Escobedo Wins Back-to-Back Midlands Championships

    Go Hoosiers! Redshirt sophomore Angel Escobedo does it again
    Go Hoosiers!
    Redshirt sophomore Angel Escobedo does it again
    Go Hoosiers!

    Dec. 31, 2007

    EVANSTON, Ill. - Redshirt sophomore Angel Escobedo defended his 125-pound crown at the Midlands by winning his second consecutive championship at that event. Redshirt freshman Paul Young also placed at the Midlands, finishing in eighth place. As a team, the Hoosiers finished in the eighth slot out of 52 teams in the tournament.

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    Escobedo took a first round bye to begin the tournament before ripping off five straight wins for the championship. The Griffith, Indiana native picked up two pins on the weekend, a 4:05 pin of Arsenia Barksdale (Adams State) in the second round and a 4:33 pin of Missouri's Troy Dolan in the quarterfinals. Sandwiched between the pins was a 6-2 decision over Tyler Clark from Iowa State. Escobedo had little trouble in his semifinal match, shutting out Illinois's Gabe Flores, 9-0, to reach the championship match. In the final match, which was nationally-broadcast live on the Big Ten Network, he took on Brandon Precin from Northwestern. Escobedo had won the previous two career match-ups versus Precin, and this time was no different as he earned a 10-3 victory.

    Young suffered a second round loss in the championship, but responded by taking five straight contests in the wrestleback to earn a spot on the tournament stand.

    Next up for the Hoosier grapplers are the National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa on January 11-12, 2008.

    Six individual Hoosiers remain in competition going into Sunday, including Angel Escobedo who has advanced to the semifinals of the 125-pound championship bracket.

    Escobedo posted a pin in his only match of session two, downing Missouri's Troy Dolan in 4:33. Andrae Hernandez (133 lbs.), Kurt Kinser (149 lbs.), Paul Young (157 lbs.), Marc Bennett (184 lbs.) and Joe Fagiano (197 lbs.) are also still looking to place at the Midlands, set to fight their way through the wrestleback on Sunday.

    Kinser added yet another pin in session two, extending his current hot streak to 14 pins in his last 17 matches. Young was a busy man in session two, ripping off three straight wins to advance in the wrestleback. Fagiano picked up multiple wins in session two as well, notching a pair of victories.

    Nine individual wrestlers advanced to the round of 16 in their respective weight classes while three Hoosiers went one step further and reached the championship bracket quarterfinals.

    Cousins Angel Escobedo and Andrae Hernandez, along with Marc Bennett, are each just three wins away from a Midlands championship as they are now set to compete in the quarterfinals. All three received first round byes before winning their next two matches.

    Escobedo opened his day with a pin of Arsenia Barksdale from Adams State in 4:05. He then seized a 6-2 decision over Iowa State's Tyler Clark in the 125-pound round of 16. Hernandez (133-pounds) also pinned his first opponent, sticking Derek Gillespie of Air Force in 4:01. He followed that up with a 12-2 major decision over Purdue's Sean Schmaltz. Bennett took a pair of decisions over Josh Edmonson (4-1; Chattanooga) and Ben Kelto (15-8; Central Michigan) to earn his spot in the 184-pound quarterfinals.

    Other Hoosiers whom advanced to the round of 16 include: Scott Kelly, Nick Walpole, Kurt Kinser, Paul Young, Matt Coughlin and Joe Fagiano.

    Trevor Perry and Eric Cameron each picked up early round wins in the wrestleback and join the group above still in contention for third place in their brackets. In the heavyweight class, Justin Kuhn represents IU, and will also begin his run through the wrestleback in session two of the tournament.




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