2015 Midlands Championships
Date: Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30
Time: Tuesday -- Session I (9:30 AM CT) | Session II (7 PM CT) Wednesday -- Session III (12 PM CT)
Location: Welsh-Ryan Arena
TV/Streaming: BTN2Go (all sessions); BTN (Session IV only -- 8 PM CT Wednesday)
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (free); Hawkeye All-Access ($)
Twitter: @IowaWRLive, @IAWrestle
Links to all mats are available right here.
125: #1 Thomas Gilman vs UN Steve Simpson (Old Dominion)
133: #1 Cory Clark vs UN Nicolas Colunga (North Dakota)
133: UN Paul Glynn (unattached) vs #3 Geoffrey Alexander (Maryland)
141: UN Topher Carton vs #10 Paul Kirchner (Rider)
141: UN Vince Turk (unattached) vs UN Cole Martin (Wisconsin-unattached)
149: #1 Brandon Sorensen vs UN Jake Deangelo (North Carolina)
149: UN Michael Kemerer (unattached) vs #11 Clayton Ream (North Dakota)
157: #7 Edwin Cooper vs UN Logan Peterson (South Dakota)
165: UN Patrick Rhoads vs #12 Joe Brewster (South Dakota-unattached)
174: #1 Alex Meyer vs UN Blake Thompson (North Dakota State)
184: #4 Sammy Brooks vs UN Danny Hicks (Illinois)
184: UN Cash Wilcke (unattached) vs #2 Jack Dechow (Old Dominion)
197: #1 Nathan Burak vs UN Garrett Wesneski (Maryland)
197: UN Steven Holloway (unattached) vs #3 Nate Rotert (South Dakota)
285: #4 Sam Stoll vs UN Chace Eskom (Arizona State) or Daniel Stibral (???-unattached)
Full bracket available here.
Quick thoughts on each weight...
125: As expected, this weight should be a pretty easy bracket for Gilman. On the top half of the bracket, the most interesting opponents for Gilman are 4-seed Kris Williams (an unattached wrestler from Nebraska (a Top 50 recruit last year), 5-seed Josh Rodriguez (#16) from Air Force, and unseeded Nathan Boston from Iowa State, a talented wrestler who's battled injury problems in recent years. On the bottom half of the bracket, the most interesting opponents are 2-seed Ronnie Rios (aka, Ronnie Bresser) (#6) from Oregon State and 3-seed Tim Lambert (#10) from Nebraska. Hopefully Rios makes it to the finals; Gilman is likely to see Lambert at the Iowa-Nebraska dual next month and possibly again at the Big Ten Tournament.
PREDICTION: Gilman over Rios
133: Very disappointing news here that Oklahoma's Cody Brewer won't be in attendance after all, denying us a possible Brewer-Clark rematch (they squared off in last year's NCAA finals; Brewer won). Without Brewer, there isn't a lot of intrigue at this weight. On Clark's half of the bracket, the top names are 4-seed Eric Montoya (#14) from Nebraska and 5-seed Mason Beckman (#17) from Lehigh. The main names on the bottom half of the bracket are 2-seed Earl Hall (#5) from Iowa State and 3-seed Geoff Alexander (#13) from Maryland.
PREDICTION: Clark over Hall
141: Disappointing news out of this weight, too -- Brody Grothus will not be in action. It looks like we'll have to wait a little bit longer to see him make his debut at 141. Iowa has two wrestlers going at this weight, Topher Carton and true freshman Vince Turk (who will be wrestling unattached to preserve his redshirt). Carton faces 10-seed Paul Kirchner (unranked) from Rider in the first round; if he gets by Kirchner, he'll see either John Meeks (Iowa State) or Joe Moita (Columbia) in the next round. Beyond that, he could get 7-seed Steve Bleise (#20) from Northern Illinois. Past that he's looking at a likely quarterfinal matchup with 2-seed Kevin Jack (#5) from NC State. Turk faces a fellow unattached wrestler in the first round, Cole Martin from Wisocnsin; if he gets by him, he'll face 4-seed Andrew Long -- and, yes, that is the same Andrew Long who wrestled for Iowa State and Penn State many moons ago. (How long ago? Long was the opponent Matt McDonough beat for an NCAA title... in his freshman season.)
PREDICTION: Ashnault over Mecate
149: Soresnen got the top spot at 149; the most interesting names on his half of the bracket are 4-seed Jake Sueflohn (#7) from Nebraska and 5-seed B.J. Clagon (#14) from Rider. Since Sorensen will have other opportunities to wrestle Sueflohn later this year, I'm hoping he gets Clagon in the semis. The other half of the bracket has 2-seed Jason Tsirtsis (#3) from Northwestern and 3-seed Alexander Richardson (#4) from Old Dominion -- rooting pretty hard for Sorensen to see Richardson in the finals there. That said, if he doesn't see Richardson in the finals because Iowa freshman stud Michael Kemerer beat him earlier in the bracket, well, that would be OK, too. Kemerer faces 11-seed Clayton Ream (unranked) from North Dakota in the first round, but could see Richardson in the quarterfinals.
PREDICTION: Tsirtsis over Sorensen
157: Cooper earned the 7-seed and will face unseeded Logan Peterson from South Dakota in the first round, with a potentially tricky second round match against unseeded (but #19-ranked) Doug Welch from Purdue in the second round. 10-seed John Van Brill (unranked) from Rutgers could be waiting in the round after that.
PREDICTION: Gantt over Pack
165: Patrick Rhoads gets the call for Iowa here, but he did not earn a seed. He'll face 12-seed Joe Brewster, an unattached wrestler from South Dakota, in the first round and he could see 5-seed Cooper Moore (#12) from UNI in the round after that. Rhoads is unlikely to get past both of those opponents, based on this year's results.
PREDICTION: Wilson over Weatherman
174: On the top half of the bracket, the most interesting opponents for 1-seed Alex Meyer are 4-seed Lelund Weatherspoon (#15) from Iowa State and 5-seed Matt Reed (#16) from Oklahoma. Meyer beat Weatherspoon via 7-1 decision a month ago. On the bottom half of the bracket, 2-seed Jonathan Schleifer (#13) from Princeton and 3-seed Cody Walters (#9) from Ohio are the main threats. This is a very winnable bracket for Meyer, though.
PREDICTION: Meyer over Walters
184: This is probably the most intriguing bracket in the tournament. The return of former Penn State superstar David Taylor to folkstyle wrestling is exciting, but it comes as a definite cost to Iowa's Sammy Brooks. Taylor earned the top seed at this weight, which pushed Brooks down to the 4-seed -- and set up a potential semfinal showdown between them. Before that match, the most interesting matchup for Brooks on the top half of the bracket is a possible quarterfinal meeting with 5-seed Hayden Zillmer (#12) from North Dakota State. In the bottom half of the bracket, the top names are 2-seed Jack Dechow (#3) from Old Dominion and 3-seed T.J. Dudley (#8) from Nebraska. It's frustrating that Brooks may not get a chance to wrestle Dechow at this event. Unattached Iowa true freshman Cash Wilcke has the misfortune of facing Dechow in the first round.
PREDICTION: Taylor over Dechow
197: Burak was the sixth (and final) Hawkeye to earn a 1-seed in the event, with the most interesting names on the top half of the bracket being 4-seed Brett Harner (#13) from Princeton and 5-seed Aaron Studebaker (#16) from Nebraska. On the bottom half of the bracket, the top threats are 2-seed Reuben Franklin (#6) from CSU Bakersfield and 3-seed Nate Rotert (#12) from South Dakota State. Unattached Iowa true freshman Steven Holloway gets Rotert in his first match of the tournament.
PREDICTION: Burak over Franklin
285: Sam Stoll earned a 4-seed and could face a big showdown with 1-seed Nick Gwiazdowski (#1) from NC State in the semifinals. Stoll will probably have to defeat 5-seed Billy Smith (#9) from Rutgers in the quarterfinals. Stoll beat Smith via 3-1 decision in overtime earlier this month. The other half of the bracket features 2-seed Amarveer Dhesi (#5) from Oregon State and 3-seed Blaize Cabell (#7) from UNI, but they're likely just fighting for the right to get beat by Gwiaz in the finals.
PREDICTION Gwiaz over Dhesi
NOTE: Feel free to post results in the comments below. Unlike past years, I won't be able to provide regular updates throughout the tournament for results from Iowa wrestlers.
The usual rules apply.