Three wrestlers remain in title hunt at 55th annual Midlands Championships

Freshman Matt Stencel wrestles against Freshman Christian Rebottaro during match against Michigan State University on Nov. 17 in McGuirk Arena.

Three wrestlers remain in the hunt for championships in their respective weight classes after day one of the 55th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.

Three other wrestlers remain in their respective consolation brackets in search of a top eight finish, five have been eliminated.

CMU currently sits fifth as a team with 60.5 points. Iowa, currently ranked No. 7 in the nation, sits at first with 90.

Still in the hunt

Sophomore Mason Smith, Junior Justin Oliver, and Senior Jordan Ellingwood all look to continue their journeys to championships on Saturday.

Smith, the tournament‘s number one seed at 141 pounds, started his day with a 7-0 decision over Christian Monserrat of West Virginia. He followed that match with a 7-1 victory over Arizona State’s Nicholas Villarreal. The No. 20 ranked wrestler finished his day with an 11-1 major decision to reach Saturday‘s semifinals.

Oliver, No. 3 at 149 pounds and the tournament’s second seed, started his tournament by pinning Wisconsin’s Pat Spray 1:55 into the bout.

Oliver followed his pin with a technical fall, Knocking off Iowa State’s Dante Rodriguez, a 9-0 major decision over Cal Poly’s Joshua Cortez, and an 8-5 win over No. 11 Joshua Maruca of Arizona State. 

Ellingwood drew the four seed at 184 for the tournament.

Ellingwood earned major decisions over Kanon Dean of Harvard and Brady Ayers of South Dakota State. The No. 14 ranked 184 pounder then knocked off

Iowa’s Mitch Bowman 6-1 in extra time, punching his ticket to the semifinals.

Staying alive

Three wrestlers  still aim for top eight finishes.

Parks, seeded sixth at 165 pounds, dropped his final match to enter the consolation bracket. Parks earned a pinfall to start the tournament, but fell to No. 15 Richie Lewis of Rutgers 3-1 I’m sudden victory.

Senior CJ Brucki suffered the same fate as Parks. 

The fifth seed started off strong with a technical fall and major decision, but fell 8-6 to Garrett Sutton from Michigan, forcing the No. 14 ranked 174 pounder to the consolation bracket.

Redshirt freshman Matt Stencel is still in the hunt for a top eight finish despite a bad start. 

Stencel, the seven seed at 285, started his day with a 5-2 loss to Razohnn Gross of Rutgers. Stencel has won four straight matches, defeatingMichigan's Zack Nemec (unattached) via major decision, pinned Blake Wolters of South Dakota State, earned a technical fall over Wisconsin’s Ben Stone, and defeated Northern Illinois Caleb Gossett.

Done after day one 

Redshirt freshman Drew Hildebrandt started his day with a first round bye. His first match day came with a 8-2 loss fell to ninth seeded and No. 19 ranked Zeke Moisey of West Virginia. Hildebrandt bounced back with a 7-1 victory over Liam Cronin of Indiana (unattached), but fell 4-3 to Minnesota’s Steve Polakowski. 

Redshirt freshman Dresden Simon also find himself in the consolation bracket. Simon started strong with wins over Ryan Friedman of Harvard, 10-6, and Devan Turner of Oregon State 9-2. He would fall 5-3 to Bryan Lantry from Buffalo (unattached) and to Drew Marten, who wrestled unattached from CMU, 10-5.

Marten would be eliminated his next match after an 11-7 loss.

Junior Jordan Atienza started his day defeating sixth seeded Hunter Ritter of Wisconsin 7-5. He would fall to 11 seeded and No. 19 ranked Patrick Brucki, younger brother of CMU’s CJ Brucki, from Princeton via major decision 12-4. Atienza dropped his second match to Dustin Conti of Clarion 5-2.

Redshirt freshman Landon Pelham also competed at 197 pounds. His highlight would come in his first match in the consolation bracket, pinning fourth seeded and No. 11 ranked Corey Griego of Oregon State 1:54 into the match. Pelham fell to Kyle Gentile of Lehigh (unattached) 7-1, eliminating Pelham from the tournament.

Redshirt Freshman Blake Montrie started strong, pinning 15 seeded Zach Moore from West Virginia in 37 seconds. He would then fall 12-3 to Inidana’s Austin Holmes via major decision. Montrie then fell to Layne Van AnRooy from Michigan (unattached) 3-1, ending his tournament.

The Ken Kraft Midlands Championships continue tomorrow at noon, and can be followed on