ISU moves three to semis at Midlands
Lehigh leads after the first day with Wisconsin close behind
Iowa State Athletics
Team Standings | Individual Brackets
EVANSTON, Ill. - Twelfth-ranked Iowa State sent three wrestlers through to the semifinals of the 2010 Midlands Championships after going 9-3 in the second session Wednesday. The Cyclones finished the day in fifth place with 49 points, despite leaving several starters at home. Tenth-ranked Lehigh led the team scoring with 65 points after Day One. Wisconsin, ranked No. 4 in the most recent NWCA poll, was second with 58.5 points, followed by sixth-ranked Iowa (52.5), No. 21 Pittsburgh (49.5) and the Cyclones.
Iowa State seniors Jon Reader (174) and Chris Drouin (141) along with sophomore Chris Spangler (165) will be looking for another victory to reach the finals on Thursday. In addition, Nate Carr Jr., Michael Moreno and Matt Gibson are still alive as they each look to wrestle all the way to third place on the bottom of the bracket.
Drouin got revenge against Mark Ballweg of Iowa for his dual loss on Dec. 3 with a 5-3 victory in overtime of their 141-pound bout. Drouin found himself down 3-1 deep into the third period but scored a late takedown and then grabbed the decisive takedown in overtime to defeat the Hawkeye grappler. Drouin will wrestle top-seeded Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois in his semifinal match.
Reader earned his 14th bonus-point victory in 16 matches on Wednesday. The Cyclone senior racked up more than five minutes of riding time in an 11-2 major decision over Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse at 174 pounds. Reader will wrestle fourth-seeded Mike Letts of Maryland in the semifinals.
Spangler hit yet another last-second takedown to defeat Ethan Headlee of Pittsburgh at 165 pounds and move into the semifinals Thursday. Spangler won 3-2 and will face 2009 national champion Jordan Burroughs of Nebraska in the semis.
“I really wanted to dominate a little more than I did,” Spangler said. “But I managed to get wins in two difficult situations, which means a lot because coach Jackson preaches to us to do whatever it takes to get the victory, and I feel like that is what I did.”
Also in the late action Wednesday, Carr Jr. found himself in a difficult match with Minnesota freshman Dylan Ness in the 149-pound weight class. Ness, who is the younger brother of 2010 Hodge Trophy recipient and national champion Jayson Ness, just managed to out-scramble Carr en route to a 4-2 decision for the Golden Gopher.
Matt Gibson earned a tough 7-4 victory against David Wade of Eastern Michigan. Gibson was down early to Wisconsin’s Eric Bugenhagen before locking up a cradle and earning the pin at the 2:17 mark.
Michael Moreno rode tough en route to a pin over Robert Nash of Michigan State. Moreno then scored a takedown in the sudden victory period to beat Trevor Hall of Cal St. Bakersfield by a score of 6-4. The true freshman is only one victory away from becoming a Midlands placewinner.
Cole Shafer notched an impressive victory on the bottom side of the bracket at 184 pounds by pinning Michigan State’s eighth-seeded Ian Hinton with only one minute remaining. Shafer then jumped out to an early lead over Ryan Loder of UNI, but could not hold on as Loder staged a furious comeback to win 8-6 in overtime.
Kyle Simonson racked up the riding time in a 4-0 victory over Marty Smith of Illinois before Mike McClure of Michigan State caught him in a cradle and ended the consolation match with just 40 seconds left.