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Garner and Wilson Reach Quarters, Still Alive at Midlands
Dec. 29, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. - Utah Valley University wrestlers Avery Garner (141 pounds) and Josh Wilson (149) led the Wolverines at the prestigious Midlands Championships on Thursday as they each advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament hosted by Northwestern University. The duo then both dropped their quarterfinal bouts but are each still alive and will be striving for placement on Friday.
Garner, who entered the tournament unranked an unseeded, picked up three victories over Wisconsin-Parkside's Arik Yde (4-0), the No. 9-seed from Rider Jimmy Kirchner (10-5) and the No. 8-seed from Maryland Frank Goodwin (7-3) to face off against the top-ranked wrestler in the nation and No. 1-seed Montell Marion of Iowa in the quarters. Garner wrestled tough against the two-time All-American and former national runner-up but in the end wound up falling by decision, 6-1.
Wilson, who came into Midlands as the No. 7-seed and ranked 13th in the country, won his first two bouts to find his way into the quarterfinals. The Wolverines junior defeated Northern Illinois' Tyler Argue (12-1), the No. 10-seed from American Kevin Tao (6-2) before going up against the former-Purdue great and two-seed Jake Patacsil. Patacsil got the best of Wilson in the quarters as he defeated him by technical fall, 16-0.
"Avery put together some really great matches, beating two seeded wrestlers. Josh also wrestled well," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "Both have a good chance to place on Friday if they wrestle well although Avery will have a tough test with the No. 2 seed. Derek Malan also did well with three straight wins after a first round loss."
The second day of the Midlands Championships will begin Friday at 11 a.m. Garner will square-off against the No. 2-seed and second-ranked wrestler in the country in Penn's Zack Kemmerer while Wilson will open with the No. 8-seed from Penn Steven Robertson.
The Wolverines also had eight other wrestlers in competition Thursday at the coveted tournament. Derek Malan (133) and Monte Schmalhaus (174) had solid outings as they both picked up multiple victories. Malan finished with a 3-2 record while Schmalhaus went 2-2.
After dropping his opening bout to the No. 10-seed from Maryland Geoffrey Alexander, Malan bounced back by winning his next three matches with wins over Harvard's Ryan Osleeb, North Dakota State's Justin Solberg and Northwestern's Jameson Oster before being eliminated by the No. 5-seed from Penn Bryan Ortenzio. Schmalhaus too lost his first match to the No. 9-seed from Wisconsin-Parkside Luke Rynish and then rallied to win his next two over SIU Edwardsville's Rich Tado and Northern Illinois' Caleb Busson before falling to Oklahoma's Nolan McBryde.
Also in action for UVU and finishing 1-2 at the tournament were 133-pounder Kyle West and 197-pounder Brian Chamberlain. Colby Christensen (125), Napoleon Aniciete (157), Ethan Smith (165) and Dustin Dennison (Hwt.) each wrestled their way to 0-2 records for the Wolverines at their first Midlands.
In the team score race, UVU is currently sitting in 23rd place out of 43 squads with 16.5 points. Iowa, Northwestern and Oklahoma are currently in first, second and third place respectively.
The two-day Midlands Championships will conclude on Friday. The finals will begin 6 p.m. MT and they will be televised on tape-delay on the Big Ten Network at 8:30 p.m. MT.
Following this weekend's action, UVU will come home and host the annual UVU Open on Saturday, Jan. 7.