Elite Competition

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Ninth-ranked 165-pounder Luke Manuel looks to climb the Midlands Championship podium for the second straight year.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Ninth-ranked 165-pounder Luke Manuel looks to climb the Midlands Championship podium for the second straight year.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Dec. 27, 2008

Midlands Championship Media Notes Get Acrobat Reader

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue wrestling team heads to one of the nation's toughest tournaments this weekend, looking for another chance to prove themselves against the NCAA's elite wrestling programs. The 46th annual Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern University, kick off on Monday at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill.

The Boilermakers are coming off one of their best finishes in school history at the Midlands, as they took ninth place last year with 58 team points. Then-junior Jake Patacsil led the charge, taking second-place at 149 pounds and scoring nearly half of the squad's tally. Luke Manuel was the only other Boilermaker to climb the podium, taking eighth at 165 pounds with a 5-3 tournament record.

This year's field is as fierce as ever, featuring 12 of the top-25 teams in the latest NWCA Coaches' poll, and more than 80 of the country's ranked wrestlers. Seven of the 11 teams in the Big Ten will be in attendance, including top-ranked and defending national champion Iowa. This year's preseeds feature four Purdue wrestlers, highlighted by Patacsil's No. 2 seed at 149 pounds. Also earning recognition from the seeding committee are Manuel and fellow sophomores A.J. Kissel and Logan Brown. Manuel and Brown are No. 6 seeds at 165 and 197 pounds, while Kissel is the seventh-seed at 184 pounds.

Patacsil has his sights set on a major milestone this weekend as he's four wins shy of the 100-career victory plateau. He's looking to become the 14th wrestler in school history to achieve the feat and ascend the Boilermakers' all-time career win list. Kissel hopes to climb the Purdue record books as his 29 career falls are currently tied for fourth in school history, and he's two shy of a tie for third.

More information and full tournament brackets will be available Monday at nusports.com. For a list of Purdue results and tournament progress visit the Boilermakers' wrestling schedule page at Purduesports.com after each session of competition.