Wrestling Heads To Midlands Championships
Dec. 28, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State wrestling team will travel to Evanston, Ill., to participate in the 46th annual Midlands Championships on Dec. 29 and 30. Midlands will be the Spartans' final regular-season tournament, with the dual-match season getting into full swing come January. Semifinals and Finals action will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network at 8 p.m. on Dec. 30.
At last year's Midlands, then-sophomore Franklin Gomez took second place at 133 pounds to pace the Spartans, who finished the tournament tied for 11th out of 52 teams. Gomez, who earned the top seed in his weight class heading into the tournament, fell to Iowa's Joe Slaton in the title match by 6-2 decision.
Seven of the Spartans' 12 dual opponents will make the trip to Evanston. Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan will all send participants to the two-day tournament.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 15-ranked senior Rex Kendle defeated Justin Brandel by 6-1 decision to clinch the victory for the Spartans in the final match of the night. Kendle extended his season record to 16-2, which leads the team in victories.
After MSU took a 12-6 lead six matches in, the tides turned in favor of EMU. A fall and a decision in favor of the Eagles gave them a 15-12 lead going into the final two matches.
Sophomore Anthony Jones Jr. defeated Drew Lesko by 11-5 decision to bring the contest back to a tie, and Kendle defeated Brandel in the final match to clinch the MSU victory.
HE'S NUMBER ONE
Gomez last held the top spot after winning the Big Ten Championship last season.
Kendle also took second place in the Open division at the EMU Open. His tournament record stands at 13-1, with his only loss coming in the title match at the EMU Open.
Kendle joins Gomez and Jones as the only Spartans to win tournament titles this season. Gomez took the Open title at 133 pounds at the MSU Open and Jones took the MSU Open Freshman/Sophomore title at 157.
Harper enters his senior season with a 141-1 career record, while Osterman carries a 160-7 record after recording a 52-0 junior campaign.
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