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
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423