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Wilson Leads UVU at Midlands by Advancing to Day Two
Dec. 29, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. - Senior 149-pounder Josh Wilson led the Utah Valley University wrestling team by advancing to the second day of competition at the 50th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. The showcase is known as one of college wrestling's toughest tournaments.
Wilson, who was seeded eighth in the tournament, cruised past his first two opponents with a 10-2 major decision over Princeton's Zach Bantliff and a 5-0 victory over Northern Illinois' Rob Jillard. Needing another win to advance to the quarterfinals, he then took on the No. 9 seed in Lehigh's Shane Welsh. Wilson fell 5-2 to Welsh but responded in the wrestlebacks by defeating Welsh's teammate from Lehigh in Albert Woody, 9-3, and Penn's Andrew Lenzi, 4-0.
Wilson went 4-1 on Saturday and will open up on Sunday against the No. 7 seed and 16th-ranked David Habat from Edinboro. The Wolverine senior will need a victory to place at Midlands for the second consecutive season.
UVU redshirt freshman Jade Rauser (125 pounds) and sophomore David Prieto (197) also wrestled well on Saturday as they both won their opening contests. Rauser pinned Oregon State's Patrick Rollins just 1:02 into the match while Prieto defeated Edinboro's Warren Bosch 7-4 in his first-round matchup. Both dropped their next matches however as Rauser fell to the No. 8 seed and 11th-ranked Christian Cullinan from Central Michigan (8-0) and Prieto fought hard against the No. 1 seed and No. 1 wrestler in the nation in Kent State's Dustin Kilgore but lost 16-5.
Rauser defeated Iowa State's Connor Clarke with another fall just 1:11 into the bout in the wrestlebacks but was then eliminated by Lehigh's Alex Abreu after a 12-6 defeat. Prieto bowed out of the tournament after falling to Rider's Donald McNeil by decision, 6-2.
Rauser finished his first Midlands run with a 2-2 record, while Prieto went 1-2.
With five wrestlers competing for UVU in all, sophomore Ethan Smith (157) and junior Abner Cook (165) were also in action for the Wolverines. Both finished with 0-2 records after they dropped their first two bouts. Smith lost to Iowa State's Logan Molina 4-2 and CSU Bakersfield's Adam Fierro 3-1, while Cook dropped his two bouts to Virginia Tech's Chris Moon 5-4 and Nebraska's Austin Wilson 12-0.
As a team UVU is in 29th place out of 48 teams with 11.5 points despite having just half a team in competition at the tournament. Illinois is leading the tournament with 61.5 points and Virginia Tech is in a close second with 61 points.
The 50th annual Midlands Championship will conclude on Sunday. Action will begin at 11 a.m. MT and the finals will start at 6 p.m. MT. The finals will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
Following Midlands, UVU will return home to begin its Western Wrestling Conference dual season on Jan. 4 versus No. 16 Wyoming. The Wolverines will then host the sixth annual UVU Open the following day.