CEDAR RAPIDS - Coe's Dimitri Boyer said his goal was to be a national champion.
The Kohawks' 157-pounder put himself in position to achieve it.
Boyer advanced to the national finals with a fall over Williams College's Jorge Lopez on Saturday morning of the NCAA DIvision III Wrestling Championships at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Boyer built a 5-1 lead late in the third, locking up a cradle and getting the pin in 6:51. He jumped to his feet and acknowledged the Coe fans, pounding his chest with excitement.
"It's a big relief," said Boyer, a former state champion at Eddyville-Blakesburg. "I have probably close to my whole town and all my family here watching. It just feels awesome..."
The win highlighted a big round for the Kohawks' All-Americans. Each won their first matches, allowing Ethan Ball (174), Ryan Sheldon (184) and 197-pounder Donnie Horner to advance to the top six of their respective weights. Boyer was looking for bonus points to help Coe's chances for a team trophy. The Kohawks moved into fourth in the team standings by the end of the third-round consolation and semifinal matches.
"I locked up the cradle and I knew we needed the team points so we can come home with a team trophy so everyone can be happy," Boyer said. "The whole team has worked hard all year to be a top team in the nation and I'm doing all I can to help us get to that level."
Boyer gives Coe at least one national finalist in each of the last five seasons and representation in six of the last seven. He will look to become the Kohawks first champion since current Coe assistant Clayton Rush won his second straight title in 2011. He faces two-time NCAA champion and top-seeded Nazar Kulchytskyy in the championship match. They have not wrestled this season."It's just one match," Boyer said. "It's another opponent, another human being and another person I have to beat."