Date: March 3, 2017
Event: NAIA National Championships (Session II)
Location: Topeka, Kansas - Kansas Expo-Center
Tyler Fraley (JR/Freehold, N.J.) entered the weekend as the top ranked wrestler in the 141 lb. division in the NAIA, and he is backing up that standing, as he cruises to the semifinals at the National Championships. He received a bye in the opening round, then followed up with two technical falls. The first one over Christian Mesa of Hastings College resulted in a 18-1 technical fall, and then he won 22-4 over American Midwest Conference rival Marcello Sierra (Lindenwood University-Belleville).
Being two matches away from taking home the championship, he will look to book his place in the final against 12th seeded Dillon Kifer of Jamestown College. Reaching the semifinals guarantees Fraley will be an All-American for the second straight season.
Demetrius Thomas (FR/Ferguson, Mo. ) came in as the fifth seed in the 285 lb. division. He received an opening round bye, before winning by fall over (12) Jeff Chandler of Truett McConnell University. The quarterfinal will be a match that Thomas will never forget. Facing the fourth seeded Taylor Komely, Thomas dominated the duel. He accumulated an impressive 4:45 of riding time on Komely on his way to a major decision upset victory (10-1).
Thomas becomes an All-American for the first time. He will face top seeded and ranked Dean Broghammer from Grand View University in the semifinals.
Jeffrey Haley (JR/Quincy, Ill. ) made it within one round of the All-American bout. However, an injury forced the former All-American to forfeit. Keion McVay (SO/Maumelle, Ark. ) also made it within one win of the All-American round, but was unable to get past (9) Andrew Orr, who pinned him and advanced.
Ryan Whittle (JR/Greenwich, Conn. ) went out after winning his opening round by fall (2:15) over Drake Randall. Tanner Irwin (FR/Jefferson City, Mo. ) and Patrick Grigsby (JR/Bentonville, Ark. ) both went out in session I of the tournament.
The championship will resume at 10 a.m., on Saturday, March 4. You can follow along at our Tournament Central page.