Four Placewinners Help Wolverines Finish Eighth at Midlands
Taylor Massa

Dec. 30, 2012

Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Event: Midlands Championships (Day 2 of 2)
U-M Standing: 8th Place of 48 Teams (65.5 Points)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Jan. 11 -- vs. Nebraska (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.

EVANSTON, Ill. -- The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team posted four individual placewinners Sunday (Dec. 30) en route to eighth place (65.5 points) at the 50th annual Midlands Championships at Northwestern's Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Fifth-year senior Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) headlined the Wolverines' contingent with a fourth-place finish at heavyweight. Apland, seeded 11th, earned several bonus points with a pair of wins by medical forfeit but narrowly fell to Wisconsin's seventh-seeded Connor Medbery, 3-1, in the third-place contest after a late double-leg takedown in the third period.

Senior/junior Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) split four wrestleback matches to claim sixth place at 149 pounds. Grajales, seeded sixth, opened with back-to-back wins, including a 7-4 decision against Utah Valley's eighth-seeded Josh Wilson. The Wolverine wrestler rallied from an early deficit, riding out the entire second period before adding two takedowns in the third.

Grajales dropped his final two bouts of the tournament, falling to former Iowa All-American Montell Marion, 5-1, in the consolation semifinals before suffering a 10-2 defeat to Oklahoma's fifth-seeded Nick Lester in the fifth-place match. Grajales scored out of a flurry late in the latter match but could not overcome the significant deficit as Lester used a riding-time point to secure the major decision.

Senior/junior captain Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) also took sixth place after losing in the 174-pound semifinals -- his first defeat of the season -- and defaulting out of his subsequent wrestleback match. The Wolverine captain, seeded fourth, fell to Lehigh's ninth-seeded Nate Brown, 5-2, in the former bout after giving up takedowns in the first and second periods. He trailed late in the second period against Buffalo's sixth-seeded John-Martin Cannon when he got in an awkward position during a scramble on the mat and called for injury time, withdrawing from match at the 4:53 mark.

Freshman Taylor Massa (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns HS), seeded ninth at 165 pounds, posted a 2-1 mark on the day en route to seventh place -- the second placing performance of his rookie campaign. He avenged an earlier season loss to Pittsburgh's seventh-seeded Tyler Wilps in the Round of 12, rallying from an early deficit to knock off the Panther wrestler, 6-4, with a pair of second-period takedowns.

After falling to Illinois' Conrad Polz, 8-4, in his subsequent match, Massa brought a quick end to his seventh-place bout, using a single leg to drive Rider's 11th-seeded Ramon Santiago to his back and earn the pin at 0:31.

Three additional Wolverines -- senior/junior Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy), junior/sophomore Max Huntley (Emerald Isle, N.C./Blair Academy) and sophomore/freshman Justin Dozier (Woodhaven, Mich./Woodhaven HS) -- just missed out on placing after falling in the morning session's Round of 12.

Michigan (6-1) will kick off the Big Ten Conference dual season on Friday, Jan. 11, hosting Nebraska at 7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena.

Final Team Standings (Top 15)

 1. Illinois              99.5
 2. Virginia Tech         97.5
 3. Oklahoma              85
 4. Oregon State          81.5
 5. Central Michigan      76.5
 6. Lehigh                74
 7. Northwestern          67
 8. MICHIGAN              65.5
 9. North Dakota State    57
10. Pittsburgh            56.5
11. Edinboro              52.5
12. Wisconsin             50.5
13. Northern Iowa         49.5
14. Binghamton            39.5
15. Columbia              39
    Nebraska              39

Michigan Results (Day 2)

125 - Sean Boyle
Consolation - dec. by #5 Trent Sprenkle (North Dakota State), 6-0
Eliminated with a 4-2 record

149 - #6 Eric Grajales
Consolations - dec. Mitch Minotti (Lehigh), 3-1
Consolations - dec. #8 Josh Wilson (Utah Valley), 7-4
Consolations - dec. by #1 Montell Marion (unattached), 5-1
Fifth Place - major dec. by #5 Nick Lester (Oklahoma), 10-2
Finished in sixth place 4-3 record

165 - #9 Taylor Massa
Consolations - dec. #7 Tyler Wilps (Pittsburgh), 6-4
Consolations - dec. by #5 Conrad Polz (Illinois), 8-4
Seventh Place - pinned #11 Ramon Santiago (Rider), 0:31
Finished in seventh place with a 4-2 record

174 - #4 Dan Yates
Semifinals - dec. by #9 Nate Brown (Lehigh), 5-2
Consolations - injury defaulted to #6 John-Martin Cannon (Buffalo), 4:53
Defaulted to sixth place with a 3-2 record

197 - #9 Max Huntley
Consolations - dec. by #12 Alex Polizzi (Northwestern), 4-3
Eliminated with a 2-2 record

Hwt - #11 Ben Apland
Consolations - win by forfeit #5 Adam Chalfant (Indiana),
Consolations - major dec. #9 Eric Thompson (Grand View), 9-1
Consolations - win by forfeit #2 Michael McMullan (Northwestern)
Third Place - dec. by #7 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin), 3-1
Finished in fourth place with a 5-3 record

Hwt - Justin Dozier
Consolations - dec. by #9 Eric Thompson (Grand View), 5-2
Eliminated with a 3-2 record

Day One Results

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

Sign up for Michigan Insider to be the first to learn about 2017-18 Michigan wrestling ticket opportunities.