Date: February 18, 2017
Event: Midwest National Qualifier
National Qualifiers: Tyler Fraley (JR/Freehold, N.J.), Demetrius Thomas (FR/Ferguson, Mo. ), Jeffrey Haley (JR/Quincy, Ill. ), Josh Chiles (JR/Little Rock, Ark. ), Tyler Dibert (JR/Imler, Penn. ), Tanner Irwin (FR/Jefferson City, Mo. ), Keion McVay (SO/Maumelle, Ark. ), Patrick Grigsby (JR/Bentonville, Ark. ), and Ryan Whittle (JR/Greenwich, Conn. ).
Location: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Headed to Nationals:
The 11th ranked Williams Baptist College wrestling squad traveled to Grand Rapids, Mich., to participate in the NAIA's Midwest National Qualifier on Saturday. The team finished in second place, sending nine wrestlers to the NAIA National Championships.
Tyler Fraley, Demetrius Thomas, Jeffrey Haley, Josh Chiles, and Tyler Dibert received automatic qualification by finishing in the top three of their weight classes. Fraley (141 lb.) and Thomas (285 lb.) won their weight classes. Jeffrey Haley (174 lb.) and Josh Chiles (184 lb.) finished second in their divisions, while Tyler Dibert (184 lb.) qualified by finishing third.
Tanner Irwin and Keion McVay earned wild-card berths into the national championship through a vote of the coaches. Additionally, Patrick Grigsby and Ryan Whittle earned wild-card berths from a national committee.
Road to the Championship:
Tyler Fraley, who is the top ranked wrestler for the 141 lb., division won his weight class at the qualifier convincingly, winning one match by fall and three by technical falls. He adds another accomplishment to his belt, as he was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the qualifier.
Demetrius Thomas dominated his way to the 285 lb., title, allowing zero offensive points on his way to winning the division. He won by two pins and one major decision.
The 11th ranked Eagles also finished second in the qualifier for the second straight season. They earned 145 points, while Indiana Tech won the qualifier with 224 points. Williams was ahead of AMC opponent Lindenwood University-Belleville who finished with 95.5 points.
Complete Team Scores:
Indiana Tech 224
Missouri Baptist 92.5
Marian (Ind.) 58
Central Baptist 22
The Eagles will travel to the NAIA National Championship on March 3 and 4. The championship will be played in Topeka, Kan. Visit www.wbceagles.com for more information and how to follow as WBC wrestles for a national championship.