After one long, grueling day of competition only a single member of John Stutzman's squad remains alive in their respective bracket at the Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern University. The day was marked by several close early losses that put a number of Stutzman's men in a hole and a long road ahead in order to place.
Perhaps the biggest upset of the day, and of the year so far, was Tyler Rill's victory over #12 Cooper Moore of Northern Iowa. Rill was victorious by way of injury default, however, Moore was unable to continue the match after just over a minute and a half of competition. Rill would only be 1 of 3 UB wrestlers to advance in the championship round along with Joe Ariola and Jake Gunning who also won their first matches against opponents from Lock Haven and Maryland respectively.
In the consolation rounds each UB wrestler with the exception of James Benjamin and Derek Holcomb won at least 1 match. Kyle Akins won his first bout by fall over Armando Torres of EMU before taking down Johnny Jimenez of Wisconsin 7-6. Bryan Lantry also posted a trio of impressive decisions; first over Garrett Pepple of Indiana, then over Nic Colunga of North Dakota State and finally an upset of former national qualifier Scott Delvecchio of Rutgers.
Tim Schaefer won a pair of matches, including an overtime victory over Austin Culton of NIU before taking reigning in Big XII champion Shayne Tucker of Oklahoma to double overtime. Schaefer wound up falling 5-4 to Tucker but put up a valiant effort in doing so.
Another impressive victory was Tyler Rill's first consolation bout where he avenged his loss to Kent State's Tyler Buckwalter in convincing fashion. After succumbing to an overtime loss in the dual against Kent, Rill powered his way to a 7-1 decision.
Rill would then remain after the first day's competition and will be competing later this morning when wrestling resumes. Rill earned a 5-3 decision over Jordan Pagano of Rutgers and is now listed to face Clark Glass of Oklahoma but it seems that Glass is injured and will not be finishing the tournament. I will get confirmation as soon as I can but if true and Glass is out of the tournament and RIll receives a forfeit then he will place top 8 no matter what. If Rill were to place today, it would be fairly significant for the redshirt-junior; the Midlands is only slightly behind the Southern Scuffle in terms of difficulty for in-season tournaments and a place finish here will serve as a big confidence boost to Rill moving forward.
Outside of Rill I think that most of the guys wrestling for UB yesterday did fairly well - especially Bryan Lantry, Tim Schaefer and Kyle Akins. Lantry, as noted above, upset a former NCAA qualifier adding to his already impressive resume on the season. While Schaefer taking the reigning Big XII champion into double overtime gives me confidence that Schaefer is making great strides in improving from week to week.
Updates will come along as the day progresses and if Rill makes it to a place finishing match it should be aired live tonight on BTN.
125 - Kyle Akins - (2-2)
Champ. Round 1 - Sean McCabe (Rutgers) dec. Kyle Akins (Buffalo) (6-2)
Cons. Round 1 - Kyle Akins (Buffalo) pinned Armando Torres (Eastern Michigan) (6:29)
Cons. Round 2 - Kyle Akins (Buffalo) dec. Johnny Jimenez (Wisconsin) (7-6)
Cons. Round 3 - Kris Williams (Nebraska) dec. Kyle Akins (Buffalo) (5-3)
133 Bryan Lantry - (3-2)
Champ. Round 2 - Jacob Colon (Grand View) dec. Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) (12-8)
Cons. Round 2 - Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) dec.Garrett Pepple (Indiana) (10-3)
Cons. Round 3 - Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) dec. Nicolas Colunga (North Dakota State) (11-4)
Cons. Round 4 - Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) dec. Scott Delvecchio (Rutgers) (6-5)
Cons. Round 5 - Joey Palmer (Oregon St.) maj. dec.Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) (11-2)
141 - Brandon Lapi - (1-2)
Champ. Round 1 - Paul Glynn (Iowa) dec. Brandon Lapi (Buffalo) (6-2)
Cons. Round 2 - Brandon Lapi (Buffalo) dec. Jimmy Morris (Rider) (6-0)
Cons. Round 3 - Jake Koethe (Northern Iowa) maj. dec. Brandon Lapi (Buffalo) (12-1)
157 - Timothy Schaefer - (2-2)
Champ. Round 1 - Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) dec. Timothy Schaefer (Buffalo) (3-2)
Cons. Round 2 - Timothy Schaefer (Buffalo) won by decision over Erik Travers (SIU-Edwardsville) (6-3)
Cons. Round 3 - Timothy Schaefer (Buffalo) SV-1 Austin Culton (Northern Illinois) (3-1)
Cons. Round 4 - Shayne Tucker (Oklahoma) TB-1 Timothy Schaefer (Buffalo) (5-4)
165 - Derek Holcomb - (0-2)
Champ. Round 2 - Clark Glass (Oklahoma) maj. dec. Derek Holcomb (Buffalo) (12-0)
Cons. Round 2 - Luke Norland (Northwestern) pinned Derek Holcomb (Buffalo) (6:45)
165 - Tyler Rill - (3-1)
Champ. Round 2 - Tyler Rill (Buffalo) inj. def. Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa) (1:35)
Champ. Round 3 - Patrick Rhoads (Iowa) dec. Tyler Rill (Buffalo) (6-5)
Cons. Round 4 - Tyler Rill (Buffalo) dec. Tyler Buckwalter (Kent St.) (7-1)
Cons. Round 5 - Tyler Rill (Buffalo) dec. Jordan Pagano (Rutgers) (5-3)
174 - Austin Weigel - (1-2)
Champ. Round 1 - MIcah Barnes (Nebraska) dec. Austin Weigel (Buffalo) (6-1)
Cons. Round 1 - Austin Weigel (Buffalo) dec. Tyler Harrington (North Dakota State) 8-3)
Cons. Round 2 - Jason Grimes (American U.) dec. Austin Weigel (Buffalo) (2-1)
184 - Joe Ariola - (1-2)
Champ. Round 2 - Joe Ariola (Buffalo) maj. dec. Corey Hazel (Lock Haven) (19-7)
Champ. Round 3 - Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota State) dec. Joe Ariola (Buffalo) (6-2)
Cons. Round 4 - Corey Griego (Oregon St.) dec. Joe Ariola (Buffalo) (7-2)
197 - James Benjamin - (0-2)
Champ. Round 1 - Brett Harner (Princeton) pinned James Benjamin (Buffalo) (1:32)
Cons. Round 1 - Drake Stein (Purdue) pinned James Benjamin (Buffalo) (3:35)
Midlands 285 - Jake Gunning - (1-2)
Champ. Round 2 - Jake Gunning (Buffalo) dec. Youssif Hemida (Maryland) (5-2)
Champ. Round 3 - Amarveer Dhesi (Oregon St.) dec. Jake Gunning (Buffalo) (14-8)
Cons. Round 4 - Gage Hutchison (Eastern Michigan) pinned Jake Gunning (Buffalo) (4:06)