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2023 NAIA Wrestling Championship Brings Home TWO Yellowjacket All-Americans


Press Release, Students

March 10, 2023

Seniors David Toese and Joe Lupton return to The Hill after a successful weekend at the 66th Annual NAIA Men’s Wrestling Championship. Lupton placed 6th, Toese placed 8th overall, and both earned the esteemed All-American status.

Lupton and Toese served as team captains in the 2021-2022 season and were selected to be team captains again this year. Their leadership, drive for excellence, and passion for wrestling has been a valuable contribution to the Graceland wrestling program    .

When asked about the wrestlers, head wrestling coach Zack Mullins said, “It was exciting to see both Joe and David place at nationals because of the hard work and commitment they’ve given our program. Joe became a 2x All-American cementing himself as one of the best wrestlers to step foot on campus since we reinstated the program in 2013. David broke onto the podium by defeating a 2x All-American opponent that had beaten him several times in his career, so it was a great moment to see him finally break through and win that match at the perfect time. As incredible as they’ve been at wrestling, they are even better people. Graceland should be proud of each of them!”

Lupton will graduate this year with degrees in Business Administration and Organizational leadership while Toese will graduate with a degree in Health & Movement Science: Physical Education.

“[Wrestling] is easily the most difficult sport that I have been a part of, but that’s why I loved it so much; because I always loved challenging myself,” said Toese.

He continued, “From the nerves I felt before matches to the highs over victories and the lows in defeats, it all helped me grow as an individual.”

Read more here.

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