By Tyler Ohmann
Former Morrison County Record All-Area Wrestler of the Year (of 2012) Dillon Kifer has a bit of a love/hate
relationship with the sport he competes in.
Kifer, a Jamestown University grappler, recently completed his senior season with a runner-up finish in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Tournament in the 141 pound weight class, and he’s pretty happy to be done.
“It was the best, because I hate wrestling,” Kifer said about being done. “I mean I love wrestling, but I hate being sore and tired.”
Kifer came into the regional meet as an unseeded wrestler, but fought his way to a the title match, qualifying him for nationals, which were March 3-4 in
“In a past regionals or nationals I don’t remember feeling as good as I felt this year,” Kifer said.
At nationals Kifer pinned the No. 5 and No. 4 seed wrestlers to move on to the semifinals.
“When I started pinning those guys, I was fresh and ready to go for the next match,” Kifer said.
Being fresh, Kifer upset the top-seeded wrestler in a 9-3 win to move on to the title match.
“It was nice to be the guy that nobody was really worried about,” Kifer said. “I could tell then going into the semifinals and finals that they were thinking, ‘oh, this guy is coming for it,’ like I was in their heads a bit.”
However, Kifer trailed most of the match, getting as close as 12-7, but fell 14-5 by major decision.
Kifer said that he owes most of what he has accomplished off the mat to what he has been able to do on it.
“Thinking about it now, I don’t know how I could have gone through college without wrestling,” Kifer said. “As excited as I am to be done with wrestling, I can already tell that I’m going to miss it.”
“I pretty much owe everything I have to wrestling,” Kifer said.
Kifer is currently student teaching and has plans to become a middle school science teacher once he graduates.
“Wrestling has definitely taught me perseverance, and staying on a steady track,” Kifer said. “My buddies and I are always thinking about what we would do if we hadn’t wrestled, and I came to college to wrestle, so who knows if I’d even be in college?”
Kifer plans to student teach in the Jamestown, N.D. area until he can find a more permanent teaching position.
He has considered coaching, but is not sure if that is in his future or not.