Ten Wrestlers Head to NCAA Division II Super Regionals

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Photo by Meah Copeland

On his senior night, Feb. 13, Austin Morgan wrestles against his opponent at the UCM Multipurpose Building. Morgan lost against his opponent at a 3-1 decision.

Written by Meah Copeland, Sports Editor

The University of Central Missouri Mules Wrestling team hosted their annual Wrestling Senior Night alongside the team’s final regular season matchup on Feb. 13 at the Multipurpose Building in Warrensburg.
The team celebrated the three senior wrestlers Darick Lapaglia, Zachary Hazen and Austin Morgan, while finishing the season with a win over Newman Jets 28-19. Junior Trent Strong sealed the win at 285 lbs for the Mules after a 7-1 decision.

“This is for the seniors,” Strong said. “I went out there and did what I had to do. Team score wise did more than what I needed to do. So I’m very blessed to be able to go out there and do that.”
Heading into the postseason, Strong says he will support his teammates in any way he can. Although the Mules have a losing record as a team, some individuals have wrestled well this season. Those include seniors Lapaglia and Hazen and junior Nolan Saale.
Lapaglia is a two-time All-American wrestler and is currently ranked No. 10 in the MIAA Conference at 149 lbs. His record is 20-4 having eight pins throughout the season.

Morgan lost his match after a 3-1 decision at 174 lbs on his senior night. He said he is excited for the postseason to start.

“I think we got a handful of guys that are looking pretty good for qualification to Nationals,” Morgan said. “I think we’re all looking up I think here in the future, especially after some of these red shirts become and some ineligible guys become eligible. I think in the years in the future will be pretty good for
UCM.”
Head Coach Cody Garcia wrapped up his first season with the Mules at their new facility and looks forward to postseason. The Mules will have 10 wrestlers heading to NCAA Division II Super Regionals at the time of press.
“Well it’s a tremendous thing for us to be able to have and very grateful to have a home and a place for us to that’s designated for wrestling,” Garcia said. “So we can focus on this craft and give these guys an exceptional
experience.”
Assistant Head Coach John Feeny said he is excited for the 10 wrestlers to go to the regional tournament.
“Personally, I am excited,” Feeney said. “I am confident in our guys to qualify more than that this year.”
The wrestlers who qualified for postseason are Charlie Getz, John Nguyen, Tommaso Frezza, Darick
Lapaglia, James Culp, Nolan Saale, Austin Morgan, Zach Hazen, Brayden Dillow and Trent Strong.