NDSU Set to Compete at 53rd Midlands Championships on Dec. 29-30

North Dakota State University (0-3, 0-0 #Big12WR) is scheduled to send wrestlers to the 53rd Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Tuesday, Dec. 29 and Wednesday, Dec. 30 … The event is hosted by Northwestern University in McGaw Hall in Evanston, Ill. … Wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m. Central on Tuesday and noon Wednesday … Finals start at 8 p.m. Wednesday … Teams competing include American, Arizona State, Bloomsburg, Brown, Buffalo, Columbia, CSU Bakersfield, Eastern Michigan, Harvard, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Purdue, Rider, Rutgers, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Wisconsin … NDSU 125 Josh Rodriguez (20-5) and 184 Hayden Zillmer (15-2) were part of #Midlands53 Top Contestants list.

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Live scoring will be provided through TrackWrestling.com … Video will be on the Big Ten Network and BTN2Go … Click here for more information http://btn.com/2015/12/23/how-to-watch-the-midlands-championships-live-on-tv-online/

NDSU BisonBison at the Midlands
North Dakota State is making its fifth straight trip to the Midlands Championships with 11 wrestlers placing in the top eight … NDSU 184 Hayden Zillmer is a three-time placewinner — 8th at 157 in 2012, 3rd at 174 in 2013 and 4th at 184 in 2014 … NDSU 125 Josh Rodriguez placed 5th in 2014 … Former All-American Steven Monk won the 165 weight class in 2013 … Monk was a three-time placewinner, finishing 4th in both 2011 and 2012 … NDSU placed 9th in the team standings last season with 45.5 points, matching the best finish achieved in 2012, 9th with 57 points.

Bison in the Rankings
North Dakota State was tied for No. 44 in WIN Magazine’s Tournament Power Index (Dec. 21, 2015) … Individually, in the InterMat.com (Dec. 21) rankings, Josh Rodriguez is No. 16 at 125 pounds; Hayden Zillmer is No. 12 at 184 pounds … In the Asics/Flowrestling Rankings (Dec. 21), Josh Rodriguez was No. 13 at 125 pounds, Hayden Zillmer is No. 6 at 184 pounds … In TheOpenMat.com (Dec. 21) rankings, Josh Rodriguez was No. 15 at 125 and Hayden Zillmer is No. 9 at 184 pounds … In WIN Magazine’s Dec. 21) rankings, Josh Rodriguez is No. 16 at 125 pounds and Hayden Zillmer is No. 13 at 184 pounds … In the Amateur Wrestling News (Dec. 21), 125 Josh Rodriguez is No. 15 and 184 Hayden Zillmer is No. 16.

Rodriguez’ Third Place Finish Highlights NDSU Run at Reno Tournament of Champions
North Dakota State University 125-pounder Josh Rodriguez won six of seven matches to place third and highlight the Bison run at the 2015 Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 20 … Rodriguez improved to 20-5 … Three other NDSU wrestlers placed in the top six at the event … The Bison had 57.5 points and finished ninth in the team standings … Clay Ream, a 149-pound sophomore from Wentzville, Mo., finished fifth at the Reno TOC, while 149-pound sophomore Kyle Gliva (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and 141-pound sophomore Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud, Minn.) each placed sixth.

Rodriguez Records Fall, Three Others Win in 24-15 Loss at South Dakota State
South Dakota State put together four straight wins in the middle weights, including one tech fall and a pair of major decisions, to defeat North Dakota State 24-15 in a non-conference match to claim the Border Bell before 942 spectators on Dec. 13 in Frost Arena … It was SDSU’s first win over NDSU since Feb. 18, 2010 … NDSU 125-pound junior Josh Rodriguez notched his third pin of the season over Ben Gillette at 4:34 … At 141, sophomore Mitch Bengtson defeated the Jackrabbits’ Seth Gross.5-4 win … North Dakota State’s 13th-ranked 184-pounder Hayden Zillmer stopped the SDSU run with a 4-1 decision against Brady Ayers … NDSU 285-pound junior Ben Tynan defeated Alex Macki 4-0.

Zillmer Seventh, Ream Eighth at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational
North Dakota State University 184-pounder Hayden Zillmer placed seventh and 149-pound sophomore Clay Ream finished eighth during the final day of action Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational held in the Cashman Center … NDSU was 22nd in the team standings with 37.5 points.

Trio of Bison Record Wins Against No. 6 Virginia Tech
In back-to-back fashion, North Dakota State sophomores, 149 Clay Ream posted a major decision and 157 Grant Nehring returned to the mat for the first time this season with a pin in the Bison 23-13 loss to sixth-ranked Virginia Tech on Nov. 22 … NDSU 184 Hayden Zillmer held off Virginia Tech’s Zack Zavatsky for a 7-5 decision to stay perfect this season.

Streak Stays Alive
With NCAA All-American 184 Hayden Zillmer and NCAA qualifier 125 Josh Rodriguez leading the way, North Dakota State claimed eight individual titles at the 2015 Bison Open — it marked the 10th straight season that at least one NDSU wrestler came away with a Bison Open title … Rodriguez won his third individual title, while Zillmer claimed his second straight … Nick O’Brien (133), Kyle Gliva (149), unattached Andrew Fogarty (157), Tyler McNutt (165), unattached Cordell Eaton (197) and Ben Tynan (285) each won their weight divisions, while unattached Nico Colunga (133), unattached Tyler Harrington (174) and Logan Paxton (197) achieved runner-up finishes.

Four Bison Earn Wins Against Virginia
NDSU 184-pound senior Hayden Zillmer started the dual against Virginia on Nov. 6 with a 20-7 major decision over Will Schany to improve to 5-0 … The Bison lost 25-14 to the Cavaliers as 125-pound junior Josh Rodriguez posted an 8-0 major decision … Newcomer, 285-pound junior Ben Tynan and 149 Mitch Bengtson each recorded 7-5 overtime wins.

Big 12 Adds North Dakota State to Wrestling Membership
North Dakota State along with Air Force, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming have joined Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia in the Big 12 Conference … NDSU and the other affiliate members are eligible immediately … The 10-team Big 12 wrestling championship has shifted to a neutral site and has expanded to a two-day event with the 2016 championship set for March 5-6 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

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