season and is 18-13. He faces 11th-seed Colby Johnson, of Baker, in the first round at 149 pounds. Johnson is 26-12.
Junior D'rell Gist is making his second straight trip to nationals and is 20-11. He faces ninth-seeded David Hamil, of Brewton-Parker, in the first round at 197. Hamil is 16-4.
Briar Cliff is sending four wrestlers to the NAIA national championships. Two of those wrestlers will compete at 133 pounds.
Senior D'eario Stokes earned a No. 10 seed at 133. He was ranked No. 13 at 133 in the final NAIA coaches poll. Stokes is 16-9 and faces Embry Riddle's Collin Anderson, who is 10-11, in the first round. If Stokes wins, he faces seventh-seeded Tanner Irwin, of Williams Baptist, who is 17-2.
Junior Isiah Lysius is Briar Cliff's other 133-pounder at nationals and he is 24-13. It's Lysius second trip to the NAIA national tournament. He faces fifth-seeded Zachary Durbin, of Missouri Valley, in the first round. Durbin is 6-2.
Senior Zac Funderburk earned the No. 12 seed at 149 pounds. He's 20-10 and faces Marian's Logan Hurley, who is 20-11, in the first round. If Funderburk wins, he faces Joe Rios, of Wayland Baptist, in the second round. Rios is 20-5.
Sophomore Chris Paulsen is making his second trip to the national tournament. The 165-pounder is 27-12. Paulsen sees a familiar face in the first round. He defeated Graceland's Brennan Swafford, who is the No. 4 seed with a 20-7 record, earlier this season. If Paulsen wins, he faces Reinhardt's Cole Tenety, who is 21-9, in the second round.