EVANSTON, Ill. – South Dakota State wrestlers Seth Gross and Nate Rotert advanced to the semifinals of the 54th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships during the opening day of competition Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Two other Jackrabbits, 141-pounder Henry Pohlmeyer and David Kocer at 174 pounds, remain in contention for top-five placings for an SDSU squad that is seventh in the team standings with 50 points. Action will resume at noon Friday.
The third-seeded Gross breezed into the 133-pound semifinals with four convincing wins to remain undefeated on the season with a 12-0 mark. He opened the tournament with a 10-2 major decision over Princeton’s Pat D’Arcy, followed by a first-period pin of Sa’Derian Perry of Eastern Michigan. Gross moved into the quarterfinals with a 19-2 technical fall over 14th-seeded Luke Welch of Purdue.
Rotert, the top seed in the 197-pound division, won all three of his matches on Thursday. In the opening session, he turned in a 10-4 decision over Johnathen Dennis of Grand View, followed by a 16-3 major decision against Nate Rose of Buffalo. Facing unseeded Mason Reinhardt of Wisconsin in the quarterfinals, Rotert scored a 6-0 shutout to set up a Friday semifinal matchup versus fifth-seeded Kevin Beazley of Old Dominion.
David Kocer, seeded fifth at 174 pounds, outscored his two opponents, 16-2, to set up a quarterfinal matchup against fourth-seeded Zac Brunson of Illinois in the evening’s quarterfinals. Kocer tallied a 10-1 major decision over Austin Coniker of Columbia in his opening match, then downed reigning NCAA Division III champion Ben Swarr of Messiah, 6-1.
Against Brunson, Kocer suffered his first loss of the tournament with a hard-fought 4-3 decision. He will meet Jordan Pagano of Rutgers in consolation action on Friday.
His older brother, Alex, had an impressive tournament run end with a 5-4 tiebreaker loss to third-seeded Alfred Bannister of Maryland Thursday night. Alex Kocer opened with a 17-5 major decision over Columbia’s Danny Reed. After dropping a 9-2 decision to top-seeded Brandon Sorensen of Iowa, he notched back-to-back wins by technical fall and a 9-3 come-from-behind decision over Eric Barone in his first match of the night to set up his bout with Bannister.
At 141 pounds, Pohlmeyer pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament in his first match of the day, pinning fourth-seeded Colton McCrystal of Nebraska in the second period. Pohlmeyer later lost to 13th-seeded Jack Hathaway of Oregon State to be sent to the consolation bracket, where he won both of his matches Thursday night. The redshirt freshman from Johnston, Iowa, used a big third period to down Kevin Budock of Old Dominion, 7-2, then pinned Columbia’s Jacob Macololooy in 2 minutes and 13 seconds to advance to Friday’s competition.
Pohlmeyer will square off against sixth-seeded Russell Rohlfing of CSU Bakersfield.
Jackrabbit 165-pounder Luke Zilverberg also won his first two matches of the day before being sent to the consolation rounds after an 18-7 loss to No. 1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois. Zilverberg, seeded 16th, opened with a 4-0 shutout of Rutgers’ Anthony Pafumi, then pinned Patrick Gerish of Maryland in his second bout of the day.
In the evening session, Zilverberg posted a 4-2 decision over Messiah’s Larry Cannon, but was eliminated in a 6-4 overtime decision by eighth-seeded Andrew Fogarty of North Dakota State.
In addition, senior Brady Ayers, wrestling unattached, claimed a pair of 3-2 decisions over Mike Fagg-Daves of Rider and Boise State’s Kadyn Del Toro in Thursday’s wrestlebacks to qualify for Friday’s second day of competition. Ayers will meet fourth-seeded Sammy Brooks of Iowa.
Following is a complete list of SDSU results from the first session of competition at the 54th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships:
125 – Ben Gillette, Sr., Redfield, S.D. (1-2 record)
lost to Paul Bianchi (North Dakota State), by fall 5:49
dec. Donald Keeley (Brown), 4-1
lost to No. 12 Kyle Larson (Iowa State) by fall 3:52
133 – No. 3 Seth Gross, So., Apple Valley, Minn. (4-0 record)
major dec. Pat D’Arcy (Princeton), 10-2
def. Sa’Derian Perry (Eastern Michigan), by fall 1:34
def. No. 14 Luke Welch (Purdue), by tech. fall, 19-2 (4:07)
def. Billy Rappo (Maryland) by major dec., 11-3
141 – Henry Pohlmeyer, R-Fr., Johnston, Iowa (3-1 record)
def. No. 4 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska), by fall 3:15
lost to No. 13 Jack Hathaway (Oregon State), by major dec., 0-9
dec. Kevin Budock (Old Dominion), 7-2
def. Jacob Macololooy (Columbia), by fall 2:13
141 – Isaac Andrade, Jr., Redding, Calif. (2-2 record)
lost to No. 7 Topher Carton (Iowa), by major dec., 2-10
dec. Angelo Silvestro (SIU Edwardsville), 7-4
def. Devin Tortorice (UW-Whitewater), by fall 2:17
lost to Nick Zanetta (Pittsburgh) by dec., 1-4
149 – Alex Kocer, Sr., Wagner, S.D. (4-2 record)
def. Danny Reed (Columbia) by major dec., 17-5
lost to No. 1 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) by dec., 2-9
def. Brock Morgan (Columbia) by tech. fall, 15-0
def. Adam Whitesell (Maryland) by tech. fall, 22-4
dec. Eric Barone (Illinois), 9-3
lost to No. 3 Alfred Bannister (Maryland) by dec., 4-5 (TB-1)
157 – Logan Peterson, So., Lake Lillian, Minn. (0-2 record)
lost to No. 7 B.J. Clagon (Rider), by dec., 2-6
lost to Thomas Bullard (North Carolina State) by fall 2:46
157 – Brett Bye, R-Fr., Vermillion, S.D. (0-2 record)
lost to Clayton Ream (North Dakota State), by major dec., 1-14
lost to Fred Green (Boise State) by fall 6:23
165 – No. 16 Luke Zilverberg, Jr., Belle Plaine, Minn. (3-2 record)
dec. Anthony Pafumi (Rutgers), 4-0
def. Patrick Gerish (Maryland) by fall 4:09
lost to No. 1 Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) by major dec., 7-18
dec. Larry Cannon (Messiah), 4-2
lost to No. 8 Andrew Fogarty (North Dakota State) by dec., 4-6 (SV-1)
165 – Kasey Klapprodt, R-Fr., Rapid City, S.D. (0-2 record)
lost to Josh Ugalde (Maryland) by tech. fall, 1-18
lost to Patrick Gerish (Maryland) by fall 5:48
174 – No. 5 David Kocer, Jr. Wagner, S.D. (2-1 record)
def. Austin Coniker (Columbia) by major dec., 10-1
dec. No. 12 Ben Swarr (Messiah), 6-1
lost to No. 4 Zac Brunson (Illinois) by dec., 3-4
184 – Martin Mueller, R-Fr., Rapid City, S.D. (2-2 record)
dec. Tyler McNutt (North Dakota State), 12-9
lost to No. 1 T.J. Dudley (Nebraska) by tech. fall, 0-18
dec. Anthony Mancini (Franklin & Marshall), 15-10
lost to Kadyn Del Toro (Boise State) by dec., 1-6
184 – Zac Carlson, R-Fr., Kerkhoven, Minn. (1-2 record)
def. No. 13 Hunter Ritter (Wisconsin) by injury default
lost to No. 4 Sammy Brooks (Iowa) by major dec., 10-19
lost to Christian LaFragola (Brown) by dec., 3-5
184 – No. 14 Brady Ayers, Sr., Waterville, Minn. [unattached] (3-1 record)
dec. Donovan McAfee (Pittsburgh), 3-0
lost to No. 3 Pete Renda (North Carolina State) by tech. fall, 0-15
dec. Mike Fagg-Daves (Rider), 3-2
dec. Kadyn Del Toro (Boise State), 3-2
197 – No. 1 Nate Rotert, Jr., Spearfish, S.D. (3-0 record)
dec. Johnathen Dennis (Grand View), 10-4
def. Nate Rose (Buffalo) by major dec., 16-3
dec. Mason Reinhardt (Wisconsin), 6-0
285 – Alex Macki, Jr., Cambridge, Iowa (1-2 record)
lost to Conan Jennings (Northwestern) by major dec., 0-8
dec. Zachary Chakonis (Northwestern), 9-7 (SV-1)
lost to Ryan Cloud (Rider) by dec., 5-9
TEAM SCORES (top 10 of 41 teams)
1. Iowa – 85.5
2. Nebraska – 78.5
3. Rutgers – 64.5
4. Arizona State – 62.5
5. Illinois – 58.5
6. North Carolina State – 56.5
7. South Dakota State – 50.0
8. Wisconsin – 49.5
9. Rider – 49.0
10. Central Michigan – 47.5