With the 2018 Midlands Championships this weekend, there is a lot of wrestling to talk about.
In a surprising upset at 125 lbs, Spencer Lee was defeated 7-2 after being up. Sebastian Rivera showed strength and maturity, proving he has the potential to be an NCAA wrestling finalist. Ultimately, Rivera dominated the match with strategic movement and superior wrestling. Askren still believes Spencer Lee could be one of the best first-period wrestlers of all time. His performance at the Midland Championships this year shows he still has room to grow as a wrestler.
133 & 141 lbs
133 lbs Desanto wrestled strong. Nathan Tomasello pulled out of the tournament early due to a hamstring injury. Josh Alber looked strong at 141 lbs against Max Murin. Northern Iowa, as a team, had a great tournament at Midlands. They could be on track for a top 10 tournament team.
Askren is excited with the 149 lbs wrestlers at Midlands. In an impressive performance from Sammy Sasso, the Ohio State wrestler beat 4 ranked guys on the back side of the bracket. After an outstanding run, Sasso battled back for third place. Loaded with freshman talent Matthew Kolodzik wins scoring in the last seconds of the match.
Ryan Deakin presents himself as the clear #2 in the weight class. His performance at Midlands proves he could be coming for Jason Nolf in the NCAA Finals.
Alex Marinelli beats Evan Wick in the 165 lbs finals. Askren questions Marinelli’s strategy and the lack of a stalling call while Matt asks for consistency from tournament officials. Ben goes on to question Iowa’s ability to challenge Penn State in the NCAA Finals. In his mind, Iowa Wrestling has dropped to top 4 with weaknesses in multiple weight classes. Askren and Dernlan debate the impact of the coaching staff. With Cael Sanderson raising the tide in collegiate wrestling, Iowa will need to step up their game in order to compete.
Quickly wrapping up the remaining weight classes Zahid Valencia champions 174 lbs. Drew Foster takes the top at 184 lbs. At 197 lbs Patrick Brucki from Princeton beats Cash Wilcke of Iowa. Brucki proves the growth in Princeton’s wrestling program giving them the potential to finish the season in the top 5. Finally, Tanner Hall from Arizona State wins 285 lbs over Conan Jennings of Northwestern.
Where to find the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast:
Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Ben Askren, World Champion, and Olympic wrestler joins RUDIS from the T-Row & Funky Show in an official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from a D1 college coaching background with family roots grounded in Ohio wrestling with a collective 10 state titles on the shelf.