ISU Finish Fifth at Midlands

Iowa State crowned one champion, 141-pounder Nate Gallick, at the 43rd Midlands Championships Friday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Chicago. The Cyclones, who finished fifth in the team standings, also got place winners in Jesse Sundell at 133 pounds (second), Travis Paulson at 165 pounds (third) and Kurt Backes at 184 pounds (fifth).

Iowa State crowned one champion, 141-pounder Nate Gallick, at the 43rd Midlands Championships Friday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Chicago. The Cyclones, who finished fifth in the team standings, also got place winners in Jesse Sundell at 133 pounds (second), Travis Paulson at 165 pounds (third) and Kurt Backes at 184 pounds (fifth).

Illinois captured the team title with 115.5 points, followed by Central Michigan (112.5), Michigan State (99), Iowa (83) and Iowa State (82.5). Northern Iowa (79) tied for sixth with Northern Illinois.

"Great wrestling and great matches tonight, but some of them just didn't go our way," ISU head coach Bobby Douglas said. "There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It was a great performance by Gallick tonight. Any time you can win this tournament twice in a row, that really says something. Jesse Sundell made great progress throughout this tournament. Unfortunately, he wasn't quite able to pull off the victory. There is no doubt, however, that Jesse is the most improved wrestler on our team right now."

Gallick claimed his second consecutive Midlands title at 141 pounds over Michigan State's second-seeded and fourth-ranked Andy Simmons in dramatic fashion. The two All-Americans remained scoreless until 15 seconds remained in the second period. Simmons was warned for stalling at the 39-second mark and then called for stalling at 15 seconds, awarding Gallick with a point to put him up 1-0. With 1:33 left in regulation, Simmons escaped to tie it up at 1-1. After a scoreless one-minute sudden victory period, Simmons went up on Gallick in the first tiebreak with another escape to make the score 2-1. Gallick answered with an escape with one second left. Sixteen seconds remained on the clock when Gallick scored the only takedown of the match in the second sudden victory and added an escape to ice the victory, 5-3.

"Simmons is a really tough opponent, and the match was definitely closer than I would have liked," Gallick said. "He's a great competitor. This is a good tournament at this point of the season. Winning it really gives you a boost of confidence for the rest of the season, and this will be something to build on the rest of the way."

Seventh-seeded Jesse Sundell finished runner-up to Cal-State Bakersfield's Tommy Vargas by a score of 9-7 in the 133-pound championship match. Sundell opened the match with a takedown at 1:41, only to have Vargas answer with an escape, a takedown and a two-point nearfall to go up 5-2 in the first period. In the second period, Sundell recorded an escape to make the score 5-3. With 24 seconds remaining in the match, Sundell registered a takedown to make the score 9-7. Sundell's runner-up showing is his best performance at the Midlands Championships.

Travis Paulson rebounded from his semifinal loss to place third with a 5-3 decision over second-seeded Justin Frayer (Gator WC), 5-3. The All-American scored takedowns in the first and third periods and used an escape in the second period to take the victory. Paulson's third-place finish is gives him a top-three finish in both of his Midlands Championships appearances.

"Jared Frayer's a stud, he's a tough guy to beat," Paulson said. "It's always good to wrestle someone like that, someone who's older with a lot more experience. I wanted to give it everything I had, no matter how tired I got. It's the last match of the tournament, and there's really nothing to lose. I'm glad that I was able to bounce back. This tournament is basically a prep for the NCAA Championships. I'm confident that I'll be better by the end of the year."

In the fifth-place match, Kurt Backes faced Jason Lulloff of Wisconsin-LaCrosse for the second time in the tournament and third time this season. Backes jumped out on top with a takedown with six seconds left in the first period. He then scored another takedown in the second to up the score to 4-1. Lulloff made an attempted comeback late in the third period, but Backes iced the match with a takedown at 27 seconds, making the score 9-5.

ISU wrestling will be back in action on Thursday, Jan. 5, in Ames when the Cyclones face Virginia
Tech at 7 p.m.

CHAMPIONSHIP
133 - #7 Jesse Sundell vs. Tommy Vargas (Cal State-Bakersfield)
First period
1:41 Sundell takedown, 2-0
1:39 Vargas escape, 2-1
0:27 Vargas takedown, 2-3
0:14 Vargas two-point nearfall, 2-5
Second period
Vargas defers, Sundell chooses down
0:38 Vargas stall warning, 2-5
0:18 Sundell escape, 3-5
Third period
Vargas chooses down
1:42 Vargas escape, 3-6
1:16 Vargas takedown, 3-8
1:07 Sundell escape, 4-8
0:37 Sundell warning, 5-9
0:24 Sundell takedown, 7-9

Vargas wins by decision, 9-7

141 - #1 Nate Gallick vs. #2 Andy Simmons (Michigan State)
141 - #1 Nate Gallick vs. #2 Andy Simmons (Michigan State)
First period
No scoring

Second period
Simmons defers, Gallick chooses down
1:02 Caution Gallick, 0-0
1:02 Caution Simmons, 0-0
0:39 Stall warning Simmons
0:15 Simmons stalling, 1-0
0:10 Caution Simmons

Third period
Simmons chooses down
1:33 Simmons escape, 1-1

First Sudden Victory
Simmons chooses down
0:12 Simmons escape, 1-2

First Tiebreak
0:30 Caution Gallick, 1-2
0:01 Gallick escape, 2-2

Second Sudden Victory
Simmons down
0:19 Simmons escape, 3-2
0:16 Gallick takedown, 4-3

Second Tiebreak
Gallick down
0:28 Gallick escape, 5-3
0:24  Gallick stalling

Gallick wins by decision in TB2, 5-3

THIRD PLACE
165 - #1 Travis Paulson vs. #2 Jared Frayer (Gator WC)
First period
0:51 Paulson takedown, 2-0
0:06 Frayer takedown, 2-2

Second period
Paulson chooses down
1:44 Paulson escape, 3-2

Third period
Frayer chooses down
1:59 Frayer escape, 3-3
1:20 Paulson takedown, 5-3
0:44 Frayer escape, 5-4

Paulson wins by decision, 5-4

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


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