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2010 Midlands Championship Preview

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The 2010 Midlands Championship is upon us and this year’s field is set.

The two-day event takes place at the Welsh-Ryan Arena, home of the Northwestern Wildcats, from Dec. 29-30. The No. 18 Tigers are 8-4 on the year and have won five of their last six duals.

Action gets underway on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. CT with the first session. Day two begins at Noon CT, while the finals will begin at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday evening.

TOM Will be there doing a live blog for all those interested in following the action and chatting it up with other fans.

Schedule of Events
Wednesday, Dec. 29
Session I: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Session II: 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 30
Session III: Noon-3:30 p.m.
Herbert vs. Askren Super Match: 3:30 p.m.
Session IV (championship, third, fifth-place matches): 7:15 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

125

At 125 returning national champion Matt McDonough of Iowa will get his first real tests of the year. We are looking forward to seeing him against some of the best guys in the country. Northwestern’s Brandon Precin is coming off his red shirt and has looked sharp this year. We are also interested in seeing how Alan Waters from Missouri does in this loaded weight. The freshman enters the tournament with a perfect record that will be hard to keep with this field. Also looking to earn top honors is James Nicholson of Old Dominion. He has been solid all year so far and we will know more about where he stands after this event. Also, let’s not forget about Oklahoma’s Jarrod Peterson. He has some big wins already this season and will look to continue that trend this week.

Others to keep an eye on

Ryan Mango, Stanford
Joe Langel, Rutgers
Frank Lomas, Cal-Bakersfield
Anthony Zanetta, Pittsburgh
Ryak Finch, Iowa State (Unattached)
Thomas Williams, American
Derek Reber, Bucknell

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Matt McDonough, IA
2. James Nicholson, Old Dominion
3. Brandon Precin, NW
4. Jarrod Patterson, OU

133

Now this should be an interesting weight. The favorite entering the event is Tyler Graff of Wisconsin. Many think that Graff has a real shot at the top of the podium this spring. Illinois has BJ Futrell who is having a real break out season and could open even more eyes when this one is said and done. Tony Ramos of Iowa will see his first big test in his young career and it will be interesting to see where he fits among the nations best. Filip Novachkov has seen limited action so far this season so it is hard to gage where he is at, but he is dangerous and can not be over looked.

Others to keep an eye on

Kyle Hutter, Old Dominion
Scotti Sentes, Central Michigan
Levi Mele, Northwestern
Justin Paulsen, Stanford
Frank Cagnina, Lehigh
Nate Moore, Iowa
Jimmy Kirchner, Rider
Cashé Quiroga, Purdue

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Tyler Graff, WI
2. Filip Novachkov, Cal Poly
3. Kyle Hutter, Old Dominion
4. Tony Ramos, IA

141

This weight should be a real battle on paper the favorite for us is Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois. He will be looking to bounce back from his loss in Vegas and get thing back on track. Oklahoma’s Zack Bailey should be looked at as a serious contenter as well. One guy we know you never count out of big events is Boris Novachkov. Also, Tyler Nauman of Pitt has not had his best year so far, but we would not be shocked to see him do well here.

Others to keep an eye on

Mark Ballweg, Iowa
Chris Drouin, Iowa State
Todd Schravrien, Missouri
Kaleb Friedley, Northwestern
Elijah Nacita, Cal State Bakersfield
Matt Mariacher, American
Trevor Melde, Rutgers
Kenny Jordan, Adams State

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Jimmy Kennedy, IL
2. Boris Novachkov, Cal Poly
3. Zack Bailey, OU
4. Kaleb Friedley, NW

149

This may be the most wide open weight at the tournament. We really see this as one of those weights anyone could win. Leading the way as a slight favorite may be Bucknell’s Kevin LeValley. He is always solid and with a good tournament he could easily see himself as the champ at this weight. Northwestern’s Andrew Nadhir has been rock solid all season so far and may be on the verge of his breakout year. Corey Jantzen of Harvard has some nice wins so far this year and if he is firing on all cylinders he is a serious threat. Mario Mason of Rutgers has an impressive win over former #2 Molinaro of Penn State and should not be overlooked.

Others to keep an eye on

Ganbayar Sanjaa, American
Eric Terrazas, Illinois
Cole Schmitt, Wisconsin
Nate Carr Jr, Iowa State

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Andrew Nadhir, NW
2. Kevin LeValley, Bucknell
3. Mario Mason, Rutgers
4. Corey Jantzen, Harvard

157

#1 ranked Steve Fittery of American leads the field here. Fittery has been lights out so far and will look to remain that way. Note there is some chatter that he may be out of the event. He may face the same foe he did last year hear in Jake Patacsil (Ptax) who is wrestling unattached. Jason Welch of Northwestern who is coming off a redshirt year last year should be considered a contender as well. Finally we are interested to see Derek St. John of Iowa and see where he fits into the landscape at this weight.

Others to keep an eye on

Walter Peppelman, Harvard
Matt Lester, Oklahoma
James Fleming, Clarion
Bryan Deutsch, Northern Illinois
David Cheza, Michigan State
Darrel Cocozzo, Rutgers
Barrett Abel, Cal Poly
Kyle John, Maryland

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Steve Fittery, American
2. Jake Patacsil, Central WC
3. Jason Welch, NW
4. James Fleming, Clarion

165

Well this is one of two potential Marque match-ups happening this weekend around the country. We have two national champions entered here and I think I can speak for most here by saying we have been waiting for this clash since the start of the season. Last years defending national champ Andrew Howe of Wisconsin has dominated so far this year. But he will get his biggest test of the year with former national champion Jordan Burroughs of Nebraska. This has all the making of an instant classic. Josh Asper of Maryland will look to try and knock off one of the top choices as will Rutgers Scott Winston.

Others to keep an eye on

Zach Toal, Missouri
Andrew Sorenson, Iowa State
Jake Kerr, Iowa
Ryan DesRoches, Cal Poly
Brandon Hatchett, Lehigh
Mike Miller, Central Michigan
Jim Resnick, Rider
Conrad Polz, Illinois

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Jordan Burroughs, NE
2. Andrew Howe, WI
3. Josh Asper, MD
4. Zach Toal, MO

174

This weight is another well balanced weight that could produce any number of results. John Reader of Iowa State is the slight favorite coming into the event. Reader has been rock solid so far this season. Nick Amuchastegui of Standford has been wrestling pretty well and has opened eyes. Look for him to do the same here. Two other guys that should be right in the mix here are Ben Bennett of Central Michigan and Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma.

Others to keep an eye on

Mike Letts, Maryland
Jordan Blanton, Illinois
Dorian Henderson, Missouri
Alex Caruso, Rutgers
Austin Meys, Lehigh
Rob Morrison, Rider
Ben Jordan, Wisconsin
Ethan Lofthouse, Iowa
Caleb Kolb, Nebraska
Brian Roddy, Northwestern

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Nick Amuchastegui, Stanford
2. John Reader, Iowa State
3. Ben Bennett, CMU
4. Tyler Caldwell, OU

184

Yet another weight that could be anyone’s. There really is no real clear cut favorite. Grant Gamball of Iowa is the top guy according to the pre-seeds. He has yet to face to much stiff competition. Robert Hamlin of Lehigh is doing well this year and could find himself winning this one. The guy we like here is Travis Rutt of Wisconsin he has been solid and seems to be always improving. Also beware of Tony Dallago of Illinois who has been on a mission recently.

Others to keep an eye on

Robert Hamlin, Lehigh
Josh Ihnen, Nebraska
Erich Schmidtke, Oklahoma
Ian Hinton, Michigan State
Max Thomusseit, Pittsburgh
Lee Munster, Northwestern (Unattached)

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Travis Rutt, WI
2. Grant Gamball, IA
3. Tony Dallago, IL
4. Aaron Jones, NW

197

We are looking forward to seeing Trevor Brandvold of Wisconsin take the mat after missing some time. If he is at the top of his game he will be tough to beat. Zac Thomusseit of Pitt has really had a great year so far and will look to continue that this week. There are a handful of others that have a shot at this as well. Keep an eye out for Jerome Ward or Iowa State and Luke Lofthouse if Iowa.

Others to keep an eye on

Joe Kennedy, Lehigh
Riley Orozco, Cal State Bakersfield
Daniel Mitchell, American
Brent Haynes, Missouri

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Trevor Brandvold, WI
2. Zac Thomusseit, Pitt
3. Joe Kennedy, Lehigh
4. Jerome Ward, Iowa State

285

It’s not to often we say this, but this is the best weight in the tournament. It is absolutely loaded from top to bottom. The nation’s #1 Zach Rey of Lehigh will have earned his spot if he can navigate this field. Rutgers DJ Russo is an exciting big man and will look to grab the nation’s top spot as well. Then there is Ryan Tomei of Pitt who is right in the hunt and could win this as easy as the others. Not to be left out of this mix is American’s Ryan Flores who is very talented and could find himself in the finals as well. With such a loaded weight there should be some great matches. We will throw you one dark horse that we think may surprise some people. Keep an eye on redshirt Mike McMullen of Northwestern he is very solid and could surprise people

Others to keep an eye on

Dom Bradley, Missouri
Tucker Lane, Nebraska
Jarod Trice, Central Michigan
Nathan Fernandez, Oklahoma
Eric Bugenhagen, Wisconsin
Christian Brantley, Northern Iowa
Blake Rasing, Iowa
Kyle Simonson, Iowa State
Atticus Disney, Cal Poly
Mike McMullan, Northwestern (Unattached)

TOM’s tournament predictions

1. Zach Rey, Lehigh
2. DJ Russo, Rutgers
3. Ryan Tomei, Pitt
4. Ryan Flores, American