Three Wolverine Semifinalists Headline Day One at Midlands
Eric Grajales

Dec. 30, 2013

Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Event: Midlands Championships (Day 1 of 2)
U-M Standing: 5th Place of 47 Teams (44 Points) after Day 1
Next U-M Event: Monday, Dec. 30 -- Day 2 at Midlands Championships (Evanston, Ill.), noon CST

EVANSTON, Ill. -- With three semifinalists and five more alive in the consolation bracket, the University of Michigan wrestling team sits in fifth place (44 points) after the first day of competition at the 51st annual Midlands Championships on Sunday (Dec. 29) at Northwestern's Welsh-Ryan Arena.

The Wolverines will be represented in the semifinals at the middleweights and heavyweight as fifth-year senior Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS), sophomore Taylor Massa (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns HS) and freshman Adam Coon (Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville HS) all posted perfect 3-0 records with a combined five falls.

Grajales, seeded fifth at 149 pounds, earned a solid 6-0 decision over Virginia Tech's fourth-seeded Zach Neibert in the quarterfinals, scoring on an early arm drag in the first period before added a three-point cradle at the final buzzer and 3:46 in riding-time advantage. The Wolverine senior posted two wins in the morning preliminary rounds, adding bonus points with a first-period fall -- on another cradle -- against Northern Iowa's Tyler Patten.

Massa, who is competing unattached to preserve his redshirt season, cruised into the 165-pound semifinals with back-to-back pins in the second and quarterfinal rounds. He stuck Maryland's Josh Snook in an arm bar at the 3:48 mark of the latter match, piling on the points with two takedowns and five back points in the first period before ending the bout midway through the second. Massa, seeded third, also pinned Purdue's Pat Robinson with an arm bar-head scoop combination at 1:47. Since he is unattached, Massa's points do not count toward the Wolverines' team total.

Coon, seeded third at heavyweight, similarly rolled into the heavyweight semifinal round with a pair of preliminary pins and a solid 11-5 decision over Grand View's sixth-seeded Eric Thompson in the quarterfinals. Thompson looked to go upper body several times and Coon took advantage, putting him on his back for four points in the first and countering an inside trip attempt in the third. The Wolverine rookie added another late takedown and 1:10 in riding-time advantage. Coon improved to 17-0 in his collegiate career; he boasts six pins this season.

Michigan opened the evening session with a tough quarterfinal stretch at the lowerweights as sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey (Parma, Mich./Mason HS) and fifth-year senior Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy) dropped decisions to the top two seeds at 125 pounds, and sophomore Rossi Bruno (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) lost to the top seed at 133.

Boyle and Bruno posted 2-1 records on the day, while Youtsey went 1-1. Boyle, unseeded at 125 pounds, knocked off Purdue's 10th-seeded Camden Eppert, 4-2, and Edinboro's seventh-seeded Kory Mines, 6-2, in the morning session.

Freshman Domenic Abounader (Gates Mills, Ohio/St. Edward HS), seeded 11th at 184 pounds, also fell in the quarterfinal round, suffering his first collegiate loss with a 6-1 decision to Lehigh's third-seeded Nate Brown on takedowns in the first and third periods. Abounader, who is 7-1 this season, earned an extra point with an 8-0 major decision over Columbia's Zach Hernandez in the second round, scoring two takedowns, two back points and 4:06 in riding-time advantage.

Senior/junior Collin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) posted a 3-1 record at 174 pounds, rebounding from a second-round loss with back-to-back evening wins in the consolation bracket. He advanced to tomorrow with a 3-1 overtime decision against South Dakota State's John Nething, finishing on an outside single midway through the extra frame. Zeerip opened the day with a first-round bonus victory, using a late third-period cradle to pin Grand View's Jimmie Schuessler at 6:28. He owns three falls on the season.

Six Wolverines, including three of the 10 team scorers, were eliminated from the tournament after suffering two losses on the opening day of competition. Senior/junior Jake Salazar (Midway, Utah/Wasatch HS) and Ben Ralston (Oxford, Mich./Oxford HS) picked up decision wins in the 157- and 174-pound wrestlebacks, respectively.

The Wolverines will return to the mats tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 30) for the second and final day of competition at the Midlands Championships. The morning session, featuring the semifinals and continued wrestlebacks, is slated for a noon CST start at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The finals are scheduled for 8 p.m. CST and will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.

Top 10 Teams (After Day 1)

 1. Iowa             112
 2. Illinois          57
 3. Edinboro          52
 4. Maryland          46.5
 5. MICHIGAN          44
 6. Northern Iowa     39
    Wisconsin         39
 8. Columbia          36.5
    Purdue            36.5
10. Northwestern      34

Michigan Results (Day 1)

125 Pounds -- Conor Youtsey
First Round - Bye
Second Round - dec. Bracken Nipko (Utah Valley), 7-5
Quarterfinals - dec. by #1 Jesse Delgado (Illinois), 8-4
Consolations - vs. Billy Rappo (Maryland)

125 Pounds -- Sean Boyle
First Round - dec. #10 Camden Eppert (Purdue), 4-2
Second Round - dec. #7 Kory Mines (Edinboro), 6-2
Quarterfinals - dec. by #2 Jarrod Garnett (Bison WC), 8-3
Consolations - vs. Billy Watterson (Brown)

133 Pounds -- #8 Rossi Bruno
First Round - dec. Jeffrey Ott (Harvard), 11-4
Second Round - dec. Vince Rodriguez (Utah Valley), 4-0
Quarterfinals - dec. by #1 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro), 6-0
Consolations - vs. Chuck Zeisloft (Rider)

133 Pounds -- George Fisher (unattached)
First Round - dec. by #6 Alan Waters (Missouri), 7-0
Consolations - dec. by Jordan Lasser (Princeton), 3-2
Eliminated with a 0-2 record

141 Pounds -- Angelo Latora
First Round - dec. by #3 Adam Krop (Princeton), 7-3
Consolations - dec. by Jameson Oster (Northwestern), 10-7
Eliminated with a 0-2 record

141 Pounds -- Cameron Kennedy (unattached)
First Round - dec. by #5 Matt Bystol (Columbia), 7-2
Consolations - dec. by Clay Cathey (Northern Iowa), 7-1
Eliminated with a 0-2 record

149 Pounds -- #5 Eric Grajales
First Round - dec. Chad Walsh (Rider), 9-2
Second Round - pinned Tyler Patten (Northern Iowa), 1:35
Quarterfinals - dec. #4 Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech), 6-0
Semifinals - vs. #1 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern)

157 Pounds -- Jake Salazar
First Round - dec. by #5 Andrew Massa (Northern Illinois), 5-2
Consolations - dec. Kasey Burnett-Davis (Edinboro), 9-2
Consolations - dec. by Isaiah Martinez (Illinois), 10-8 SV
Eliminated with a 1-2 record

165 Pounds -- #3 Taylor Massa (unattached)
First Round - dec. ShaunQue McCurty (Northern Illinois), 6-1
Second Round - pinned Pat Robinson (Purdue), 1:47
Quarterfinals - pinned Josh Snook (Maryland), 3:48
Semifinals - vs. #2 Nick Moore (Iowa)

174 Pounds -- Collin Zeerip
First Round - pinned Jimmie Schuessler (Grand View), 6:28
Second Round - pinned by #7 Brock Gutches (Southern Oregon), 2:37
Consolations - dec. Nick Mitchell (Edinboro), 8-4
Consolations - dec. John Nething (South Dakota State) 3-1 SV
Consolations - vs. #9 Scott Liegel (Wisconsin)

174 Pounds -- Ben Ralston
First Round - dec. by #4 Bryce Hammond (CSU Bakersfield), 6-5
Consolations - dec. Tony Gardner (Maryland), 6-5
Consolations - Nick Mitchell (Edinboro), 8-3
Eliminated with a 1-2 record

184 Pounds -- #11 Domenic Abounader
First Round - dec. Caleb Busson (Northern Illinois), 3-2 TB2
Second Round - major dec. Zach Hernandez (Columbia), 8-0
Quarterfinals - dec. by #3 Nate Brown (Lehigh), 6-1
Consolations - vs. #12 Kurt Julson (North Dakota State)

197 Pounds -- Chris Heald
First Round - dec. David Reck (Virginia Tech), 6-4
Second Round - pinned by #4 Braden Atwood (Purdue), 4:22
Consolations - dec. by Charles Johnson (Southern Oregon), 9-3
Eliminated with a 1-2 record

Heavyweight -- #3 Adam Coon
First Round - pinned Nick Gajdzik (Harvard), 4:07
Second Round - pinned Wyatt Baker (Columbia), 1:15
Quarterfinals - dec. #6 Eric Thompson (Grand View), 11-5
Semifinals - vs. #2 Spencer Myers (Maryland)

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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