Walnut Ridge, Ark. - Two Williams Baptist College wrestlers finished as All-Americans after the end of Session III at the NAIA National Championships in Topeka, Kan. Tyler Fraley (SO/Freehold, N.J. ) finished in fourth place in 141 and Jeffrey Haley (SO/Quincy, Ill.) finished seventh in 184.
After the end of the first two sessions, Fraley and Haley were the only two WBC wrestlers left to compete in the second day of Nationals. Fraley, the third ranked wrestler in his class, started his day with a tough 6-4 double overtime defeat to the second ranked Andrew Schulte of Concordia University. Fraley avenged his loss by defeating the top-ranked Jake Ekster of Missouri Valley University by a 7-1 decision, advancing into the third place match. His final match was a 16-12 loss to Matt Webber of Montana State Northern. Fraley's fourth place finish is tied for the best finish in program history and, he became the second All-American in WBC Wrestling history.
"Tyler has stepped up tremendously this semester," said Head Coach Kerry Regner. "We are very proud of his accomplishments."
Haley lost a tough 3-2 decision to (12) Michael Napier of Wayland Baptist University, but he avenged his loss with a medical forfeit victory against Jacob Dempsey of Life University to secure the seventh place finish. Haley became WBC's third All-American in program history.
"At the beginning of the year, Jeff set many goals, and he made a clear path to reach his goals. It is a wonderful thing when an athlete's goals are met," stated Regner.
As a team, Williams finished with 35.5 points and a 15th overall finish. This is the best team finish for the Eagles at Nationals, with the 2014-15 squad placing in 22nd place.
"It is good to see our guys compete on the biggest stage," concluded Regner.
The 2015-16 Eagles wrestling squad sent 10 wrestlers to Nationals this season, which is more than double the number than last year.
The second year program soared to new heights in its sophomore season. WBC won the inaugural American Midwest Conference Championships and was ranked as high as ninth place in the NAIA national rankings.