EVANSTON, Ill. -- UW-Parkside completed Day 1 of competition at the 49th Annual Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern, facing many of the nation's top grapplers at all levels.

And once again Luke Rynish has put himself in the conversation for the best at 174 pounds. He remains in the championship bracket after three victories on Thursday as the weight class' No. 9 seed. He opened competion with a 9-3 decision against Monte Schmalhaus from Utah Valley and then advanced to the quarterfinals with a 12-10 win against No. 8 seed Phillip Joseph from Eastern Michigan.

That set-up a showdown with top-seeded Chris Spangler from Iowa State. The two combatants went at each other through two sudden victory periods and two tiebreakers with the score knotted at 1-1.

Spangler received an injury timeout after set one of the second tiebreaker before the trainer would not allow him to continue. That ended the match by default, sending Rynish to the semifinals.

Midlands Championship Team Standings
Rank Team Points
1 Iowa 79.5
2 Northwestern 71.0
3 Oklahoma 69.0
4 Edinboro 56.0
5 Illinois 47.5
• Full standings/brackets: Session I  |  Session II

There he will take on Lee Munster from Northwestern, the No. 5 seed. If Rynish wins, he'll advance to the championship match, which will air Friday night on tape delay on the Big Ten Network beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET.

James Malechek was the other Ranger to come up with multiple victories, going 2-2 before being eliminated Thursday evening. He lost a tough 5-3 decision in his first match against the No. 2 seed at 285 pounds Peter Sturgeon from Central Michigan.

Malechek then responded with a pair of wins in the wrestleback. He defeated David Box from Eastern Michigan 7-1 and Wes Schroeder, also from Eastern Michigan, 1-0. Malechek fell 6-0 in his final match.

Collin Crume got  Parkside's other win, going 1-2 on the day at 133 pounds. He beat RJ Hallman from Iowa State 10-7 in the consolation round before falling to Jimmy Morris of Rider.

Davien Willis went 0-2 as he lost in a sudden victory round against a wrestler from Penn and in the wrestleback to Stanford.

Arik Yde, Aaron Heidersheid and Matthew Gille also went 0-2 against primarily Division I competition.