Grapplers Set for 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships

Dec. 28, 2013

No. 21 Purdue at 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships
Sunday, Dec. 29 - Monday, Dec. 30 | Welsh-Ryan Arena | Evanston, Ill.

Complete Notes
Contains rankings, season and career stats, records and much more

Brackets | Purdue Results

Sunday, Dec. 29
9:30 a.m. - Session I
7 p.m. CT - Session II

Monday, Dec. 30
12 p.m. CT - Session III
8 p.m. CT - Session IV: Finals

• Follow @PurdueWrestling on Twitter, Facebook and @PurdueWrestling on Instagram for results, photos and videos.

• Monday's finals will air live on the Big Ten Network starting at 8 p.m. CT.

Scouting the Competition
• Over 40 teams from across the country are slated to compete in the 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, including 30 Division I squads, 10 from Division III and two from Division II and the NAIA. Half of the teams are nationally ranked among their respective division and the NAIA. The tournament field includes two-time defending Division II national champs Nebraska-Kearney, three-time defending and 10-time Division III national champs Wartburg and two-time reigning NAIA champs Grand View. The complete team listing can be found here.

• Purdue will joined by six Big Ten teams at the event: Indiana, Northwestern, Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. The Boilermakers will meet five of those teams in dual action later in the season. Other dual opponents that they will see at Midlands include Northern Iowa and SIU-Edwardsville.

• Six of the top-10 teams from last year return in 2013, including the defending champion, Illinois, who edged runner-up Virginia Tech by two points, 99.5 to 97.5.

• Per the Dec. 22 pre-seeds, there will be only one returning champion in the field in Jarrod Garnett. The former Virginia Tech 125-pounder will be competing for the Bison Wrestling Club. Twenty placewinners from last year also appear in the pre-seeds, led by three each at 157, 184 and 285. To view the pre-seeds, click here.

• A pair of Boilermakers earned pre-seeds with 149-pounder Brandon Nelsen at No. 12 and Braden Atwood No. 6 at 197. The final seeding meeting will take place on Dec. 28.

• Purdue wrestlers have already competed against seven of the pre-seeded individuals in 2013:

Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational (12/6-7)
165: Daniel Yates (Michigan) pin Chad Welch, 1:19 Yates is pre-seed No. 4
174: Austin Gabel (Virginia Tech) dec. Patrick Kissel, 4-3 Gabel is pre-seed No. 9
197: Chris Penny (Virgina Tech) dec. Braden Atwood, 11-6 Penny is pre-seed No. 5

Michigan State Open (11/9)
141: Matt Bystol (Columbia) dec. Nick Lawrence, 3-1 (SV1) Bystol is pre-seed No. 5
141: Mitchell Port (Edinboro) dec. Danny Sabatello, 9-6 Port is pre-seed No. 1
157: Taylor Walsh (Indiana) dec. Doug Welch, 7-0 Walsh is pre-seed No. 2
165: Ryan LeBlanc (Indiana) maj. dec. Andy Hoselton, 14-2 LeBlanc is pre-seed No. 11

Purdue at Midlands
• The Boilermakers are looking to improve upon their showing 2012 where they tallied just 16.5 points to finish 28th in the team standings.

• Purdue has had 32 placewinners in the Midland's 50-year history, sending four into medal matches on three occasions: 2008, 2006 and 1990. In 1990, the Boilermakers recorded their highest team finish, placing fourth with 49.25 points. The highest point total they have amassed is 82.5 when they finished seventh in 2008. Dave Gibson is the only Purdue wrestler to have won a title, doing so at 157 pounds in 1963, the first edition of the tournament.

Braden Atwood has the opportunity to become the fourth two-time Midlands placewinner for Purdue. As a redshirt freshman he placed fourth at 184 pounds. Nathan Moore (197) took eighth in 2006 and sixth in 2005; Ryan Lange (174) placed fifth in 2001 and seventh in 2000; and Tim McClellan (142) finished sixth in 1991 and fourth in 1990.

• Only two Boilermakers have landed on the podium three times. Luke Manuel was third at 174 in 2009 and twice placed eighth at 165 (2008, 2007). At 149, Jake Patascil took third in 2008 and was a runner-up in 2007 and 2006.




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