ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio wrestling team (0-4) is set to travel to Northwestern University to participate in the 55th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30. 38 teams will be participating in this year's tournament at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
MORE ON MIDLANDS
This year's championships will see almost 40 teams compete. Among the participants include Air Force, Arizona State, Brown, Buffalo, Cal Poly, Central Michigan, Clarion, Columbia, Eastern Michigan, Edinboro, Franklin & Marshall, Harvard, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Lehigh, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Old Dominion, Oregon State, Penn, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Purdue, Rider, Rutgers, South Dakota State, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Three Bobcats have been listed in the top contenders list in his respective weight class. Cameron Kelly, Alec Hagan, and Austin Reese each received recognition in the 133, 141 and 165 weight classes respectively.
In last year's tournament, Ohio saw Shakur Laney and Cameron Kelly place at the 54th Midlands Tournament. Kelly took seventh-place in the 133-division, while Laney captured fifth-place in the 125-class.
Laney took his first two matches of the day over Brock Hudkins of Northern Illinois (8-6 dec.) and No. 11 seed Johnny Jimenez of Wisconsin (7-2 dec.) to reach the consolation semifinals earning a match against American's Josh Terao, the No. 5 seed in the tournament. Laney and Terao went scoreless in the first two periods, but Terao prevailed taking a tight 2-0 win over Laney, the eventual third-place finisher. In the fifth-place match, Laney took on No. 8 seed Lucas Malmberg of Messiah. Laney dominated the bout taking fifth-place in the 125-class with a 9-3 decision.
Kelly pinned Rutgers Tyson Dippery (1:47) in his first match of the day but fell to the No. 4 seed Earl Hall of Iowa State in a 7-3 decision in his second to land in the seventh-place match. In the seventh-place match, Kelly took down Wisconsin's Eli Stickley in a 5-3 decision to place at the tournament at 133-pounds.
LAST TIME OUT
Before the holiday, the Bobcats faced a tough battle against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Monday, Dec. 18 in Chattanooga, Tenn. where Ohio would suffer a 22-19 loss.
Ohio recorded victories in the 133, 149, 157, 174 and Heavy Weight classes.
Junior Cameron Kelly (Bellbrook, Ohio) would earn Ohio's first win on the day over Chattanooga's Jake Huffine. In the first period, Kelly would earn a quick takedown before Huffine earned an escape bringing the score to 2-1 before the second period. Kelly would earn an escape to start the third period followed by a two-point near fall to take the match 5-1 and earn another point for riding time at 6-1.
Redshirt sophomore Kade Kowalski (Nashport, Ohio) would earn a 15-0 technical fall win in seven minutes. The first period would start with a quick takedown by Kowalski followed by a four-point near fall. Before the first period would end, Kowalski earned another two-point near fall to lead 8-0 going into the second. Kowalski would start the second period with an escape followed by a takedown to lead 11-0. Kowalski would earn a point from a stalling call on Debien to lead 12-0 at the end of the second period. In the third period, Kowalski earn a takedown early on. Kowalski would earn the win at 14-0 and added a point for riding time at 15-0.
Redshirt senior Cullen Cummings (Woodridge, Ill.) would earn a 6-4 decision win over Chattanooga's Dylan Forzani. In the first period, Cummings would earn a takedown before Forzani would earn a reversal to tie it up at 2-2 before Cummings earned an escape followed by a takedown to lead 5-2 going into the second period. To start the second, Forzani would earn an escape to bring the match to 5-3 going into the third. In the third period, Cummings would earn an escape to lead 6-3 at the end of the match. Forzani would earn a point for riding time, but it would not be enough for the win, giving Cummings the victory.
Redshirt junior Austin Reese (Urbana, Ohio) would earn an 18-5 major decision win over Chattanooga's Justin Lampe. In the first period, Lampe would earn a takedown followed by a quick reversal by Reese. Reese would then earn a two-point near fall before Lampe would respond with an escape to bring the scores to 4-3 before the second period. Reese would earn a takedown to start the second period, followed by a four-point near fall to lead 10-3 before the third period. In the third period, Lampe would earn a takedown followed by an escape by Reese. Reese would then respond with a takedown followed by a four-point near fall to take the match 17-5 where he would add a point for riding time.
Redshirt junior Zack Parker (Felton, Del.) would earn Ohio's last victory on the day, earning a 15-3 major decision win. In the first period, Parker would earn a takedown early on before Stacey would earn an escape. Parker would then earn another takedown to lead 4-1 going into the second period. The third period would start with a takedown by Parker. Parker would earn a point on a stalling call on Stacey to lead 8-1 before the third period. In the third period, Parker would earn a takedown to start followed by an escape by Stacey to bring the score to 10-2. Parker would quickly earn another takedown before a stalemate was called. Stacey would then earn an escape before Parker earned a final takedown to take the match with a point added for riding time at 15-3.
OHIO IN THE MAC
The Ohio wrestling team was ranked in third place in the MAC December rankings while also landing five wrestlers in the top-4 of their class.
Redshirt freshman Mario Guillen, junior Cameron Kelly (Bellbrook, Ohio), freshman Alec Hagan (Eureka, Ohio), junior Austin Reese and junior Zack Parker each represented Ohio in the top-5 of their weight class for the second month in a row.
The Bobcats will begin 2018 continuing Mid-American Conference competition hosting Eastern Michigan on Friday, Jan. 5. Action is set to begin at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center.