Three Broncs Place at Midlands
EVANSTON, ILL—Three Broncs placed at the 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern University, with two sevenths and an eighth place finish. “That’s a good sign for the rest of the season,” said Rider head coach Gary Taylor.
It marked the first time since 2007 that the Broncs had three wrestlers place (top eight) in the most prestigious amateur wrestling event in the nation, featuring the best collegiate and post-graduate wrestlers along with Olympic hopefuls.
Sophomore Robert Deutsch (Cherry Hill, NJ/Eastern Regional), the sixth seed at 125, placed seventh. In the battle for seventh place Deutsch defeated the eighth seed, Conor Youtsey of Michigan, 4-1.
“I’m sure Rob would have liked to place higher,” Taylor said. “He was in some good battles. This is the tournament to get him ready for the conference and national tournaments,”
Earlier on Monday Deutsch defeated Penn Gottfried of Columbia 6-5, before losing to Sean Boyle of Michigan 6-0.
Wrestling unattached, freshman 149 Chad Walsh (Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic) placed seventh.
In the battle for seventh, Walsh defeated Rylan Lubeck of Wisconsin 5-0.
Walsh became the first true freshman at Rider to place at the prestigious Midlands when he defeated the eighth seed, Jake Short of Minnesota.6-3 Monday afternoon, before losing 12-3 to Brandon Sorensen of Iowa.
“It’s tough for a freshman to place in a national-level tournament,” Taylor said. “I’m happy that he was able to accomplish it but I’m not really surprised by it. He has a style of wrestling that can beat a lot of people.”
Rider junior Donald McNeil (Plainville, Mass./Wyoming Seminary), the 10th seed at 197, placed eighth.
McNeil lost by injury default to the ninth seed, John Bolich of Lehigh Monday afternoon and was unable to compete for seventh place. “He was winning (against Bolich) pretty solid but just came down on his shoulder,” Taylor said. “Midlands is a very physical, grinding tournament, just like Nationals..”
Earlier on Monday NcNeil defeated the 12th seed, Basil Minto of Northern Iowa 5-3, to secure his top eight finish.
Rider junior 133 Chuck Zeisloft (Woodbury Heights, N.J./Gateway) went 4-2 in the tournament, losing Monday to the eighth seed, Rossi Bruno of Michigan. “Chuck had a pretty good tournament,” Taylor said. “He did a nice job. He came up one bout short but lost to a quality kid in the round to place.”
Walsh won six of eight bouts, McNeil won three of five bouts and Deutsch won three of five bouts.
Rider returns to dual meet action January 4 when the Broncs host Harvard. “Harvard is going to be tough,” Taylor said. “They were out here as well at Midlands and they looked good and we’re a little banged up right now We’ll have to see if we can get back to health by then.”