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DWU’s Rios makes semifinals, DeVestern still alive

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Richard Rios (133) was the lone Dakota Wesleyan University wrestler to make it to the semifinals after day one of the NAIA wrestling national championships Friday.

After having a bye in the first round, Rios beat Southern Oregon’s Trevor Hancock in the second round with a 9-6 decision and Grand View’s Brandon Benvenuti in a 5-4 decision.

Rios is guaranteed to finish in the top six and earn All-American honors. He will take on Indiana Tech’s Justin Brooks in the semifinals today.

“He had two really hard fought matches,” DWU wrestling coach Matt Sedivy said. “I think the quarterfinal match was one of the best matches in the tournament. He wrestled really well today. Now there is no pressure and hopefully he can get to the finals.

Junior Trever DeVestern (165) also clinched All-American honors after pinning Southern Oregon’s Garrett Urrutia in a wrestleback. DeVestern started his day with a first period pin over Cumberland‘s Jacob Shirley in the second round, but lost to Great Falls’ Shawn Lau of by pin in the quarterfinals.

Mount Vernon native Kyle Gerlach (149), Dusty Paulsen (149), Ryan Roach (157) and Tyler Sarringar (184) were each eliminated Friday. Gerlach and Sarringar dropped both of their matches, while Paulsen and Roach each went 1-for-2.

“Ryan Roach had a phenomenal tournament,” Sedivy said. “I am proud of his effort. This is the type of tournament, where you can’t have one bad match or you are in trouble.”

The meet continues today at 10 a.m. CST.