TOPEKA, Kan.-- Dillon Kifer (SR/Little Falls, Minn.) won two matches to advance to the semifinals of the 141 pound bracket at the 2017 NAIA Wrestling National Championships, presented by USA Wrestling-Kansas.
By reaching the final four, Kifer is guaranteed to place no lower than sixth, and will earn All-American honors as a result of his efforts.
Kifer, the No. 12 seed at 141, pinned 5th-seed Shonn Roberts of Great Falls (Mont.) in 1:55 in his opening match. Against No. 4 Devin Poppen of Southern Oregon, Kifer registered another pin, this time in 3:17 to advance to the semifinals. Top seeded Tyler Fraley of Williams Baptist (Ark.) who won a pair of technical falls 18-1 and 22-4, awaits Kifer in Saturday's semifinal matchup.
Mike Zupan (JR/Moorhead, Minn.) (174) earned his All-American status Friday, although he had a tougher trek through the consolation bracket. Zupan lost a 10-3 decision to Oklahoma City's Tanner Borror in the opening match, but rallied to take a pair of decisions, 10-6 over Drake Lovvorn of Wayland Baptist (Texas) and 11-9 over Orlando Nwade of Cumberland (Tenn.). Zupan defeated No. 8 seed Antonio Rodriguez of Indiana Tech by 5-1 sudden victory to clinch a top-eight finish and join Kifer as All-American.
Joey Murillo (SR/El Paso, Texas) lost a 4-1 tiebreaker to Hastings (Neb.)'s Nolan Laux in his first match at 125, then came back with a pin of Lourdes (Ohio)'s Ray Porter in 2:07. Murillo then faced Hugo Perez of Midland (Neb.) and lost a tough 9-6 decision. Perez was the runner-up at 125 in last year's NAIA National Championships.
Also competing for the Jimmies was Brandon Aragon (SO/Pueblo, Colo.) at 149 pounds. Aragon lost by 14-4 major decision to Dallas Brown of Life (Ga.) and fell by 13-11 decision to Devontae Fitzgerald of Central Christian (Kan.).