Hoffman Estates, IL
All four of South Dakota State's returning national qualifiers advanced to Saturday's semifinals and three other Jackrabbit wrestlers remained in contention in the consolation brackets after impressive performances Friday on the opening day of the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships at Sears Centre Arena.
The Jackrabbits' strong showing in Friday's evening session vaulted them four spots in the team standings to fourth place with 64 points. Iowa leads with 91 points, followed by Arizona State (75) and Rutgers (74). Central Michigan is fifth with 61 points.
Leading SDSU was returning All-American Seth Gross
at 133 pounds. The junior from Apple Valley was dominant throughout the day, posting a 4-0 record on the strength of three technical falls and a pin. The top-ranked Gross went 3-0 during the morning session before defeating Arizona State's Ali Naser for the second time this season by technical fall, 16-0, in the evening session.
Gross will square off against fourth-seeded Dylan Duncan of Illinois in semifinal action at noon Saturday.
Third-seeded Luke Zilverberg
punched his ticket to the 157-pound semifinals with a 3-0 mark Friday. A senior from Belle Plaine, Minnesota, Zilverberg opened the tournament with an 11-4 decision over Purdue's Cole Wysocki, then survived a scare from Nebraska's Luke Weber by notching a 6-4 sudden victory in the Round of 16. Zilverberg delivered a dominant performance in his quarterfinal match, blanking Princeton's Mike D'Angelo, 5-0.
Zilverberg moved into 24th place on the SDSU career victories list Friday, ending the day with 84 wins. He will meet second-seeded Joshua Shields of Arizona State in the semifinal round.
At 174 pounds, third-seeded David Kocer
posted three convincing victories to roll into Saturday's semifinal clash against seventh-seeded Dylan Lydy of Purdue. A senior from Wagner, Kocer outscored his first two opponents by a combined 32-1 in a pair of technical falls before recording an 11-3 major decision over Northwestern's Johnny Sebastian in the evening session.
Kocer upped his career victory total to 92, tying him with Josh Sammons (1994-97) for 17th place in program history.
Also moving into the SDSU top 25 for career wins on Friday was senior 197-pounder Nate Rotert
. The top-seeded wrestler from Spearfish, Rotert kept his bid alive for a second consecutive championship appearance at the Midlands with three wins by decision to move into a three-way tie for 25th place in program history with Pat Timm (1994-98) and Jason Stripling (2004-09) with 82 victories. Rotert avenged a loss last season in dual competition to Purdue's Christian Brunner by posting a 6-4 victory Friday night.
Rotert is scheduled to wrestle fifth-seeded Frank Mattiace of Penn in semifinal action.
Remaining alive in the wrestlebacks were a trio of Jackrabbits, including freshman 125-pounder Connor Brown
. After dropping a one-point decision in his opening-round match, Brown reeled off four consecutive victories to advance to Saturday competition. Brown and Old Dominion's Michael McGee entered the third period of their final bout of the night tied at 8, but Brown came through with his fourth reversal of the match and followed with a four-point near-fall to secure a 14-8 decision.
Brown, seeded 16th, is scheduled to square off against sixth-seeded Luke Welch of Purdue when action resumes Saturday.
Also moving on to Saturday competition were 165-pounder Logan Peterson
and Martin Mueller
at 184 pounds. Peterson pinned Oregon State's Billy Bigelow in the second period of his first match Friday night, then claimed a 4-3 decision over Northwestern's Michael Sepke with a late penalty point for stalling.
Peterson will meet seventh-seeded Jonathan Viruet of Brown in the consolation quarterfinals.
Mueller, meanwhile, rebounded from a second-round loss by fall to post two 14-6 major decisions during the evening session. Seeded 10th, Mueller will meet 12th-seeded Mitch Bowman of Iowa Saturday afternoon.
The Midlands Championships will wrap up with placing matches starting at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Following are SDSU's complete results from Day 1 of the 55th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships: 125: Connor Brown, Fr., Oak Grove, Mo. [seeded 16th]
• lost by dec. to Justin Stickley (Iowa), 5-4
• dec. Drew West (Northern Illinois-unattached), 10-3
• dec. Brandon Cray (Maryland), 6-2
• major dec. Johnny Jimenez (Wisconsin), 10-2
• dec. Michael McGee (Old Dominion), 14-8 133: #1 Seth Gross, Jr., Apple Valley, Minn. [seeded first]
• tech. fall Dan Moran (Lehigh-unattached), 18-3 [5:46]
• def. Trevor Tarsi (Harvard), by fall 4:35
• tech. fall Garrett Pepple (Indiana), 18-3
• tech. fall Ali Naser (Arizona State), 16-0
141: Isaac Andrade, Sr., Redding, Calif.
• lost by dec. to Cole Weaver (Indiana), 3-0
• def. Christopher Poland (Eastern Michigan), by fall 1:52
• lost by dec. to Alexander Jaffe (Harvard), 8-1 Andrade eliminated [1-2 record]
141: Henry Pohlmeyer, So., Johnston, Iowa [seeded 13th]
• major dec. Jimmy Hoffman (Lehigh-unattached), 11-1
• lost by dec. to #13 Tyler Smith (Bucknell), 9-3
• lost by fall to Jack Hathaway (Oregon State), 1:45 Pohlmeyer eliminated [1-2 record]
149: Colten Carlson, R-Fr., Willmar, Minn.
• lost by dec to Nicholas Palumbo (Buffalo), 7-6
• lost by major dec. to Malik Amine (Michigan), 14-4 Carlson eliminated [0-2 record]
157: #11 Luke Zilverberg, Sr., Belle Plaine, Minn. [seeded third]
• dec. Cole Wysocki (Purdue), 11-4
• dec. Luke Weber (Nebraska), 6-4 [SV-1]
• dec. Mike D'Angelo (Princeton), 5-0
165: Brett Bye, So., Vermillion, S.D.
• lost by major dec. to #13 Richie Lewis (Rutgers), 15-7
• lost by dec. to Michael Sepke (Northwestern), 6-4 Bye eliminated [0-2 record]
165: Logan Peterson, Jr., Lake Lillian, Minn.
• dec. Noah Grover (Buffalo), 9-4
• lost by major dec. to Jon Scheifler (Princeton), 14-5
• def. Billy Bigelow (Oregon State), by fall 4:51
• dec. Michael Sepke (Northwestern), 4-3
174: #9 David Kocer, Sr., Wagner, S.D. [seeded third]
• tech. fall Jared Leidich (Eastern Michigan), 16-0
• tech. fall Myles Terry (Oregon State), 16-1
• major dec. Johnny Sebastian (Northwestern), 11-3
184: Martin Mueller, So., Rapid City, S.D. [seeded 10th]
• dec. Norman Conley (Indiana), 4-2
• lost by fall to Dylan Ammerman (Lehigh), 2:50
• major dec. Michael Aldrich (Northern Illinois), 14-6
• major dec. Greg Bulsak (Clarion), 14-6
184: Brady Ayers, Sr., Waterville, Minn.
• dec. Niko Cappello (Maryland), 5-0
• lost by major dec. to #15 Jordan Ellingwood (Central Michigan), 10-1
• lost by dec. to Anthony Mancini (Franklin & Marshall-unattached), 3-2 Ayers eliminated [1-2 record]
197: #6 Nate Rotert, Sr., Spearfish, S.D. [seeded first]
• dec. Matt Wroblewski (Illinois), 8-3
• dec. Regis Durbin (Northwestern), 6-1
• dec. Christian Brunner (Purdue), 6-4
285: Alex Macki, Sr., Cambridge, Iowa [seeded 14th]
• lost by dec. to Ben Stone (Wisconsin), 9-4
• lost by major dec. to Gannon Gremmel (Iowa State), 11-3 Macki eliminated [0-2 record]
285: Blake Wolters, R-Fr., Pipestone, Minn.
• lost by fall to #15 Shawn Streck (Purdue, 1:29
• lost by fall to #19 Matt Stencel (Central Michigan), 0:27 Wolters eliminated [0-2 record]
Note: Individual rankings by FloWrestling
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