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GPAC to sponsor women's wrestling for the first time as a league

Jun. 3—SIOUX CITY, Iowa. — The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) has announced women's wrestling will be added as an official conference sport starting in 2024-25.

There are currently six member schools that sponsor the women's wrestling in the league. This includes Dakota Wesleyan, Doane, Hastings, Midland, Morningside and Waldorf. With the addition of the sport, the GPAC will receive automatic qualification to the NAIA national championships.

GPAC women's wrestling programs have previously been competing as affiliate members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. With the league total rising to six schools offering the sport, the conference has taken over sponsorship with the NAIA. Dakota Wesleyan will start its third season of women's wrestling in 2024-25.

"With the growth of high school girls wrestling in the Midwest and in other parts of the country we feel the GPAC is well positioned to be a place for those wrestlers to compete in college," said GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra in a statement. "We have a solid core group right now that will only continue to grow as the sport does."

The GPAC will continue to sponsor 22 sports in total. The conference announced that men's volleyball will be discontinued as a GPAC sport. Remaining league members — Dordt and Morningside — will move to the Heart of America Conference as affiliate men's volleyball members, while Jamestown will be without a current NAIA men's volleyball conference as they prepare for a move to NCAA Division II.

The inaugural GPAC women's wrestling championships will be hosted by Doane on March 1, 2025 in Crete, Nebraska. The 2024-25 GPAC season will not include regular-season duals and members will compete in open events for regular-season competitions.