The Midlands Championships have long been an important part of the Iowa wrestling program.
No team has won more team Midlands titles than the Hawkeyes, who have 26 titles to their name. The Midlands Hall of Fame is littered with Iowa names, as is the list of wrestlers who have taken individual titles.
More recently, however, it’s been a measuring stick for the team at a midway point in the season. It’s a time for Tom Brands to really settle on his lineups and see how his guys do against the best weekend of competition they’ll see until the Big Ten Championships.
It also serves another purpose as well. Wrestlers can compete unattached, giving a glimpse at some of the guys that might redshirt.
For Iowa, that means the first real competition for Spencer Lee as well as a chance to see Pat Lugo for the first time he transferred in.
It looks like the Hawkeyes are sending 19 athletes to the tournament, which will be held in Hoffman Estates’ Sears Centre Arena. Midlands is usually held in Welsh-Ryan Arena, but due to some *much* needed updates, it’ll be held off Northwestern’s campus this season.
Anyways, here are the wrestlers who will likely see time on the mat this weekend.
Brandon Sorensen is going for his third straight Midlands title and his 22-2 record in the tournament is among the best in Iowa history.
It’ll also be great to see Alex Marinelli and Aaron Costello at this tournament. It’ll be Costello’s first time out, while Marinelli is coming off a fourth place finish last season. Cash Wilke will really have a chance to prove his stuff and it would be nice to see Sam Stoll grab a title as well.
This year’s competition is pretty strong, with some really solid teams sending wrestlers to Chicago. With the Southern Scuffle being held next week and no teams really wanting to go full out at both, you don’t get all the top competition in one place.
That said, it’s interesting both Penn State and Minnesota are sending a few of their guys to the Midlands. Certainly not something they’ve always done in the past.
- Pat Downey said on Twitter that he won’t be at Midlands, as did Isaiah Martinez, who is apparently sick with the flu
- Here are the brackets for Session 1 of the tournament
- Only 11 Hawkeyes have won three or more titles and Sorensen can make that 12 this weekend.
- FloWrestling breaks down the brackets weight-by-weight right here.
- Big Ten and FloWrestling will both have coverage of the event, but either choice is going to cost you.
- Thinking about heading to the tournament? Get your tickets right here.
- Oh and lookie here, another stroll with Sam Stoll.