Panther Wrestling Heads to 48th Midlands Championships

After having nearly two weeks without competition, the University of Northern Iowa wrestling team will return to the mat and take part in the 48th annual Midlands Championships this Wednesday and Thursday on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.  Action from Welsh-Ryan Arena will start Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. and will conclude with final matches Thursday evening.

PANTHER POINTS…

• The Midlands is a national invitational/open event for outstanding college teams, clubs and individuals. The Midlands is a premier wrestling tradition, attracting 350 of the country’s best wrestlers. Admission varies per session; contact the Northwestern ticket office 847-491-CATS or go to NUSports.com.

• Terrance Young jumped into the Panther lineup for the Iowa and Wisconsin duals Dec. 9 and 11, finishing with a 1-1 record. Young recorded a 4-0 decision over Wisconsin’s Tom Kelliher but fell to No. 1-ranked Matt McDonough of Iowa.  Young is 8-3 this season.

•  Aaron Senzee and David Bonin both picked up bonus points for the Panthers against Wisconsin as both registered major decision wins. Senzee shutout UW’s Danny Arnel with an 8-0 win at 141 pounds. At 157 pounds, Bonin scored four takedowns and an escape all in the third period to earn a 13-4 major decision win over the Badger’s Kalvin York.

• After falling 2-0 in a close dual to Iowa’s No. 17 Blake Rasing, heavyweight Christian Brantleyrebounded just two days later to top No. 14-ranked Eric Bugenhagen of Wisconsin. Bugenhagen scored an early escape to take a 1-0 lead, but Brantley responded with an escape of his own to force a sudden death overtime. Brantley prevailed, scoring the winning takedown with 0:33 remaining to earn the 3-1 decision. Brantley is currently 12-2 this season and 8-1 in dual matches.

• Ryan Loder (184 lbs.) and Christian Brantley (285 lbs.) were both listed as contenders for their respective weight titles heading into the Midlands Championships. Of the 13 contenders listed at 184 lbs., Loder has faced four of them. Despite being 0-4 against his fellow contenders, three of the four matches have been decided by three points or less. At 285 pounds, Brantley has faced two of the 17 contenders, posting a 1-1 record. Both matches have been decided by two points or less.

• Returning All-American Jarion Beets returned to the mat after recovering from surgery to take the top spot at the Jim Fox Open at 184 pounds.