BRISTOL, Tenn. – For the third straight season the King University men's wrestling team will send student-athletes to compete in the NCAA Men's Wrestling Championships. Dustin Kirk at 133 pounds and Bryce Killian at 141 pounds will grapple for the second straight year for Tornado at the championships.
This year the Tornado are sending two wrestlers for the third time in program history with the last being last season when Kirk and Killian competed for King. The other occurred during the 2011-12 season when the Tornado sent four wrestlers to the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Kirk qualified at 133 pounds after taking third at the NCAA Super Region II Championships. The Lake Elsinore, Calif., native enters the championships with a 16-5 record. Kirk is coming off of a third place finish at the Super Region II Championships where he posted a 3-1 record.
The senior posted two wins by pin, one by decision and his only loss came in a 5-3 decision to Airk Furseth who enters the national championships ranked No.1 in the country. Kirk enters the NCAA Championships ranked 10th in the country, and will face sixth-ranked Kelan McKenna of Notre Dame College (Ohio). A season ago, Kirk earned All-America honors, finishing third at the NCAA Championships. That finish is the highest finish from a Tornado wrestler at the event in program history.
Killian qualified for the NCAA Championships for the third straight season, becoming the first Tornado to qualify for three NCAA Championships. King has been NCAA Division II members since 2011-12. The Middletown, Pa., native is 10-3 on the season and enters the NCAA Championships ranked eighth in the country.
The senior finished runner-up at the NCAA Super Region II Championships for the second straight season. Killian took two wins at the Super Region II Championships including one over fourth-ranked Anthony Cheloni of University of Wisconsin-Parkside. His only loss at the competition came to fifth-ranked Nick Crume of Indianapolis. At the NCAA Championships, Killian will square off with Dylan Udero of Adams State University who enters the competition unranked. Killian also earned All-America honors, finishing seventh a season ago last season.
The 2018 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships will take place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at U.S. Cellular Center. Competition is scheduled to start on Friday at 12:00 p.m. ET, with the second session starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. On Saturday, the third session will start at 11:00 a.m. ET and the final session will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET.