Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - Six Central Michigan wrestlers remain alive in their respective weight classes at the Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern, at Sears Centre Arena.
Three Chippewas, Mason Smith (141 pounds), Justin Oliver (149) and Jordan Ellingwood (184), went undefeated on Friday during the opening day of the tournament and are scheduled to wrestle in semifinal matches on Saturday.
Three other CMU wrestlers, Logan Parks (165), CJ Brucki (174) and Matt Stencel (285), each dropped a match on Friday but remain alive in their respective consolation brackets.
The Chippewas, who are ranked 21st by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, are in fifth place in the team standings with 61 points. No. 7 Iowa is first with 91, followed by No. 11 Arizona State, 75; No. 17 Rutgers, 74; and No. 15 South Dakota State, 64. Northwestern is sixth with 49.
Smith, a sophomore who is seeded No. 1, is slated to wrestle fourth-seeded Tyler Smith of Bucknell in a semifinal on Saturday. The other semifinal features unseeded Nate Limmex of Purdue and third-seeded Cole Weaver of Indiana.
Smith, who is ranked 20th nationally by intermatwrestling.com, opened the tournament with a 7-0 victory over Christian Monserrat of West Virginia. He then defeated Nicholas Villarreal of Arizona State, 7-1; Michael Carr of Illinois, 3-0; and in the quarterfinals posted an 11-1 major decision victory over Colton Schilling of Cal Poly, 11-1.
Oliver, a junior who is seeded second, will wrestle third-seeded Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton in a semifinal match on Saturday. The other semifinal pits top-seeded Brandon Sorensen of Iowa and fifth-seeded Jason Tsirtsis of Arizona State.
Oliver, who is ranked third, continued his season-long dominance by winning all four of his matches on Friday, one by pin, one by technical fall, and another by major decision. He opened the tournament with a pin in 1:55 of Pat Spray of Wisconsin; he then posted a 17-2 technical fall over Dante Rodriguez of Iowa State; and then scored a 10-0 major decision over Joshua Cortez of Cal Poly. In the quarterfinals, Oliver downed Joshua Maruca of Arizona State, 8-5.
Ellingwood, a senior who is seeded fourth, will wrestle top-seeded Nate Jackson of Princeton in a semifinal on Saturday. The other semifinal pits Emery Parker of Illinois, the third seed, and Rutgers' Nick Gravina, the No. 2 seed.
Ellingwood, who is ranked 14th, went 3-0 on Friday, taking major decision victories over Kanon Dean of Harvard, 16-4; and Brady Ayers of South Dakota State, 10-1. In the quarterfinals, he took a 6-1 win (TB-1) over 12th-seeded Mitch Bowman of Iowa.
Parks, who is seeded sixth, will wrestle eighth-seeded Kaleb Young of Iowa in a consolation-bracket match on Saturday. Parks opened the tournament with a pin in 1:19 of Oregon State's Billy Bigelow; he then defeated Colin Carr of Minnesota, 7-3, before falling, 3-1 (SV-1) to third-seeded Richie Lewis of Rutgers.
Brucki, the fifth seed, will wrestle Jordan Pagano of Rutgers on Saturday in a consolation-bracket match. Brucki, a senior who is ranked 14th, dropped an 8-6 decision to Michigan's Garrett Sutton in a quarterfinal match on Friday. Brucki opened with a 14-4 major decision victory over Quinton Rosser of Northern Illinois; then posted a 20-1 technical fall win over Gabe Koontz of Indiana, 20-1; and a 6-1 win over 12th-seeded Anthony Pedro of Brown.
Stencel, who is seeded seventh, dropped his opening bout, 5-2 (TB-2), to Razohnn Gross of Rutgers. He then won three consolation-bracket matches to earn a Saturday bout with fifth-seeded William Miller of Edinboro. Stencel won by major decision over Zack Nemec of Michigan, 12-1; he pinned Blake Wolters of South Dakota State in 27 seconds; and won by techinical fall over Ben Stone of Wisconsin, 15-0.
Four other CMU wrestlers were eliminated from the tournament on Friday, as were four more Chippewas who wrestling unattached.
CMU's Drew Hildebrandt (125) and Dresden Simon (133) both went 2-2, while Blake Montrie (157) and Jordan Atienza (197) both went 1-2.
Hildebrandt opened with an 8-2 loss to West Virginia's Zeke Moisey, then topped Liam Cronin of Indiana, 7-1, and Nolan Hellickson of Harvard, 4-3. Hildebrandt was eliminated on a 4-3 decision by Steven Polakowski of Minnesota.
Simon opened with a 10-6 win over Ryan Friedman of Harvard and then posted a 9-2 victory over Devan Turner of Oregon State. Simon fell into the consolation bracket with a 5-3 loss to Bryan Lantry of Buffalo, and was eliminated by CMU teammate Andrew Marten, 10-5. Marten was one of the four Chippewas wrestling unattached in the tournament. The others were Nolan Saxton (149), Bret Fedewa (165) and Nicholas Jenkins (285).
Montrie opened with a pin in 37 seconds of 15th-seeded Zach Moore of West Virginia. He then dropped a 12-3 major decision to Austin Holmes of Indiana, and was eliminated on a 3-1 decision by Michigan's Layne Van AnRooy.
Atienza opened with a 7-5 win over sixth-seeded Hunter Ritter of Wisconsin, 7-5. He then lost on a 12-4 major decision to 11th-seeded Pat Brucki of Princeton, and was eliminated with a 5-2 loss to Dustin Conti of Clarion, 5-2.
Marten went 2-2 in the tournament. He dropped a 2-1 decision to Garrett Pepple of Indiana, and then bounced back with a 13-2 major decision victory over Danny Bertoni of Maryland and his 10-5 win over Simon. Marten bowed out of the tournament with an 11-7 loss to Paul Konrath of Wisconsin.
Saxton, Fedewa and Jenkins each finished 0-2.