Dec. 28, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Indiana Wrestling puts a bow on 2012 by sending 10 Hoosiers to the elite regular season amateur wrestling tournament in the country, the 50th running of the Midlands. More than 30 Division I schools along with a number of Division II and III teams and post-graduate competitors, will converge in Welsh-Ryan Arena for the historic Midlands.
Competition begins at 9:30 a.m. CT (10:30 a.m. ET) on Saturday, Dec. 29, resumes with Session II at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) on Dec. 29 and then wraps up on Sunday, Dec. 30. The second day of competition begins at noon (1 p.m. ET) with Session III, which includes semifinal and consolation rounds, along with seventh-place matches. Finals, which will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network, are set for a 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) start Sunday evening.
HOOSIERS COMPETING IN THE MIDLANDS
125 lbs. - none
133 lbs. - none
141 lbs. - Eric Roach, r-Fr. (13-6) and Quin Murphy, Fr. (16-6)
149 lbs. - Geno Capezio, r-Sr. (4-7), Alexander Gregory, r-Fr. (1-5) and Preston Keiffer, r-So. (0-1)
157 lbs. - #22 Taylor Walsh, r-So. (16-4)
165 lbs. - none
174 lbs. - Cheney Dale, r-So. (6-10)
184 lbs. - Luke Sheridan, So. (11-7)
197 lbs. - none
285 lbs. - #10 Adam Chalfant, r-Jr. (16-2)
Midlands annually features some of the top programs in the country and the 2012 edition is no different. Of the 32 Division I teams competing this year, 14 of them placed in the top-25 at the 2012 NCAA Championships and 15 are currently ranked in the Dec. 18 USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll.
According to the latest Amateur Wrestling News rankings, there are 92 ranked wrestlers competing at the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.
The Midlands Tournament Committee identified "top contenders" earlier this week.
MIDLANDS BY THE NUMBERS
With this year being the 50th, there are a few significant numbers to take note of:
334 - Number of different Midlands champions in the last 49 years.
11 - Number of teams who have captured the Midlands team title.
9,000+ - Number of wrestlers who have competed at Midlands the last 49 years.
Six - Number of Midlands competitors that have achieved Grand Slam status, meaning they have won a Midlands title, NCAA title, Olympic gold medal and World title. That group of six includes Dan Gable, Bruce Baumgartner, Dave Schultz, Kenny Monday, Tom Brands and Jordan Burroughs.
50 - Number of years former Northwestern head coach and tournament founder Ken Kraft has been involved with the Midlands. He has attended every tournament, except for one--the 1995 Midlands Championships. Kraft, who was a Northwestern administrator at the time, missed the 1995 edition because the NU football team was in the Rose Bowl that year.
Each of IU's three returning NCAA Qualifiers are ranked amongst the country's elite once again this season. This trio of Hoosiers can be found in the most recent national rankings:
#10 Adam Chalfant (285 lbs.)
#13 Ryan LeBlanc (165 lbs.)
#22 Taylor Walsh (157 lbs.)
BIG TEN DOING BIG THINGS
As a conference, the Big Ten is a combined 64-12 in 76 non-conference duals so far during the 2012-13 campaign, good for a 84.2 winning percentage.