Date: March 4, 2016
Score After the First Session: (12) Williams Baptist College (29 points, 14th Place)
Location: Topeka, Kan.
The 12th ranked Williams Baptist College wrestling team traveled to Topeka, Kansas, on Thursday to compete in the NAIA Wrestling National Championships. The Eagles wrestling squad sent a record 10 members to Nationals this season. After day one, Williams sits in 14th place in the team race, with 29 points after day one.
Fraley and Haley Continue Their Runs:
Eagles wrestler Tyler Fraley (SO/Freehold, N.J. ) has wrestled his way into the 141 semifinals, and his current spot guarantees that he will be WBC's second All-American wrestler in program history. Fraley started his day with a 19-3 technical fall decision over #9 ranked Garrett Webb of Life University. Fraley then beat #6 ranked Matt Miller of regional opponent Indiana Tech University by a 7-4 decision in the quarterfinals, allowing him to advance.
Jeffrey Haley (SO/Quincy, Ill.) defeated #4 Taylor Vaughn of Great Falls by a DQ, then lost to #15 Lane Oversen (Dickinson State) with a close 3-2 decision. Haley avenged his loss by defeating Sam Viotlaender of Great Falls with a 13-2 major decision victory to become WBC's third All-American wrestler in program history.
One Match Away:
Ryan Whittle (JR/Greenwich, Conn.) fell one match short of All-American status. Whittle upset #10 Joesph Jauregui of Menlo by first period pinfall. He then dropped to Sean Black of Campbellsville via 12-3 major decision. Next, he defeated teammate Daniel Rittell (SO/Slaughter, La. ) with a 17-10 decision. In his last match of the day, Whittle lost to 2014 National Finalist and seventh ranked Mike Nord of Jamestown, via 17-0 technical fall decision.
The National Championships:
Seven Eagles wrestlers ended their remarkable seasons on Thursday. Josh Chiles (SO/Little Rock, Ark.), Patrick Grigsby (SO/Bentonville, Ark. ), Conner Linehan (JR/St. Louis, Mo.), Conor Karwath (SO/Gonzales, La. ), Dante Padilla (SO/Weeki Wachee, Fla. ), Tyler Dibert (JR/Imler, Penn. ) and Daniel Rittell all produced valiant results as part of the largest group of Eagles wrestlers to reach the NAIA Championships.
Chiles dropped to Tanner Fischer of Southern Oregon with a close 11-7 decision, and then he dropped to Donavan Fouchy 6-2 of Missouri Valley. Linehan dropped a 13-5 decision to Andras Lukacs-Farkas of Northwestern in Iowa and a second period pinfall to the #1 ranked Riley Boomer of Missouri Valley. Linehan has recorded 40 wins as a wrestler at WBC for his career. Karwath lost via pin to Stephen Wilbert of Warner Pacific and #3 Taylor Kornoely of Montana State Northern 15-4. Padilla dropped matches to #8 Tyler Dickman of Baker (7-3) and Joshua Lopez of York (21-10). Dibert fell to #6 Jon Solano of Dickinson State 20-9 in the second round and lost to #12 Michael Napier of Wayland Baptist via 4-0 decision in the second session. Rittell started his day with a 6-1 win over Brandon Schuler of Northwestern in Iowa and then dropped a match to #4 Taylor Hodel of Dickinson State by second period pinfall, then fell 17-10 to his teammate Ryan Whittle.
Quote of the Finals:
"We still have a lot of wrestling to do. One match at a time," said Head Coach Kerry Regner.
The Eagle National Rankings (Current):
• Tyler Fraley (#3)
• Josh Chiles (#8)
• Jeffrey Haley (#9)
• Patrick Grigsby (#10)
• Conor Karwath (#12)
• Daniel Rittell (#12)
• Tyler Dibert (#16)
• Dante Padilla (#16)
More Wrestling Ahead:
For more information on the Eagles wrestling team and for updates on the NAIA National Championships, check out the 2016 Wrestling Tournament Central page: CLICK HERE