DES MOINES, Iowa-- Three Jimmie wrestlers earned automatic bids to the 2017 NAIA Wrestling National Championships, presented by USA Wrestling-Kansas.
Joey Murillo (SR/El Paso, Texas) (125) placed 2nd, Dillon Kifer (SR/Little Falls, Minn.) (141) also finished 2nd, and Mike Zupan (JR/Moorhead, Minn.) (174) took third Saturday. The top three placers in each weight class qualify for the national meet March 3-4 at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan.
Murillo won his first two matches by decision, 12-5 over William Penn's Jeremy Andujar and 9-4 over Anthony Locke of Dickinson State. In the first place match, John Altieri of William Penn pinned Murillo in 2:22.
Kifer also won his first two matches by decision, 4-3 over Taylor Lehman of Waldorf and 6-1 over Calab Ashe of Graceland. In the semis, Kifer pinned Benedictine's Dillon Scanlon in 3:39 to advance to the finals. Grand View's Josh Wenger won by tech fall in the championship.
Zupan won a 3-2 decision against Baker's Nick Moore, but was pinned by Lawton Benna of Grand View in 5:23 in the semifinals. Zupan then came back with a 12-4 major decision over Jason Zecchini of Dickinson State, and an 8-7 decision over Missouri Valley's Alex Destra in the third place match.
Brandon Aragon (SO/Pueblo, Colo.) (149) and Jackson Schauer (SO/Grand Rapids, Minn.) (157) both placed fifth while Stuart Brandt (JR/Moorhead, Minn.) (133), Kade Thompson (SO/Idaho Falls, Idaho) (165), and Will Parks (SO/Perham, Minn.) (197) all took sixth.