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A pair of Northwestern wrestlers named All-GPAC

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – After finishing third and fourth, respectively, in the 184-pound bracket at last weekend’s GPAC Championships, Red Raider wrestlers Jake Francksen-Small and Luke Jenness were named 2023-24 GPAC Second Team All-Conference selections.

“I am so proud of both of these guys and the impact they have made on our program – both this year and for years to come,” head coach Rik Dahl stated. “Each of them has honored God with their gifts and taken advantage of every opportunity that has been presented to them.”

Francksen-Small (Sr., Merrill, Iowa) lands on an all-conference team for the first time in his career after being named an honorable mention in 2021-22 and 2022-23. He finished third on the team in wins, going 19-10 and earning a spot in the GPAC Championships semifinal round. Francksen-Small enters the national meet with five pins, two technical falls, two major decisions, and 170 match points.

“Jake is the heartbeat of our team and has led by example for four years,” Dahl commented. “We have seen him shine as the year progressed, and he was 4-1 in GPAC duals this year. He is 13-3 since January 10, turning in six bonus wins.”

Jenness (Sr., Primghar, Iowa) earned his fifth career all-conference honor after a 20-6 season that landed him in the semifinals of the GPAC Championships. He recorded five pins, two technical falls, three major decisions, 200 match points, and led the team with 50 takedowns. Earlier this season, Jenness became the 8th wrestler in program history to record 100 career wins, currently sitting second all-time with 118.

“With is second team All-GPAC selection, Luke becomes the first five-time all-conference selection for the Raiders,” Dahl said. “His four First Team honors previously were a first for Northwestern. Luke epitomizes what it means to work hard and stay resilient – both this season and over his decorated career. Luke loves the sport of wrestling; not for the accolades, but for what it produces within him, and it gives him a chance to glorify God. His devotion is admirable, his work ethic is unmatched, and his fifth all-conference selection is well-deserved.”

Doane’s Bradley Antesberger, at 197 pounds, was named the GPAC Wrestler of the Year, while Doane head coach Dana Vote is the GPAC Coach of the Year. Freshman of the Year honors went to Isaiah Miller, at 133 pounds, from Jamestown.

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