HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – South Dakota State’s Seth Gross won the 133-pound title and five other Jackrabbit wrestlers placed in the top eight of their respective weight classes as competition wrapped up Saturday at the 55th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships held at Sears Centre Arena.
A junior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, Gross concluded a dominant two-day performance by becoming the first SDSU wrestler to win an individual title at the Midlands. Neither of Gross’ two matches Saturday lasted more than a period. In semifinal action during the afternoon session, Gross recorded a 16-1 technical fall over Dylan Duncan of Illinois.
Facing Buffalo’s Bryan Lantry in the championship match Saturday night, Gross built a 10-0 lead before pinning his opponent with 13 seconds remaining in the first period. Gross was later named the Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestler as he won four matches by technical fall and two more by pin, racking up tournament bests of 93 match points and 31 team points.
Also reaching the finals was 174-pounder David Kocer. A senior from Wagner, Kocer blanked Purdue’s Dylan Lydy, 13-0, in semifinal action before dropping an 18-7 major decision to top-ranked Zahid Valencia of Arizona State.
SDSU’s two other semifinalists, 157-pounder Luke Zilverberg and Nate Rotert at 197 pounds, fell short in their bids to reach the finals. Rotert lost an 8-1 decision to Penn’s Frank Mattiace in the semifinals before posting a 6-4 decision over Pat Brucki of Princeton to earn the right to wrestle for third place. However, Rotert did not wrestle a scheduled rematch with Purdue’s Christian Brunner in the evening session for medical reasons, ending his tournament run with a fourth-place finish.
Zilverberg dropped each of his two matches in the afternoon session before coming back with a fifth-place finish Saturday night. A senior from Belle Plaine, Minnesota, Zilverberg dropped a 4-0 decision to Arizona State’s Joshua Shields for the second time this season in the semifinals, then dropped a 9-6 decision to John Van Brill of Rutgers in the consolation semis.
In the evening session, Zilverberg recorded a 5-0 shutout of Brown’s Justin Staudenmayer to place fifth.
Jackrabbit wrestlers Logan Peterson and Martin Mueller split their seventh-place matches. A junior from Lake Lillian, Minnesota, Peterson placed eighth at 165 pounds. He moved into the placing matches with a 7-6 decision over Brown’s Jonathan Viruet to open the day, but fell 8-3 to Iowa’s Kaleb Young and came up short in a 7-5 sudden-victory decision to Purdue’s Jacob Morrissey.
Mueller, meanwhile, claimed seventh place in the 184-pound weight class with a 2-1 record on Saturday. The sophomore from Rapid City began the day with a 7-5 decision over Mitch Bowman of Iowa before falling to Pittsburgh’s Nino Bonaccorsi in the next consolation rounds. Mueller closed his tournament showing by defeating Eastern Michigan’s Kayne MacCallum, 10-4, in the seventh-place match.
Of the seven SDSU wrestlers to advance to the second day of competition at the Midlands, freshman 125-pounder Connor Brown was the lone Jackrabbit to not reach the placing rounds. Brown’s four-match winning streak was ended by Purdue’s Luke Welch, 13-4, in Saturday’s opening round.
As a team, the Jackrabbits tallied their highest finish at the Midlands, ending the tournament in fifth place with 99 points. Iowa claimed the team title with 156.5 points, followed by Rutgers (109.5), Central Michigan (108) and Arizona State (106.5).
The Jackrabbits return to dual action, hosting Oregon State Friday (Jan. 5). Start time is 7 p.m. at Frost Arena.
Following are SDSU’s complete results for wrestlers who competed on Day 2 of the 55th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships:
125: Connor Brown, Fr., Oak Grove, Mo. [seeded 16th]
lost by dec. to Justin Stickley (Iowa), 5-4
dec. Drew West (Northern Illinois-unattached), 10-3
dec. Brandon Cray (Maryland), 6-2
major dec. Johnny Jimenez (Wisconsin), 10-2
dec. Michael McGee (Old Dominion), 14-8
lost by major dec. to #10 Luke Welch (Purdue), 13-4
Brown eliminated [4-2 record]
133: #1 Seth Gross, Jr., Apple Valley, Minn. [seeded first]
tech. fall Dan Moran (Lehigh-unattached), 18-3 [5:46]
def. Trevor Tarsi (Harvard), by fall 4:35
tech. fall Garrett Pepple (Indiana), 18-3
tech. fall Ali Naser (Arizona State), 16-0
tech. fall #20 Dylan Duncan (Illinois), 16-1
def. #19 Bryan Lantry (Buffalo), by fall 2:47
CHAMPION [6-0 record]
157: #11 Luke Zilverberg, Sr., Belle Plaine, Minn. [seeded third]
dec. Cole Wysocki (Purdue), 11-4
dec. Luke Weber (Nebraska), 6-4 [SV-1]
dec. Mike D’Angelo (Princeton), 5-0
lost by dec. to #7 Joshua Shields (Arizona State), 4-0
lost by dec. to John Van Brill (Rutgers), 9-6
dec. Justin Staudenmayer (Brown), 5-0
Fifth Place [4-2 record]
165: Logan Peterson, Jr., Lake Lillian, Minn.
dec. Noah Grover (Buffalo), 9-4
lost by major dec. to Jon Scheifler (Princeton), 14-5
def. Billy Bigelow (Oregon State), by fall 4:51
dec. Michael Sepke (Northwestern), 4-3
dec. Jonathan Viruet (Brown), 7-6
lost by dec. to Kaleb Young (Iowa), 8-3
lost by dec. to Jacob Morrissey (Purdue), 7-5 [SV-1]
Eighth Place [4-3 record]
174: #9 David Kocer, Sr., Wagner, S.D. [seeded third]
tech. fall Jared Leidich (Eastern Michigan), 16-0
tech. fall Myles Terry (Oregon State), 16-1
major dec. Johnny Sebastian (Northwestern), 11-3
major dec. Drew Lydy (Purdue), 13-0
lost by major dec. to #1 Zahid Valencia (Arizona State), 18-7
Second Place [4-1 record]
184: Martin Mueller, So., Rapid City, S.D. [seeded 10th]
dec. Norman Conley (Indiana), 4-2
lost by fall to Dylan Ammerman (Lehigh), 2:50
major dec. Michael Aldrich (Northern Illinois), 14-6
major dec. Greg Bulsak (Clarion), 14-6
dec. Mitch Bowman (Iowa), 7-5
lost by dec. to Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh), 16-9
dec. Kayne MacCallum (Eastern Michigan), 10-4
Seventh Place [5-2 record]
197: #6 Nate Rotert, Sr., Spearfish, S.D. [seeded first]
dec. Matt Wroblewski (Illinois), 8-3
dec. Regis Durbin (Northwestern), 6-1
dec. Christian Brunner (Purdue), 6-4
lost by dec. to #15 Frank Mattiace (Penn), 8-1
dec. Pat Brucki (Princeton), 6-4
withdrew from tournament due to medical reasons
Fourth Place [4-1 record]
Note: Individual rankings by FloWrestling