Dec. 29, 2010

Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Team Standings: Northwestern 11th/44 (through Session II)
Next NU Event: Midlands Championships Session III - Thursday, Dec. 30, Noon CT

Final Session II Brackets

Team Standings After Session II

EVANSTON, Ill. -- A tandem of Wildcat quarterfinalists -- Brandon Precin (125) and Andrew Nadhir (149) -- took care of their respective matches on Wednesday evening to reach the semifinals of the 48th Midlands Championships at Welsh-Ryan Arena, while Jason Welch, Alex Polizzi and Mike McMullan will all compete in wrestlebacks on Thursday.

Northwestern stands in 11th place with 34 team points after one day of action. Lehigh has taken over the top spot in the team standings with 65 points and four wrestlers remaining in the championship bracket. Complete standings, brackets and a fall report are available in PDF format at the top of the page.

Precin, the No. 2 seed at Midlands and the second-ranked wrestler in the nation, posted a workmanlike 6-2 decision over Harvard's Steven Keith to improve to 17-0 on the year while Nadhir boosted his record to 16-0 by outlasting Missouri's seventh-seeded Kevin Bradley. For Precin, the berth in the semifinals marks the third straight year he has advanced at least that far.

Taking on the No. 7 seed, Kevin Bradley of Missouri, Nadhir used every second of the first period to notch the first takedown of the match, getting awarded the '2' as the final seconds ticked off the clock. He entered the third with a 2-1 advantage and scored on a reversal with a minute remaining to go ahead 4-1. There was a flurry of scoring down the stretch as Bradley opened things up trying to even the score, but Nadhir countered on each occasion to win 8-3.

His first trip to the semifinals means a matchup with sixth-seeded Coulthurst Schmitt of Wisconsin. Precin, meanwhile, will be meeting another No. 6 seed, Anthony Zanetta of Pittsburgh, in the 125-pound semis.

NU's unattached quarterfinalist was freshman heavyweight Mike McMullan, who could not overcome Pitt's highly ranked heavyweight Ryan Tomei, falling 7-2. McMullan is set to face Michigan State's Joe Rizgallah in his next match Thursday.

Moving into the wrestlebacks, it was an exciting first match at 197 pounds for Schoen, who trailed Williams' Ryan Malo by a 3-1 margin in the late stages of the third period. But Schoen picked up a takedown and kept Malo on his back, pinning a talented opponent who at the 2009 Midlands Championships finished with the most total falls.

Schoen then squared off against Michigan State's Tyler Dickenson and worked to tie the score at two apiece in the second. Dickenson escaped to begin the third and was able to fend off Schoen's offense down the stretch to win, 5-2, as Schoen moved to 12-5 overall on the year.

Jason Welch was also a winner in the wrestlebacks, scoring at will on Michigan State's Troy Lamson en route to a 12-3 final and his 14th victory of the season. He followed that up with his 9-4 defeat of UW-Parkside's Dillon Bera to earn a date with Midlands veteran Jake Patacsil on Thursday.

Wrapping up an excellent first career day of Midlands was Alex Polizzi at 197 pounds. Competing unattached, the freshman was aggressive in both a 7-1 win over Purdue's David Pisarcik and a 13-9 decision over 12th-seeded Ryan Smith of Cal Poly. He must now prepare to meet second-seeded Luke Lofthouse of Iowa on Thursday.

Sophomore 133-pounder Levi Mele finished his 2010 Midlands Championships with a 2-2 record to move to 11-3 on the year. Mele downed Izzy Montemayor of NIU, 9-1, in his first outing Wednesday night but was later pinned by Nebraska's Ridge Kiley. Northwestern's second 133-pound entrant, Robert Joyce, was edged in a 1-0 decision by Kevin Tao of American.

NU freshman Kaleb Friedley fell in his 141-pound wrestleback outing, dropping a 10-0 major decision to eighth-seeded Jon Koehler of Maryland, while freshman Colin Shober also was knocked out of action Wednesday night with a 7-4 loss to Minnesota's Nick Dardanes following a consolation win over Clarion's Cameron Moran.

At 165 pounds, Kevin Bialka was defeated by Illinois' Conrad Polz.

Action resumes at noon Thursday with wrestlebacks followed by the tournament semifinals.

Former NCAA Greats to Do Battle in Midlands Super Match
In addition to the dozens of intriguing matchups that are sure to play out in this year's Midlands Championships, wrestling fans will be treated to one special matchup that won't be found on their bracket sheets. The Midlands Tournament Committee has arranged for U.S. World Team member Jake Herbert to square off with current Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren in a Midlands Super Match. The match, a six-minute folkstyle bout, is expected to go off at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 30, following the semifinal rounds of the Midlands.

Fans can watch a live stream of the Super Match at no charge on Flowrestling.org. Click here to listen as TDR's Scott Casber interviews Herbert about the Midlands and his impending match against Askren.

Both Herbert and Askren were two-time NCAA champions and Hodge Trophy winners in their collegiate days at Northwestern and Missouri, respectively. Since then, Herbert has gone on to win silver at the 2009 Wrestling World Championships while Askren has become a successful competitor in mixed martial arts.

Session II Results
125 (quarterfinals):
#2 Brandon Precin (NU) dec. #7 Steven Keith (HVD), 6-2

133:
#6 Levi Mele (NU) maj. dec. Izzy Montemayor (NIU), 9-1
Ridge Kiley (NEB) FALL #6 Levi Mele (NU), 6:35
Kevin Tao (AMER) dec. Robert Joyce (NU), 1-0

141:
#8 Jon Kohler (UMD) maj. dec. #7 Kaleb Friedley (NU), 9-0
Colin Shober (NU-Unatt.) dec. Cameron Moran (CLAR), 11-4
Nick Dardanes (MN-Unatt.) dec. Colin Shober (NU-Unatt.), 7-4

149 (quarterfinals):
#2 Andrew Nadhir (NU) dec. #7 Kevin Bradley (MIZZ), 8-3

157:
#2 Jason Welch (NU) maj. dec. Troy Lamson (MSU), 12-3
#2 Jason Welch (NU) dec. Dillon Bera (UWP), 9-4

165:
#12 Conrad Polz (ILL) maj. dec. Kevin Bialka (NU), 12-4

197:
#7 John Schoen (NU) FALL Ryan Malo (WMS), 6:41
Tyler Dickenson (MSU) dec. #7 John Schoen (NU), 5-2
Alex Polizzi (NU-Unatt.) dec. David Pisarcik (PU), 7-1
Alex Polizzi (NU-Unatt.) dec. #12 Ryan Smith (POLY), 13-9

285 (quarterfinals):
#2 Ryan Tomei (PITT) dec. #10 Mike McMullan (NU-Unatt.), 7-2

Rankings reflect seeds at Midlands Championships

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