Date: March 3, 2017
Event: NAIA National Championships (Session I)
Location: Topeka, Kansas - Kansas Expo-Center
Three Williams Baptist College Eagles wrestlers remain in the hunt for a NAIA National Championship. Tyler Fraley (JR/Freehold, N.J.) (141 lb.), Josh Chiles (JR/Little Rock, Ark. ) (184 lb.), and Demetrius Thomas (FR/Ferguson, Mo. ) (285 lb.) are the three remaining Eagles in the 'Championship Bracket' and have advanced to the quarterfinals.
(1) Tyler Fraley, who holds the top seed and ranking in the NAIA, advanced to within three wins of his first national championship after receiving a bye through the first round and cruising to an 18-1 technical fall victory over Christian Mesa of Hastings College. He will meet AMC rival (8) Marcello Sierra in the quarterfinal matchup.
(9) Josh Chiles advanced to the quarterfinals after a bye, and an upset victory over (8) Tyler Noon of Menlo College. He won a back-and-forth affair by an 8-6 decision. Chiles is the ninth seed, and will face the top seeded Ben Stroh of Montana State-Northern University in his quarterfinal matchup.
Heavyweight (5) Demetrius Thomas beat (12) Jeff Chandler of Truett McConnell University after receiving an opening round bye to advance to his first ever quarterfinal at the NAIA Championships. Thomas won by fall in overtime (7:49). Thomas will be aiming for an upset over fourth seeded Taylor Komoely of Montana State-Northern University.
Three Eagles advanced in the consolation bracket. Keion McVay (SO/Maumelle, Ark. ), Jeffrey Haley (JR/Quincy, Ill. ), and Tyler Dibert (JR/Imler, Penn. ) have hopes of earning All-American honors. The top eight finishers in each weight class capture the prestigious honor.
Session II will take place tonight (March 3), beginning at 6:30 p.m. The matches look be intense, as the quarterfinal round and Consolation III and Consolation IV will take place. Consolation IV is commonly referred to as the "Blood Round," as the winner receives All-American honors, and the loser walks away with nothing.