EVANSTON, Ill. – The South Dakota State wrestling team returned to the mat Monday for the 52nd Annual Midlands Championship, hosted by Northwestern.
“We came out slow in our early matches, which was extremely disappointing,” head coach Chris Bono said. “We knew coming in that we were going to see some of the best guys in the country and that we had to be ready, but we rebounded nicely. Four guys earned the chance to battle tomorrow, so we are excited to see what they can do.”
Senior 157-lb standout Cody Pack went 3-0 on the day to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals. #14 Pack picked up a pin and a major to start his day. Following a first-round bye, Pack pinned Larry Cannon (Messiah) in the closing seconds of the third period. Pack also majored Samuel Kreimier (Air Force), 13-4, and beat Doug Welch (Purdue), 9-4 in the quarterfinals.
Isaac Andrade (125), Colin Holler (149) and David Kocer (174) also advanced to the second day of competition.
Following a first-round loss to #4 Thomas Gilman (Iowa), Andrade beat Derek Elmore (Northern Illinois), 6-3 and moved on by way of a Thierno Diallo (Binghamton) medical forfeit.
Redshirt freshman Colin Holler suffered a first-round loss to #3 Dave Habat (Edinboro), 7-1 before rattling off three straight wins over Kevin Johnson (Old Dominion) and Andrew Crone (Wisconsin), 4-3 and 1-0, respectively. Holler then pinned Jake Williams (Cumberland) in the first minute to advance.
David Kocer also opened his tournament against one of the nation’s best in Iowa’s Mike Evan, who is ranked second nationally. Kocer dropped a 10-3 decision to the Hawkeye before pulling out a pair of tight matches against Wisconsin’s Dylan Iczkowski and Jake Residori from SIU-Edwardsville. Kocer beat Iczkowski, 2-1 before avenging last weekend’s loss to Residori in a tiebreaker, 9-6. Kocer closed out Monday’s action with a 5-1 win over Shane Hughes (Columbia).
Brance Simms (133), Luke Zilverberg (141) and #14 Nate Rotert (197) all made a push to move on, but were knocked out of the consolation bracket in the night session.
Simms suffered a tough 11-9 loss to #11 Geoff Alexander (Maryland), 11-9 to open his tournament. Simms bounced back with a major decision over Brendan O’Connor (Brown), 22-8 and received a medical forfeit against Anthony Elias (Davidson). Simms was eliminated by a 4-3 loss to Anthony Giraldo (Rutgers).
Likewise, Zilverberg suffered a 3-1 opening loss to Joseph McKenna (Lehigh Valley Athletic Club) before picking up three straight wins, all by decision. Zilverberg beat Sal Annoreno (Northern Illinois), Mitch Bengston (North Dakota State) and Dylan Caruana (Binghamton), 6-4, 3-1 and 5-4, respectively. Zilverberg was then eliminated by Brock Ervin (Illinois), 12-5.
Redshirt freshman Nate Rotert opened his tournament with a 10-2 major over Austin Pfarr (Brown) before getting pinned by James Fox (Harvard) at 2:50. Rotert then beat Harvard’s Josh Popple, 11-4 before dropping a 4-2 decision to Frank Mattiace (Penn).
John Nething II (165), Ben Schwery (165), Alex Macki (285) and J.J. Everard (285) were also in action, while Ben Gillette (133) and Spencer Derifield (165) wrestled unattached.
Session III begins tomorrow at noon with the championship matches at 7 p.m.
Brackets/Results on TrackWrestling.com
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