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Nord, Miller pace Jimmies

Jaykob Miller and Pat Nord are headed back to nationals.

Miller and Nord went a combined 8-2 at the NAIA North Region Qualifier on Saturday at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D.

Miller dropped his opening match at 174 pounds, but caught fire from there and reeled off four straight wins to place third. All four of his wins were decided by five points or less, including his 10-5 decision over Luis Rivera-Santiago of Northwestern College (Iowa) in the third place match.

The senior from Etiwanda, Calif., also posted a narrow 4-3 win over Dickinson State’s Tyler Brown in the qualifier. The four victories push Miller’s total to 29 on the season against 15 losses.

Nord was dominant at 165.

The senior from Enderlin, N.D., split his first two matches, but then ran off three consecutive pins, the first of which came in the third period against Dickinson State’s Jon Solano.

Nord, ranked eighth nationally at 165, stuck Curtis Bright of Briar Cliff (Iowa) and teammate Julian Gallegos in the second period. Nord upped his record to 27-7 on the season.

Dillon Kifer was ranked fifth in the region at 149, but fell short of advancing.

After losing his opener, the sophomore from Little Falls, Minn., answered with two wins before falling to Cody Green of Midland, Neb., 9-4 in a qualifying match.

Kifer and heavyweight Antonio Lopez both qualified for nationals last season.

Like Kifer, Lopez fell one win short this time after splitting four matches at 285. In the quarterfinals, Lopez fell in overtime to Morningside’s Tyler Kacmarynski, 7-5.

Gallegos (165) and Tyler Schnaubert (157) were the only other Jimmies to earn contested victories.

The national meet will be held March 6-7 in Topeka, Kan.