BRISTOL, Tenn. – For the first time in five years, the King University men's wrestling team is nationally ranked. The Tornado check in at 19th in the final D2Wrestle.com poll of the year. King also has two individuals ranked, Dustin Kirk and 133 pounds and Bryce Killian at 141 pounds.
The Tornado have been receiving votes all season long and crack the rankings for the first time of the season, coming in 19th in the final poll. The last time King was ranked was in 2011-12 when they were in the rankings for six straight polls. King reached as high as 11th that season, coming on January 11. This also marks the first time King has had more than one wrestler ranked in a poll since 2011-12 when Frank Morgan and Tywan Claxton were ranked on February 28.
Kirk has been ranked throughout the year, and moves up to third heading into the NCAA Division II Men's Wrestling Championships. Two weeks ago, Kirk finished runner-up at the NCAA Super Region II Championships, clinching his spot in the national championships. He had one eight straight matches before fall to top-ranked Michael Labry of the University of Indianapolis 3-2 in the championship bout. On the season, Kirk is 18-8, going 2-0 on major decisions and 5-1 on pins.
Killian started the season ranked eighth, and has battle injuries all season before breaking back into the rankings this week, coming in fourth. He clinched his second straight NCAA Division II Men's Wrestling Championships appearance with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Super Region II Championships. At the event he defeated fourth-ranked Trey Grine of Tiffin University before falling to second-ranked Nick Crume of Indianapolis in the finals. On the season, Killian is 6-2, including 2-0 marks on both major decisions and technical falls.
The duo will be in action in Birmingham, Ala. On March 10 in the NCAA Division II Men's Wrestling Championships.