Dec. 30, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. - Maryland's second-seeded Christian Boley's five-point move in the second period proved to be too much for Purdue's fourth-seeded Braden Atwood to overcome in a 9-5 decision for the 197-pound title at the 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships Monday in Welsh-Ryan Arena. Purdue finished 13th in the team standings with 45.5 points. Iowa captured the team title with a record-setting 187.5 points. Edinboro was second with 102.5 points, followed by Michigan in third with 84 points, Illinois in fourth with 83 points and Northern Iowa took fifth with 70.5 points.
Atwood got on the board first by taking Boley down midway through the first period, running up 1:14 worth of riding time before Boley escaped to put the score at 2-1 heading into the second period.
The Terrapin deferred on the flip, with Atwood choosing bottom to start the second period. He escaped from Boley's hold to take a 3-1 lead, but that's when he struck with his five-point move, taking the redshirt junior Boilermaker down and rolling him to his back for a five count to earn the three-point nearfall. An escape by Atwood made the score 6-4 in favor of Boley with the final two minutes impending.
Boley added to his lead in the third with an escape and a takedown, pushing the lead to 9-4. Atwood escaped, but was unable to make up the four-point difference as time expired. The Delphi, Ind., native's record moved to 15-5 with the loss.
Atwood earned a spot on podium for the second time in his career and he is just the fourth Boilermaker to become a two-time placewinner at the event after a fourth-place finish at 184 pounds as a redshirt freshman. Other two-time placewinners for Purdue include: Nathan Moore (197), who took eighth in 2006 and sixth in 2005; Ryan Lange (174) who placed fifth in 2001 and seventh in 2000; and Tim McClellan (142) who finished sixth in 1991 and fourth in 1990. In the 51-year history of the Midlands Championships, Purdue has had 33 placewinners.
Atwood punched his ticket to the semifinals by receiving an injury default from top-seeded Mario Gonzalez of Illinois. The two wrestlers wasted no time in attempting their own shot. Atwood's first strike was countered, which led to a scramble and a four-point move for Gonzalez. A reversal by Atwood as the two went out of bounds resulted in Gonzalez taking injury time. Atwood added an escape coming out of choice following the injury time to cut the lead to 4-3.
On a high shot, Atwood tied Gonzalez up at the chest and dropped him straight to the mat for the takedown and a 5-4 advantage. The Illini wrestler called for injury time once again and defaulted at 2:13.
Four other Boilermakers, Cashé Quiroga (133), Danny Sabatello (141), Alex Griffin (149) and Patrick Kissel (174), were in action during the third session, but all four came up one win shy of a podium finish.
The Big Ten portion of the schedule quickly kicks in for Purdue, as the No. 21 Boilermakers (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) will have the next three days to prepare for third-ranked Iowa (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten). The two teams will take their show on the road as Bradley-Bourbonnais High School in Bradley, Ill., is set to host the dual. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door.