ISU Wrestlers Advance Four to Semi-Final

In a tight race for the team championship, Iowa State stands in fifth place (51 points) after the first day of competition at the 43rd Midlands Championships. To open the second session, the Cyclones sent four wrestlers into the quarterfinal action and all four advanced into Friday afternoon's semifinals in Welsh-Ryan Arena. A pair of ISU wrestlers are working through the consolation brackets, looking to place in the top eight. Illinois continues to lead the team standings with 60 points.

In a tight race for the team championship, Iowa State stands in fifth place (51 points) after the first day of competition at the 43rd Midlands Championships. To open the second session, the Cyclones sent four wrestlers into the quarterfinal action and all four advanced into Friday afternoon's semifinals in Welsh-Ryan Arena. A pair of ISU wrestlers are working through the consolation brackets, looking to place in the top eight. Illinois continues to lead the team standings with 60 points.

"It was a great day for us," head coach Bobby Douglas said. "We won some real close matches and we wrestled extremely well. The wrestler of the day would be Jesse Sundell, because he had a great performance. We are looking forward to tomorrow."
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Sundell (9-7), seeded seventh, pulled a four-point move to upset Central Michigan's NCAA qualifier and No. 2 seed Jason Borrelli, 7-6. Midway through the third period, Sundell turned to score a reversal and a two-point nearfall to turn a 6-3 deficit into a 7-6 lead. He then countered several escape attempts by Borrelli in the final 60 seconds to earn the victory. Sundell advances to the semifinals, where he will face No. 6 seed Utah Valley State's Erkin Tadzhimetov. The two met on Nov. 11 in Ames with Tadzhimetov picking up the decision, 5-2.

Vying for a second consecutive Midlands championship, Nate Gallick stormed through his 141-pound quarterfinal match with an 8-3 decision over eighth-seeded Dustin Hinschberger of Wartburg. Gallick, now 14-0 on the season, also defeated Hinschberger 2-1 for the 2005 Harold Nichols Open title in November. Standing in the two-time All-American's way in the semifinals will be Central Michigan's Brandon Carter. Unseeded Carter upset the fifth and fourth seeds en route to his semifinal berth.

Travis Paulson, the tournament's top seed at 165 pounds, also advanced into semifinal action with a 3-0 decision over Johnny Galloway of Northern Illinois. Paulson remains undefeated (18-0) and will face Mike Poeta of Illinois. Poeta wrestled unattached at 157 pounds in 2004-05 while redshirting, capturing the Missouri Open title. 

"As a team, we are improving and are getting better," Paulson said. "Individually, I am gaining more confidence with every match."

At 184 pounds, Kurt Backes defeated Wisconsin-LaCrosse's Jason Lulloff 5-4, moving into a semifinal bout with third seeded Pete Friedl of Illinois. Friedl is a two-time All-American and placed third at Midlands in 2004. Backes, the Midlands runner-up at 184 pounds in 2004, improves to 7-1 on the year.

In the consolation bracket, Joe Curran and Derek Nelson are both still alive at 197 pounds. Curran earned a 1-0 decision over Greg Thompson of Lassen College, and followed it up with a 7-6 upset over fifth-seeded Joe Dennis of Cleveland State. Curran used a takedown with 0:02 left to upset the top recruit of 2004. Nelson, a redshirt freshman, won via forfeit and then notched a 10-1 major decision over Cleveland State's other 197-pounder, Ishmal Williams.

Also wrestling in the consolation brackets were Ben Hanisch (125), Grant Turner (174), David Bertolino (174) and Richard Schopf (HWT).

Day two of competition will begin at noon with semifinal, consolation and seventh-place matches. Championship matches, along with third- and fifth- place matches, will be in the final session that begins at 7 p.m. Friday.

TEAM STANDINGS AT THE END OF DAY ONE
Illinois - 60
Central Michigan - 59
Michigan State – 51.5
IOWA STATE - 51
Iowa - 46
Northwestern – 37.5
Northern Iowa  - 35.5
Indiana - 35
Purdue - 32
California State-Bakersfield - 31

CONSOLATION BRACKET
125 - Ben Hanisch dec. Ryon Mazzocco (Pitt-Johnstown), 8-6
149 - Aron Scott vs. Jeff Tharp (Eastern Illinois), Tharp wins by medical forfeit
174 - Grant Turner dec. Jerimiah Frederick (Slippery Rock), 6-2
174 - Tommy Clark (West Liberty State) dec. David Bertolino, 3-2
197 - Joe Curran dec. Greg Thompson (Lassen College), 1-0
197 - Derek Nelson vs. Kyle Bracey (Unattached), Nelson wins by forfeit
HWT - Danny Perez (Eastern Illinois) dec. Richard Schopf, 2-1
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125 - Seth Wright (Northern Iowa) dec. Ben Hanisch, 8-3
174 – Danny Burk (Northern Illinois) dec. Grant Turner, 6-4
197 – Joe Curran dec. #5 Joe Dennis (Cleveland State), 7-6
197 – Derek Nelson dec. Ishmal Williams (Cleveland State), MD 10-1

QUARTERFINALS
133 - #7 Jesse Sundell dec. #2 Jason Borrelli (Central Michigan), 7-6
141 - #1 Nate Gallick dec. #8 Dustin Hinschberger (Wartburg), 8-2
165 - #1 Travis Paulson dec. Johnny Galloway (Northern Illinois), 3-0
184 - #2 Kurt Backes vs. Jason Lulloff (Wisconsin-LaCrosse), 5-4

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