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Making History: Missouri Wins Midlands Team Title For First Time in School History
Tiger place sixth to finish ahead of Wisconsin, Lehigh and Iowa
2010 Midlands: Top 10 Team Standings
1. Missouri – 103.5
2. Wisconsin – 95.5
3. Lehigh – 93.0
4. Iowa – 91.0
5. Pittsburgh – 92.5
6. Oklahoma – 92.0
7. Central Michigan – 72.5
8. Iowa State – 63.5
9. Nebraska – 63.0
10. Illinois – 60.5
COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the first time in program history, the Missouri wrestling team has won the Midlands Championships team title, as the Tigers finished the tournament with 103.5 points to beat out Wisconsin (95.5), Lehigh (93.0) and Iowa (91.0). Missouri wins the Midlands title after finishing third in 2008 and fourth in 2009.
The Tigers entered the day in sixth place but had more wrestlers remaining than any other team in the tournament with eight. Going into the championship session Thursday night, Missouri had moved up to first place, holding a 13 point edge over second place Wisconsin with five grapplers still 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 took fifth at 141, while junior Patrick Wright took eighth at 174.
After suffering his first career collegiate loss yesterday, Waters bounced back with four impressive wins to take third place. The Kansas City, Mo., native didn’t give up a point in his first three matches on Thursday, winning 10-0, 3-0 and 2-0 to advance to the third place match. Waters matched up against Stanford’s Ryan Mango, who eliminated Waters from the championship bracket yesterday for Waters’ first loss of the year. Waters bounced back this time, however, 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 matched up with Grant Gambrall of Iowa, the No. 1 seed at 184 pounds, and pulled out a big win, beating Gambrall by 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 yesterday, bested the sophomore again, winning 4-0. Larson went up against four Big 12 opponents during the tournament and went 4-0 in those matches.
Haynes opened up action on Thursday with a 9-6 win over ninth seeded Jay Hahn of Bucknell, and followed that up with two bonus point victories to advance to the third place bout. Haynes scored a technical fall on Michigan State’s Tyler Dickenson, winning 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 just barely edge out Haynes, winning 6-5, giving 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 (Iowa State), Schavrien secured his third major of the day, as he beat No. 4 seed Mark Ballweg (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.
The 2010 Midlands champions return to action next weekend with the NWCA National Duals, which take place from Jan. 8-9 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.