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Wayland Baptist Pioneers setting Records @ the NAIA -
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Wayland Baptist Pioneers setting Records @ the NAIA

Wrestlers secure record five all-Americans

Andrew Porras

Andrew Porras
Bracket
Event Information

Mich Napier
Mich Napier

TOPEKA, Kan. – What started out as a less-than-spectacular day ended with a bang for the Wayland Baptist men’s wrestling team Friday at the NAIA National Championships.

A record five Pioneers – seniors Andrew Porras, Kane Lovvorn, Victor Thomas, Mich Napier and Markese Christian – have secured all-American honors going into the final day of the event, with chances to finish as high as third place.

While the day ended on high notes for Wayland, it didn’t start out that way.

“We weren’t wrestling t our potential, and things weren’t looking good,” Pioneers coach Aaron Meister said of his 15th-ranked squad.

With a program record-tying nine wrestlers competing at nationals, all nine suffered losses in at least one of the first three rounds, leaving no Pioneer wrestling in the championship bracket for a national championship.

Then things turned around for Wayland.

The Pioneers went 5-for-5 in the “blood round,” which determines the top eight finishers and accompanying all-American status.

“We went from being very deflated to nobody could stop us,” Meister said.

It started with Porras in 133s.

“Andrew was down 8-2 in the third period, then he hit a reversal and pinned the guy,” Meister said. “That got it going for us.”

Next was Lovvorn in 149s, who pulled out a 4-3 decision in consolation fourth round bout. Then it was Thomas’ turn in 157s, and he also won with a fall.

After that, Napier was up in 184s and he took a 7-4 decision. Finally in 285, Christian prevailed by 9-5 decision.

Suddenly, Wayland wrestlers couldn’t lose.

“Starting the day I was not real happy with how things were going, but if you would have told me coming in that we would have five all-Americans, I would have said that was one heck of a tournament,” Meister said.

Now, the coach said, the Pioneers – with their coveted all-American honors secured – can let loose on Saturday and wrestle with no pressure.

“We always tell them to relax and have fun. They’re guaranteed top eight, so now they can do that,” Meister said. “We want them to finish odd: third, fifth or seventh.

“I have a really good feeling we’re going to go out and wrestle well tomorrow.”

Action resumes at 10 a.m. CST, with the evening session set to start at 7 p.m.

Also wrestling for Wayland Friday were freshmen Adelfo Valdez in 125s and David Willoughby in 197s, junior Demarco Speller in 133s, and senior Romen Correa in 165s.

NAIA National Championships
Topeka, Kan.
Wayland’s Friday Results

125 – Adelfo Valdez (13-12) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Ryan Stearns (Missouri Valley) 13-8 won by fall over Adelfo Valdez (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 13-12 (Fall 1:52)
Cons. Round 1 – Adelfo Valdez (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 13-12 received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Jake Sinkovics (Cumberlands (Ky.) 28-10 won by fall over Adelfo Valdez (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 13-12 (Fall 1:28)

133 – Andrew Porras (24-5) placed 8th and scored 6.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Andrew Porras (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 24-5 received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Kodie Cole (Concordia (Neb.) 15-11 won by fall over Andrew Porras (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 24-5 (Fall 4:45)
Cons. Round 2 – Andrew Porras (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 24-5 won in tie breaker – 1 over Demarco Speller (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 10-10 (TB-1 13-10)
Cons. Round 3 – Andrew Porras (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 24-5 won by decision over Brady Moser (Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 29-16 (Dec 6-4)
Cons. Round 4 – Andrew Porras (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 24-5 won by fall over Sage Ornelas (Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 13-6 (Fall 5:13)

133 – Demarco Speller (10-10) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – David Berg (Midland (Neb.) 27-10 won by fall over Demarco Speller (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 10-10 (Fall 4:15)
Cons. Round 1 – Demarco Speller (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 10-10 received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Andrew Porras (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 24-5 won in tie breaker – 1 over Demarco Speller (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 10-10 (TB-1 13-10)

149 – Kane Lovvorn (23-12) placed 8th and scored 5.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Kane Lovvorn (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-12 won in sudden victory – 1 over Garrett Carter (St. Catharine (Ky.) 24-19 (SV-1 13-11)
Champ. Round 2 – Kane Lovvorn (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-12 won in sudden victory – 1 over Kenny Boyd (Missouri Valley) 21-9 (SV-1 8-6)
Quarterfinal – Steven Garcia (Morningside (Iowa) 26-5 won by decision over Kane Lovvorn (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-12 (Dec 9-6)
Cons. Round 4 – Kane Lovvorn (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-12 won by decision over Jacob Gross (Indiana Tech) 14-14 (Dec 4-3)

157 – Victor Thomas (23-6) placed 8th and scored 7.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Victor Thomas (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-6 received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Victor Thomas (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-6 won by decision over Brandon Weber (Montana State-Northern) 32-14 (Dec 7-4)
Quarterfinal – Grant Henderson (Grand View (Iowa) 21-5 won by decision over Victor Thomas (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-6 (Dec 2-0)
Cons. Round 4 – Victor Thomas (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 23-6 won by fall over Aaron Demay (Southern Oregon) 12-6 (Fall 6:44)

165 – Romen Correa (9-10) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Dalton Tipton (Missouri Valley) 25-12 won by fall over Romen Correa (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 9-10 (Fall 1:10)
Cons. Round 1 – Romen Correa (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 9-10 received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Aaron Lopez (Midland (Neb.) 15-9 won by decision over Romen Correa (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 9-10 (Dec 9-3)

184 – Michael Napier (28-7) placed 8th and scored 8.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Michael Napier (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 28-7 won by major decision over Curtis Bright (Briar Cliff (Iowa) 14-15 (MD 18-4)
Champ. Round 2 – Ryan McWatters (Southern Oregon) 28-5 won by decision over Michael Napier (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 28-7 (Dec 7-4)
Cons. Round 2 – Michael Napier (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 28-7 won by fall over Trevor Whittaker (Bethany (Kan.) 26-15 (Fall 2:29)
Cons. Round 3 – Michael Napier (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 28-7 won by decision over Tyler Dilbert (Williams Baptist (Ark.) 25-11 (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 4 – Michael Napier (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 28-7 won by decision over Tyree Cox (Northwestern (Iowa) 28-9 (Dec 7-4)

197 – David Willoughby (19-13) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Ken Burkhardt Jr (Concordia (Neb.) 31-12 won by decision over David Willoughby (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 19-13 (Dec 7-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Tanner Fischer (Southern Oregon) 13-6 won by decision over David Willoughby (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 19-13 (Dec 4-3)

285 – Markese Christian (29-2) placed 8th and scored 5.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Markese Christian (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 29-2 received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Markese Christian (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 29-2 won by decision over Dalton Presley (Briar Cliff (Iowa) 20-11 (Dec 12-7)
Quarterfinal – Taylor Kornoely (Montana State-Northern) 28-3 won by decision over Markese Christian (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 29-2 (Dec 3-1)
Cons. Round 4 – Markese Christian (Wayland Baptist (Texas) 29-2 won by decision over Bryce McGowen (Oklahoma City) 26-19 (Dec 9-5)

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