Dec 30, 2016
EVANSTON, Ill. – Josh Terao of American University went 5-1 in the 125-pound weight class to place third at the 54th annual Midlands Championships wrestling tournament, hosted by Northwestern University.
Terao, an Eagle sophomore, picked up a victory by medical forfeit in the third-place match Friday evening when his opponent, Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern, could not compete.
The Eagles placed 23rd with 28 points in the team standings in a national-level field that included half of the top 20 teams in the U.S.
Sophomore Jack Mutchnik (141 pounds), sophomore Michael Sprague (149) and junior heavyweight Brett Dempsey each went 2-2 in the tournament for the Eagles. Senior 184-pounder Jason Grimes went 1-2.
Terao was seeded fifth in the tournament and sailed through his first two bouts with a technical fall and a 59-second pin. He reached Friday's semifinal with an 11-4 win over Christian Moody of Oklahoma.
Facing Thomas Gilman of Iowa, the top-ranked wrestler in the nation at 125, in Friday afternoon's semifinals, Terao lost 8-6. Gilman had won his first four matches on the way to the semifinal, three with technical falls and another with a pin. He eventually won the 125-pound bracket with a 13-4 major decision over Timothy Lambert of Nebraska in the final.
Terao won his consolation semifinal, 2-0, over Shakur Laney of Ohio University, earning the points with a third-period escape and riding time built up when he rode Laney through the entire second period.
"This tournament is a great preparation for the NCAA's," said AU head coach Teague Moore. "We wrestled well against some of the nation's top-ranked opponents. Josh's third place is a great accomplishment as a sophomore and proves that he can compete for a national title. He wrestled the No. 1-ranked opponent very well and had an opportunity to win the match.
"Our other athletes all learned something about this level of competition and where they can go on the national scene."
Mutchnik, seeded 11th by virtue of entering the tournament with a 15-5 record, won a pair of decisions (3-0 over Mason Smith of Central Michigan and 5-2 over Tommy Cash of Indiana) before losing in the third round to No. 6-seed Russell Rohlfng. Mutchnik dropped his first match in the consolation brackets on Thursday.
Sprague beat eighth-seed Collin Purinton of Nebraska, 5-2, in the first round, but fell in his next outing. He advanced with a fall in 5:44 over Jerren Glosser of Iowa before losing 4-1 in the third round of consolation action.
Dempsey split his first two matches, winning 4-0 over Fletcher Miller of Indiana and losing 3-2. He beat David Henry of Oregon State, 4-3, and lost his final match, 3-2, to Mike Kosoy of NC State.
Grimes lost his opener and beat Michael Aldrich of Northern Illinois, 8-4, in his consolation opener. He lost 3-1 to Elliott Antler of Sacred Heart in his last match.
American returns home on Friday, Jan. 6 when it hosts the AU Duals. The Eagles will play host to Wyoming at 3 p.m., Army West Point at 5:00 and North Carolina at 7:00.
Tickets for all AU home wrestling matches are available online at www.aueagles.com/tickets.