Missouri takes title behind depth
Wisconsin paces field with four in finals with two champions
Final Team Standings | Complete Brackets | Individual Summary
EVANSTON, Ill. -- For the first time in program history, Missouri won the Midlands Championships team title as the Tigers finished with 103.5 points to top Wisconsin (95.5), Lehigh (93.0) and Iowa (91.0). Missouri won the title after finishing third in 2008 and fourth in 2009.
The Tigers entered the final day in sixth place but had more wrestlers (8) remaining alive in championship or consolation brackets than any other team in the tournament. Going into the championship session, Missouri had moved up to first place, holding a 13-point edge over second-place Wisconsin while still having five grapplers alive in the wrestlebacks.
Mizzou ended up placing six wrestlers overall with freshman Alan Waters leading the way with a third-place finish at 125 pounds. Redshirt freshman Zach Toal (165), sophomore Mike Larson (184) and sophomore Brent Haynes (197) each finished fourth. Senior Todd Schavrien placed fifth at 141 pounds, while junior Patrick Wright took eighth at 174.
After suffering his first career collegiate loss on Wednesday, Waters bounced back with four wins to take third place. The Kansas City, Mo., native didn’t give up a point in his first three matches Thursday, winning 10-0, 3-0 and 2-0 to advance to the third-place match. Waters faced Stanford’s Ryan Mango, who eliminated Waters from the championship bracket a day earlier. Waters bounced back this time, edging Mango by a 3-2 decision.
Toal entered Thursday as the lone Tiger remaining in the championship round. After falling to top-seeded Andrew Howe, Toal won his first wrestleback match over Aaron Janssen of Iowa, besting the Hawkeye by an 8-6 score in overtime. Toal fell to Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma in the third-place match.
Larson came out and won his first three matches on Thursday to advance to the third-place match. Opening with No. 6 seed Eric Schmidtke of Oklahoma, Larson pulled out a 2-1 decision. He then faced Nebraska’s James Nakashima, besting his Big 12 opponent, 6-1. Larson was then faced Grant Gambrall of Iowa, the No. 1 seed at 184 pounds, and pulled out a win, earning a 3-2 decision. The win set Larson up with Robert Hamlin of Lehigh, the No. 2 seed, in the third-place match. Hamlin, who beat Larson Thursday, bested the sophomore again, winning 4-0.
Haynes opened action on Thursday with a 9-6 win over ninth-seeded Jay Hahn of Bucknell, and followed with two bonus point victories to advance to the third-place bout. Haynes scored a technical fall on Michigan State’s Tyler Dickenson 16-0 and then pinned No. 3 Joe Kennedy of Lehigh in 1:34, setting up a match with No. 1 seed Zac Thomusseit of Pittsburgh. Thomusseit edge Haynes 6-5 to hand Haynes fourth place.
Schavrien came out and scored two major decision victories in his first two matches on Thursday, as he defeated ninth-seeded Trevor Melde of Rutgers 13-2 and Steve Dutton of Lehigh 10-2. After falling 3-2 to fifth-seeded Chris Drouin of Iowa State, Schavrien secured his third major of the day by beating No. 4-seed Mark Ballweg of Iowa in dominating fashion in the fifth-place match, winning 14-2.
After going 4-1 on Wednesday, Wright came into Thursday needing to win his next match to guarantee a spot in the top-eight. Wright opened with a 4-0 victory over Pitt’s Adam Counterman, but fell to ninth seeded Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) in his next match. In the seventh-place match, Wright was edged by Rutgers’ Alex Caruso, the No. 6 seed at 174, 3-1.