Six Panthers Wrestlers earned a top 12 seed at the prestigious 51st annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships set for Sunday and Monday.
More than 150 contenders from more than 40 schools will compete starting at 9:30 a.m. There will be an assortment of national champions and national powers from Division I, II, III and NAIA programs wrestling in this historic event at Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena.
UNI returns one medalist from last year. Joey Lazor was seventh. The team is looking to improve on its 13th-place finish.
The championship finals will be televised live on Big Ten Network at 8 p.m. CT Monday.
Peters faces a pool of wrestlers that includes two wrestlers he has beaten, and three who have beaten him.
He fought off Camden Eppert of Purdue in a one-point decision at the last year’s UNI Open. Also in the 125-pound field is Ryan Taylor of Wisconsin, who lost by fall to Peters in 1 minute, 50 seconds at the Panthers’ first home dual.
Seeded ahead of Peters are Cory Clark and Thomas Gilman, both of Iowa. Gilman handed Peters three of his five losses last year when Peters wrestled unattached. He also lost by decision one time to Clark. Peters’ fifth loss of the season came to Jared Germaine of Eastern Michigan, who is seeded 12th.
Redshirt freshman Dylan Peters leads the team in pins. His first nine wins were all by fall. His 10th pin was his fastest of the season – 19 seconds. He lost just one match in high school and was a three-time state champion.
1. Jesse Delgado, Illinois (#1)
2. Jarrod Garnett, Bison Wrestling Club
3. Cory Clark, Iowa (#4)
4. Thomas Gilman, Iowa
5. Dylan Peters, Northern Iowa (#7)
6. Ryan Taylor, Wisconsin (#13)
7. Robert Deutsch, Rider (#20)
8. Kory Mines, Edinboro
9. Conor Youtsey, Michigan
10. Jared Germaine, Eastern Michigan
11. Jerry Huff, Adams State (#1 – Division II)
12. Camden Eppert, Purdue
Mike Fuenffinger, Augsburg College (#3 – Division III)
133 – No. 7 Joe Colon – 4th seed (senior)
Colon has beaten three wrestlers in the 133-pound pool. Last season, Colon wrestled unattached at the UNI Open and beat out seventh seed Zane Richards of Illinois in a 7-4 decision to win the title. Tyler Graff was the first ranked opponent Colon beat this season. He won in a 6-0 decision. En route to his third-place finish at this year’s Cliff Keen invite, Colon beat CSU Bakersfield’s Jose Mendoza in an 8-1 decision.
Nine of Colon’s 12 wins this season have been bonus point wins. He was an NCAA national qualifier two years ago. He has just one loss on the season so far.
Levi Wolfensperger (junior)
Wolfensperger is a returning NCAA national qualifier. He was one round from earning an all-American status last season. He was fourth at the Cliff Keen Invite last year. With 10 falls so far this season, Wolfensperger and Peters lead the team in most pins. One of his four losses this season is to teammate Colon. He has earned bonus points in 12 of his 14 wins.
1. AJ Schopp, Edinboro (#1)
2. Tony Ramos, Iowa (#2)
3. Mason Beckman, Lehigh (#4)
4. Joe Colon, Northern Iowa (#7)
5. Tyler Graff, Wisconsin (*8)
6. Alan Waters, Missouri UNATT
7. Geoffrey Alexander, Maryland UNATT
8. Rossi Bruno, Michigan
9. Dom Malone, Northwestern (#19)
10. Devon Lotito, Cal Poly
11. Jose Mendoza, CSU Bakersfield
12. Randy Cruz, Lehigh
141 – No. 14 Joey Lazor – 8th seed (senior)
Lazor will have the opportunity to avenge a loss handed to him early this season. He lost in a 1:12 fall to Todd Preston of Harvard, who is seeded eighth. He beat 11th seed Pat Greco of Northwestern in a 3-2 decision last year. Lazor also handed Jesse Thielke of Wisconsin a major decision loss this year. Thielke is also in the pool.
The returning NCAA national qualifier sports a mullet as a reminder of how it felt to be one round away from being an All-American last year. He has returned as a captain of the team and has earned bonus points in six of his seven wins this year. His only two losses came at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite, where he placed eighth overall.
1. Mitchell Port, Edinboro (#1)
2. Rick Durso, Franklin & Marshall (#5)
3. Adam Krop, Princeton (#15)
4. Shyheim Brown, Maryland (#20)
5. Matt Bystol, Columbia (#16)
6. Laike Gardner, Lehigh (#18)
7. Josh Dziewa, Iowa (#9)
8. Joey Lazor, Northern Iowa (#14)
9. Ethan Raley, Indiana
10. Ryan Fillingame, Adams State (#1 – Division II)
11. Gustavo Martinez, Grand View (#1 – NAIA)
12. Pat Greco, Northwestern
149 – Gunnar Wolfensperger – unseeded (redshirt freshman)
Wolfensperger is 6-5 for the season and was second at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open.
149 – Tyler Patten – unseeded (redshirt freshman)
Patten won the Jim Fox Open earlier this month and has a 13-6 record.
1. Jason Tsirtsis, Northwestern (#2)
2. Darrion Caldwell, RAW 241
3. David Habat, Edinboro (#8)
4. Zach Neibert, Virginia Tech (#12)
5. Eric Grajales, Michigan (#13)
6. Mitch Minotti, Lehigh (#18)
7. Mike Kelly, Iowa
8. Jake Short, Minnesota, UNATT
9. Gabe Morse, Northern Illinois
10. Blake Roulo, George Mason UNATT
11. Brandon Nelson, Purdue
12. Colin Shoeber, Northwestern
157 – Zach Witte – unseeded (redshirt freshman)
Witte is 12-3 this season. He was third at the Joe Parisi Wrestling Open and second at the Jim Fox Open.
1. Derek St. John, Iowa (#1)
2. Nick Brascetta, Virginia Tech UNATT
3. Taylor Walsh, Indiana (#7)
4. Isaac Jordan, Wisconsin (#9)
5. Zach Brunson, Illinois (#15)
6. Andrew Morse, Northern Illinois
7. Markus Scheidel, Columbia
8. John Greisheimer, Edinboro
9. Nazar Kulchyskyy, UW Oshkosh (#1 Division III in 165-pound weight class)
10. Matt Gray, North Dakota State
11. Brandon Zeerip, Eastern Michigan
12. Destin McCauley, Nebraska
165 – No. 14 Cooper Moore – 5th seed (redshirt freshman)
Moore will face a wrestler he lost to by fall and another who has split decisions with him. Moore earned the Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Week award and a spot in the national rankings this season for knocking off Steven Monk of North Dakota State. However, Monk returned the next week to beat him in overtime. Daniel Yates of Michigan gave Moore his only fall of the season, which came at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Moore was UNI’s second highest finisher at the Cliff Keen, placing fourth. He started the season unranked, but hasn’t dropped out of the rankings since he emerged Nov. 19. He became the second Panther to earn MAC Wrestler of the Week honors. He was UNI’s first wrestler to be named WOW this year.
165 – Curt Maas – unseeded – (redshirt freshman)
Maas placed second at the Jim Fox Open and has a 15-6 record.
1. Steven Monk, North Dakota State (#5)
2. Nick Moore, Iowa (#4)
3. Taylor Massa, Michigan UNATT
4. Jackson Morse, Illinois (#10)
5. Cooper Moore, Northern Iowa (#14)
6. Ramon Santiago, Rider (#12)
7. Pierce Harger, Northwestern (#13)
8. Ryan LeBlanc, Indiana
9. Josh Houldsworth, Columbia
10. Chad Lowman, Grand View
174 – No. 18 Cody Caldwell – 5th seed (sophomore)
Caldwell faced Matt Mougin of Northern Illinois in the first round of the Midlands tourney last year, beating him in a 6-3 decision. Caldwell has beaten two other 174-pound wrestlers in this year’s field. He has won two decisions against Wisconsin’s Scott Liegel, one this year and one last season. He also has split decisions with Hayden Zillmer of Northen Dakota State. Zillmer won in their last meeting. Caldwell lost to CSU Bakersfield’s Bryce Hammond at this year’s Cliff Keen Invite and was pinned by him last year. Caldwell also lost to Northwestern’s Lee Munster last year.
Starting the season with two tech falls, Caldwell defended his title at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open to earn his second championship. Caldwell was a three-time state champion in high school for a team his father coached.
1. Mike Evans, Iowa (#6)
2. Hayden Zillmer, North Dakota State (#17)
3. Elliot Riddick, Lehigh (#20)
4. Bryce Hammond, CSU Bakersfield (#15)
5. Cody Caldwell, Northern Iowa (#18)
7. Dominic Kastl, Cal Poly
6. Tony Dallago, Illinois (#16)
7. Brock Gutches, Southern Oregon (#1 NAIA)
8. Landon Williams, Wartburg College (#1 Division III)
9. Scott Liegel, Wisconsin
10. Jimmie Schuessler, Grand View
11. Jake Residori, Southern Illinois
12. Zach Epperly, Virginia Tech
Dan Schiferl, UW-Oshkosh (#6 Division III)
184 – Kyle Lux – unseeded (sophomore)
1. Ethen Lofthouse, Iowa (#2)
2. Jimmy Sheptock, Maryland (#3)
3. Nate Brown, Lehigh UNATT
4. Vic Avery, Edinboro (#10)
5. Ophir Bernstein, Brown (#14)
6. Jackson Hein, Wisconsin
7. Sam Brooks, Iowa
8. Phillip Joseph, Eastern Michigan
9. Nikko Reyes, Illinois
10. Lucas Sheridan, Indiana (#20)
11. Kurtis Julson, North Dakota State
12. Mitchell Sliga, Northwestern
197 – Basil Minto – unseeded (junior)
Minto has placed fifth at the NJCAA national meet two times. He is undefeated in duals this season and won the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open.
197 – Jared Bartel – unseeded (redshirt freshman)
Three of Bartel’s wins have come by fall. He has just two losses so far this season, with one of them coming to teammate Minto.
1. Mario Gonzalez, Illinois (#7)
2. Christian Boley, Maryland (#11)
3. Nathan Burak, Iowa (#10)
4. Alex Polizzi, Northwestern (#16)
5. Chris Penny, Virginia Tech (#18)
6. Braden Atwood, Purdue (#19)
7. Nick Whitenburg, Eastern Michigan
8. Joe Rau, Minnesota Storm
9. John Bolich, Lehigh
10. Donald McNeil, Rider
11. James Fox, Harvard
12. Shane Siefert, UW Whitewater
285 – Blaize Cabell – unseeded (sophomore)
Cabell is the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open champion. He has a 10-8 record this season.
285 – Cody Krumweide – unseeded (sophomore)
Krumweide won the Jim Fox Open. He has a 9-8 record.
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