Iowa State in Second with Four Midlands Finalists
EVANSTON, Ill. – Iowa State has four participants in tonight’s finals of the Midlands Championships in Welsh-Ryan Arena on the campus of Northwestern. ISU is in second place with 139.5 points. Iowa leads with a 154.5-point total. Central Michigan trails in third with 114 points. The final session of the 2009 Midlands Championships begins at 7 p.m. tonight and is being broadcast on the Big Ten Network Sunday on tape delay at 6 p.m.
ISU’s Jon Reader has turned the tide against his archrival, Ryan Morningstar of Iowa. The ISU 165-pound two-time All-American has won the last two matchups against the Hawkeye with his latest victory coming in the Midlands semifinals by decision, 3-2. Reader, the No. 2 seed, will face top-seeded Andrew Howe of Wisconsin in tonight’s Midlands Championships finals. The Cyclone defeated the Badger 7-5 in their only meeting last year in the semifinals of the 2008 Midlands.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Long provided a big Cyclone victory with a pin of the top 125-pound seed, Brandon Precin (Northwestern-Unatt.). Long, the fourth-seed, controlled the first period to a 2-0 score advantage and then turned Precin to record the fall at 4:09. Long will face Iowa’s Matt McDonough in tonight’s Midlands finals. The Iowa Stater will look to avenge a 13-7 loss that occurred at the Dec. 6 ISU-Iowa dual.
Iowa State’s Jake Varner advanced to his third-straight Midlands finals after controlling Iowa’s Chad Beatty to a 4-1 decision. Varner pushed the action against the defensively minded Hawkeye. ISU’s three-time NCAA finalist will take on post-collegiate competitor Wynn Michalak (Chippewa WC) in the 197-pound finals match.
Cyclone heavyweight David Zabriskie is used to winning close matches, and his semifinal bout with Lehigh’s Zak Rey was no exception. Zabriskie, a two-time All-American and the No. 3 seed, needed overtime to defeat the second-seeded Rey and prevailed by decision, 3-2 (TB1). Zabriskie will square off with Central Michigan’s eighth-seeded Jarod Trice in the Midlands heavyweight final.
The Cyclone waging the toughest battle of all may be senior 149-pounder Mitch Mueller. The Iowa City, Iowa native has won three-straight consolation matches after falling in the Midlands quarterfinals. Mueller, seeded seventh, will wrestle for third-place against Bucknell’s No. 4 Kevin LeValley.
ISU senior Nick Fanthorpe, the top-seed at 133 pounds fell to the consolation bracket after a 5-4 semifinals loss to No. 4 Tyler Graff of Wisconsin. Fanthorpe was edged again by seventh-seed Matt Fisk of Lehigh, 2-1. Fanthorpe will face off with Iowa’s Nate Moore in the 133-pound fifth-place match.
No. 5 Duke Burk is set to face No. 6 Dorian Henderson of Missouri in the fifth-place match at 174 pounds. Burk fell from the semifinals after dropping a decision to top-seed Jay Borschel of Iowa, 9-3.
Cyclone sophomore Jerome Ward placed seventh at 184 pounds after receiving a medical forfeit. Ward fought back in consolation action to place, including a decision of No. 6 seed, Mike Miller of Central Michigan, 5-4.
Click the video slideout tab in the above photo to access full results (.PDF) from session three. Follow along with the Midlands Championships Finals with Live Stats on cyclones.com here.
47th Midlands Championships Finals
125 pounds – No. 4 Andrew Long (ISU) vs. No. 3 Matt McDonough (Iowa)
165 pounds – No. 2 Jon Reader (ISU) vs. No. 1 Andrew Howe (Wisconsin)
197 pounds – No. 1 Jake Varner (ISU) vs. No. 3 Wynn Michalak(Chippewa WC)
HWT – No. 3 David Zabriskie (ISU) vs. No. 8 Jarod Trice (Central Michigan)
149 pounds – No. 7 Mitch Mueller (ISU) vs. No. 4 Kevin LeValley (Bucknell)
133 pounds – No. 1 Nick Fanthorpe (ISU) vs. Nate Moore (Iowa)
174 pounds – No. 5 Duke Burk (ISU) vs. No. 6 Dorian Henderson (Missouri)