Walnut Ridge, Ark. - Athletes grow up with the dream of competing and winning national championships. That dream is coming true for nine Williams Baptist College wrestlers this weekend. Tanner Irwin (FR/Jefferson City, Mo. ), Tyler Fraley (JR/Freehold, N.J.), Patrick Grigsby (JR/Bentonville, Ark. ), Ryan Whittle (JR/Greenwich, Conn. ), Jeffrey Haley (JR/Quincy, Ill. ), Keion McVay (SO/Maumelle, Ark. ), Tyler Dibert (JR/Imler, Penn. ), Josh Chiles (JR/Little Rock, Ark. ), and Demetrius Thomas (FR/Ferguson, Mo. ) will head to Topeka, Kan., in search of individual, as well as a team, NAIA National Championship.
The wrestlers qualified through the Midwest National Qualifiers, which were held in Grand Rapids, Mich., Feb. 18.
The Eagles team has been ranked as high as third in the NAIA this season. They currently are ranked 11th, and have seven wrestlers represented in the individual rankings.
Tyler Fraley leads the way as the number one ranked wrestler in the 141 lb. class. Demetrius Thomas is the next highest wrestler, at seventh in the 285 lb. division. Following him are Josh Chiles, in ninth at the 184 lb., Ryan Whittle, 13th at the 165 lb., and Keion McVay (174 lb.) and Tyler Dibert (184 lb.) both come in at 14th. Tanner Irwin is ranked 16th in the 133 lb. division.
The brackets have been set for the 2017 NAIA National Championships. You can view the path to the championship for each individual here: Brackets
The event will take place March 3 and 4. You can watch the matches live, as well as keep up with the whole tournament at our "Tournament Central" page here: TOURNAMENT CENTRAL.