Two CMU wrestlers place in Midlands Championships

Central Michigan's 149-pound sophomore wrestler Justin Oliver placed second at the Midlands Championships Friday night. 

Junior Colin Heffernan placed sixth in the 157-pound weight class for CMU. 

This was CMU's first appearance since 2012 at the Invitational hosted by Northwestern in Welsh-Ryan Arena.

"It was a really good tournament," said Head Coach Tom Borrelli. 

In what Borrelli said was some of the best competition at the Midlands in a few years, Oliver (149) and Heffernan (157), both earned semi-final matches in their respective weight classes. 

Upperclassmen Brent Fleetwood (125), CJ Brucki (174), and Austin Severn (197) also survived until the second day of competition in consolation matches. 

"We had three guys who were close to placing but lost tough matches," Borrelli said.

Heffernan fell to Nebraska's Tyler Berger by decision after three periods in the semi-final match.

The loss sent Heffernan to the consolation bracket where he finished sixth. 

On the other hand, Oliver won his semi-final matchup by fall against Oregon State's Joey Delgado. This win guaranteed Oliver a spot in the finals on Big Ten Network against the No. 1 seed Brandon Sorensen of Iowa.

At the end of regular time, the highly anticipated matchup between No. 2 seed Oliver and No. 1 seed Sorensen was tied 1-1. In the sudden victory period, Oliver couldn't hold on against Sorensen and lost by a decision of 7-1. 

"I thought (Oliver) wrestled well," Borrelli said. "We felt that we were real capable of winning that match."

With a pin in the quarter-final and semi-final match, the final was Oliver's first close, competitive match.

CMU opens up Mid-American Conference play against Ohio on Sunday, Jan. 9 in Athens, Ohio.