Pictured: A look inside the 2019 Midlands Championships venue. Photo by Sam Janicki.
Official release courtesy of Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – After a one-year hiatus, the renowned Ken Kraft Midlands Championships will return to NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois for its 58th edition on Dec. 29-30 to host one of the nation’s most prestigious non-conference wrestling tournaments.
This year’s Midlands Championships will mark a historic occasion, as the most prestigious wrestling non-conference wrestling tournament in the nation will be adding a women’s division for the first time ever. 150 women’s wrestlers among 11 different schools comprising 10 weight classes will wrestle during the tournament’s Day Two sessions on Dec. 30.
Joining the women’s teams at this year’s Midlands will be 35 men’s programs compromising of some of the most talented grapplers in the nation. Eight Big Ten programs are slated to participate in this year’s Midlands, including the hosts, Northwestern, as well as the 2021 NCAA Champion Iowa Hawkeyes.
This year’s tournament will also honor longtime Northwestern wrestling head coach, and founder of the Midlands Championships Ken Kraft, who passed away at the age of 85 on Oct. 27, 2020. Kraft was a member of the Northwestern Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Wildcat community and the sport of wrestling as a whole.
Media is welcome to attend this year’s Midlands Championships. Credential requests for all reporters, videographers and photographers can be sent to the tournament’s media coordinator, Austin Siegel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
HALL OF FAME
Three will be added to the Midlands Championships Hall of Fame on Dec. 30 before the final session. Honorees include: Marjo Kraft, Leo Kocher (University of Chicago wrestling head coach), and longtime tournament administrator Lee Wahlgren.
Full list of participating teams at #Midlands58:
Air Force Academy
Army West Point
Franklin and Marshall
Grand View University
North Central College
South Dakota State
(programs scheduled to bring a full team are bolded)
North Central College
Colorado Mesa University
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29
9:30 AM – First Session (10 Mats) – (Championship Rounds 1 & 2, Wrestlebacks)
7:00 PM – Second Session (10 Mats) – (Quarterfinals, Wrestlebacks)
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30
11:00 AM – Third Session (10 Mats) – (Semis, consolation, 7th place match, women’s division begins.
6:00 PM – Fourth Session (4 Mats) – (1st, 3rd, 5th place matches–men’s and women’s divisions)
Opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m., Awards ceremony to conclude at 8:15 p.m.
Midlands Hall of Fame Inductions will be prior to the final session