EVANSTON, Ill. – Columbia wrestlers posted 10 wins in the first session of the 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships and with 18 team points the Lions are tied for third with Wisconsin, trailing only Edinboro (21) and Iowa (27).
At 157 pounds, the Lions have a pair of wrestlers in the round of 16 after Markus Scheidel and Chad Ryan each picked up wins in their opening bouts. Scheidel, seeded seventh, posted a 12-4 major decision over Rider’s Wayne Stinson and will take on the 10th-seeded Brandon Zeerip from Eastern Michigan in tonight’s second session. Ryan came away with an 8-2 decision in his first bout against Augsburg’s Will Keeter to set up a matchup with fifth-seeded Zac Brunson from Illinois.
Zack Hernandez continued his strong 2013-14 campaign at 184 pounds with a 3-2 upset decision over the sixth-seeded Jackson Hein from Wisconsin. Hernandez will seek a spot in the quarterfinals tonight with a bout against No. 11 Domenic Abounader from Michigan.
Shane Hughes recorded two victories at 174 pounds to set up a showdown with Kutztown’s Andre Petroski, who upset No. 6 Tony Dallago from Illinois in the first round. Hughes began competition with a 9-0 shutout of South Dakota State’s John Nething and then moved on to take down No. 11 Jake Residori from Southern Illinois with an 8-4 decision.
Matt Bystol, Columbia’s highest-seeded wrestler at fifth in the 141-pound bracket, is on to the round of 16 with a 7-2 showing against Michigan’s Cameron Kennedy. No. 12 Pat Greco from host Northwestern is next up for Bystol.
No. 9 Josh Houldsworth faced a tough challenge from UW-White’s Cedric Gibson in his first match at 165 pounds, but was able to earn a spot in the next round with a 3-2 decision. Indiana’s Ryan LeBlanc, seeded eighth, is Houldsworth’s next opponent, with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
Penn Gottfried has a tough challenge ahead in session two, going up against the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the nation at 125 pounds, Jesse Delgado from Illinois. Gottfried set up the bout with Delgado after beating Eastern Michigan’s Shayne Wireman, 9-7.
At heavyweight, Wyatt Baker went up against Ivy League foe Ray O’Donnell from Princeton, downing the Tiger, 7-2. No. 3 Adam Coon from Michigan is Baker’s next opponent.
After dropping his opening round bout, Angelo Amenta bounced back with a victory in the wrestleback portion at 133 pounds. Amenta registered a 5-0 decision versus Indiana’s Chris Caton to advance to session two competition.
Tonight’s second session is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. eastern.