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CORALVILLE - Killian Perrigon considered it his best performance in three college seasons.
According to Cornell College's 157-pounder, he's not ready to be done yet.
Perrigon produced a memorable day highlighted by three consecutive notable victories that doubled his regular-season match total and catapulted him to All-America status at the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Championships on Friday night at Xtream Arena.
Perrigon upended Concordia (Wis.) University's No. 9 Jack O'Donnell, 8-6, in the quarterfinals to secure a top-six finish and a second straight win over a seeded foe.
'I just kind of showed up to wrestle hard, have fun and show out,” Perrigon said. 'I had told some people I was planning to show out.”
Perrigon (5-1) only had three matches entering the tournament. He wasn't even the Rams' starter when they finally started to compete in February. He was determined to win the spot, allowing to tap his potential that helped him go from unseeded to medalist.
'Simply, I just wanted to be the starter,” Perrigon said. 'That really got me going.”
The bracket didn't look favorable. He opened with Luther's Ryan Cripe, who had pinned Perrigon in an earlier dual. Perrigon avenged that loss with a decisive 11-4 triumph, recording four takedowns and a riding-time point. Revenge was sweet.
'It felt fantastic,” Perrigon said. 'I went out, showed out and it worked out.”
Top-seeded Tristan Birt awaited. Perrigon was unfazed in the underdog role again. He scored the first two takedowns for a 4-3 lead at the end of the first. Birt's reversal in the second led to a one-point lead, but Perrigon added two third-period takedown with riding time for a 9-6 decision.
'I got super hyped,” Perrigon said about preparation for the match. 'Right away, I felt I could hang with him.
'That's really what got the ball rolling. I was really motivated after that.”
Perrigon's next opponent will be Coe's fourth-seeded Brady Henderson, who was one of five Kohawk semifinalists.
Henderson advanced along with his older brother, Brock, who notched three technical falls at 133.
Brock Henderson had an elbow injury prematurely end his sophomore season. The pandemic canceled his national tournament debut last year. He thought he was going to miss his chance this season when the NCAA canceled its D-III tournament.
'It's been like three years in the making,” the second-seeded Kohawk said. 'Things weren't how they thought they'd be. NWCA found a way to make it happen. It's been great. It's been fun.”
Matches are more enjoyable when you put up points the way he did Friday. Brock outscored foes, 52-3, tallying a 20-2 win in his opener. He throttled Alma's 10th-seeded Austin Wieczorek, 16-0, in the semifinals thanks to three sets of four-point nearfalls.
'I know I can do that type of wrestling,” Brock said. 'Coaches say you're too good that it doesn't need to be 3-2. They say I can score like that against anyone.”
The Hendersons were joined in the semifinals by Alex Friddle (125), Riley Wright at 141 and 149-pounder Josh Gerke. Coe has nine wrestlers alive, including four who won consolation matches to move into the top eight of their weight class.
'I was really proud of our guys,” Coe Coach John Oostendorp said. 'I thought they competed hard and won the tough matches like you need to at the national tournament. We're looking forward to finishing strong (Saturday).”
Wartburg was powered by top-seeded 174-pounder Kyle Briggs. He was dominant with three first-period pins in a total of 2:38.
Briggs started with a 10-second fall in the first round and only needed 16 seconds in the following match. He decked Cornell's John Marsh in 2:12 of the quarterfinals.
The Knights finished with seven semifinalists and one in consolation competition. Former South Tama prep Brady Fritz overcame a 7-2 deficit to beat Olivet's Hunter Murphy, 13-11, in the 149 quarterfinals.
'We've had a whole different training cycle than everybody else. Nobody has trained as hard. It was a totally different level of preparation,” Briggs said. 'That Iowa State match, that was a big advantage for us. That basically extended our season by a month and a half.
'What you saw today was all that work paying off.”
Loras advanced six into the semifinals, including former Iowa Valley prep Jacob Krakow at 174.
Luther's Cristian Chavez (125) and Ira Kuehn (184) also reached the semifinals.
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