by Lucas Treat (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sioux City, IA - Morningside College's John Sievert, a senior from Akron, Iowa, became the second wrestler in Mustang history to win a NAIA National Championship when he defeated sixth-ranked Carl Lawrence of Missouri Valley College by a 3-1 decision in Saturday evening's 197 lb. title bout at the NAIA Wrestling National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sievert joined Morningside head coach Jake Stevenson as a national champion. Stevenson won the NAIA 184 lb. National Championship as a sophomore in 2007.
Sievert, ranked seventh in the nation, closed out the season with a 19-match winning streak to finish with a record of 21-2.
He took a 2-0 lead against Lawrence when he scored a takedown with 49 seconds left in the first period. Sievert made it 3-0 with an escape early in the second period. Lawrence closed within 3-1 when he escaped Sievert's grasp early in the third period to complete the scoring.
Sievert beat another Missouri Valley opponent to earn his berth in the finals when he upset top-ranked Josh Manu with an 8-7 decision in Saturday's semifinals. Lawrence also claimed his spot in the title bout with an upset triumph when he won a 3-1 decision against second-ranked Derek Nightser of Grand View University, who was last year's NAIA 197 lb. national runner-up.
The 197 lb. championship match was the second time Sievert and Lawrence crossed paths at the NAIA National Championships. Sievert pinned Lawrence in 6:13 when they met in last year's opening round while competing as heavyweights.
Sievert's journey to the 197 lb. title began with a record breaking performance in a second round victory against Eric Johnson of Calumet College. Sievert pinned Johnson in 13 seconds for the fastest fall in Morningside history. Weston Frahm held the former Morningside record with a 15-second fall during the 2005-06 season.
Sievert won a 9-6 decision against 11th-ranked Kyle Soderblom of William Penn University in the quarterfinals to set up his victories against the Missouri Valley opponents in the semifinals and finals.
Sievert finished his Morningside career with an 86-32 record with a school-record 44 falls.