LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland’s Jake Williams and Scott Stewart both reached the semifinals in the main draw with victories in the evening session Friday at the 58th Annual NAIA Wrestling Championships in Topeka, Kan. Sophomore Kyle Delaune also won twice Friday night and remains alive in the backdraw, with all three student-athletes assured of All-American honors.
Williams registered a 4-3 Decision over Grand View University’s third-ranked Gustavo Martinez, a three-time All-American, to keep his hopes alive for a second consecutive national championship. The senior will claim his fourth straight All-America accolade and third consecutive at Cumberland.
The Rio Rancho, N.M., native takes on eighth-ranked Ryan Martin from the University of Great Falls in Saturday’s semifinals, which begin at 10 a.m. The other semifinal pits Missouri Valley College’s top-ranked Jake Ekster against Southern Oregon’s fourth-ranked Tyler Cowger.
Stewart claimed his second straight 3-2 Decision on Friday, this one against Grand View University’s third-ranked Dean Broghammer. The Kenova, W.Va., will end his career with his first All-America honor. The senior faces St. Andrews University’s 11th-ranked Denzel Vaughan in the semifinals on Saturday. The other semifinal has Concordia [NE] University’s Ceron Francisco and Missouri Valley’s fourth-ranked Gabi Musallam.
Sophomore Nate Croley dropped a 7-5 Decision to Bethany College’s Jonathan Blackwell in the backdraw at 157 while sophomore Kyle Delaune posted a pair of victories to stay alive in the wrestleback.
The New Orleans, La., native posted a 12-7 Decision against Bacone College’s Caleb Crump before registering an 18-10 Major Decision over 16th-ranked Taylor Vaughn from Great Falls. Delaune will face Midland University’s 11th-ranked Sterling Terry in Saturday’s morning session.
Complete results from the event may be found at www.trackwrestling.com.