Sundell and Gallick Advance

Action resumed at Welsh-Ryan Arena Friday afternoon at the 43rd Midlands Championships with consolation and semifinal action. The Cyclones advanced two through consolation brackets and sent four competitors into semifinal matches from Thursday's action. Of those four semifinalists, Jesse Sundell and Nate Gallick advanced to the title bouts at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively. Sundell is seeking his first Midlands title, and Gallick looks to defend his 2004 title.

Action resumed at Welsh-Ryan Arena Friday afternoon at the 43rd Midlands Championships with consolation and semifinal action. The Cyclones advanced two through consolation brackets and sent four competitors into semifinal matches from Thursday's action. Of those four semifinalists, Jesse Sundell and Nate Gallick advanced to the title bouts at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively. Sundell is seeking his first Midlands title, and Gallick looks to defend his 2004 title. In addition to title matches, the third- and fifth place matches will take place Friday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. At the end of the third session, Iowa State slipped to seventh place with 68.5 points. In a tight race for the team title, Illinois leads the way with 94.5 points. Right behind is Central Michigan with 93.5 points. Michigan is in a distant third with 79 points.

Jesse Sundell, seeded seventh, avenged a Nov. 11 loss to Utah Valley State's sixth-seeded, Erkin Tadzhimetov with a 5-2 decision, to contend for his first Midlands Championship at 133 pounds. Tadzhimetov was up 2-0 on Sundell in the first period, when Sundell pulled a reversal to tie the match at two. He then scored a second-period reversal and added a third-period escape for the final margin. He will face unseeded Tommy Vargas of Cal-State Bakersfield for the title. Vargas upset unattached top-seeded Kerry Boumans, 3-2.

"Coming in I knew I had to wrestle Erkin, so I had to avoid the underhooks," Sundell said. "Tonight, I don't know a lot about my opponent, but I need to wrestle the best that I can."

Gallick, the top seed at 141 pounds, will try to repeat as Midlands champion. He beat Wartburg's Dustin Hinschberger 3-0 in the semifinals. Gallick scored the only takedown in the first period to go up 2-0 and used an escape early in the second period to close out the match with a score of 3-0. The 141-pound finals will be a rematch of last year's championship, as Gallick will face second-seeded Andy Simmons of Michigan State. Gallick defeated Simmons last year for the title in a tiebreaker, 4-2.

"In the semifinals I felt really good; I wrestled well," the two-time All-American said. "Tonight is a rematch from last year. I hope to wrestle well and come out on top."

Travis Paulson will be wrestling for third place at 165 pounds as he defeated ninth-seeded Max Dean of Indiana, 3-1. Paulson will face the No. 2 seeded Jared Frayer of Gator Wrestling Club. Frayer, a former standout at the University of Oklahoma, was upset by Northern Iowa's third-seeded Nick Baima. 

At 184 pounds, Kurt Backes will wrestle Jason Lulloff of Wisconsin-LaCrosse for fifth place. Kevin Halsey of Cal Poly avenged a Dec. 18 pin by Backes, recording the fall in 3:20. Backes and Lulloff met in the quarterfinals, where Backes picked up the 5-4 decision. The two also met on Nov. 6, with Backes again winning 5-4.

True freshman Joe Curran and redshirt freshman Derek Nelson both competed in consolation matches at 197 pounds, but were unable to advance into placing matches.

SEMIFINALS
133 - #7 Jesse Sundell vs. #6 Erkin Tadzhimetov (Utah Valley State)
141 - #1 Nate Gallick vs. Brandon Carter (Central Michigan)
165 - #4 Mike Poeta (Illinois) dec. #1 Travis Paulson, 5-4
184 - #3 Pete Friedl (Illinois) vs. #2 Kurt Backes, 9-5

CONSOLATION
197 - Andrew Anderson (Northern Iowa) dec. Derek Nelson, 7-2
197 - #7 Derick Hunsinger (Northern Illinois) maj. dec. Joe Curran, 10-0

165 - #1 Travis Paulson dec. #9 Max Dean (Indiana), 3-1
184 - #6 Ryan Halsey (Cal Poly) pinned #2 Kurt Backes, 3:20

CHAMPIONSHIP
133 - #7 Jesse Sundell vs. Tommy Vargas (Cal State-Bakersfield)
141 - #1 Nate Gallick vs. #2 Andy Simmons (Michigan State)

THIRD PLACE
165 - #1 Travis Paulson vs. #2 Jared Frayer (Gator WC)

FIFTH PLACE
184 - #2 Kurt Backes vs. Jason Lulloff (Wisconsin-LaCrosse)


TEAM STANDINGS AFTER SESSION III
Illinois – 94.5
Central Michigan – 93.5
Michigan State - 79
Iowa - 77
Northern Illinois - 77
Northern Iowa - 71
Iowa State – 68.5
Indiana – 56.5
California State-Bakersfield - 55
Northwestern – 54.5
Purdue – 50.5


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