EVANSTON, Ill. – Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team sent five members of its squad to compete at day 1 of the 52nd annual historic Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern University.
Wrestling unattached, the No. 3 seed Richard Durso was the Diplomats' lone grappler to survive the opening day of the tournament, taking his first bout by an 18-2 tech. fall score at 149. However, Durso dropped his next match by fall to Minnesota's Seth Lange in the third round of the championship bracket to drop into consolations.
Looking for a repeat run similar to last season at the tournament, when he wrestled back in the consolation bracket with three-straight wins and eventually captured fourth place, Durso earned a 3-1 victory in the fourth round of consolations against T.J. Ruschell of Wisconsin and a 3-2 decision in the fifth round to advance into tomorrow's third session.
On Tuesday, Durso faces stiff competition in his first matchup against the bracket's No. 5 seed in Penn.'s C.J. Cobb.
Rob King also competed for the Diplomats, picking up a thrilling 5-3 sudden victory against Army's Connor Hedash in his opening bout at 157. Ahead by a 9-7 score with just over 30 seconds remaining in the third, Patrick Quinlan was on the verge of a victory in his first matchup before Bloomburg's Andy Schutz recorded the pin at 6:28. The pair of grapplers dropped their opening bouts in the consolation bracket to wrap up their competition at the tournament.
Assistant coach Nestor Taffur took to the mat as an unattached wrestler and recorded an 11-9 sudden victory decision against Missouri's Daniel Lewis in his opening matchup. Taffur fell in the next round but landed a 14-9 decision in consolations and followed with a pin in the fifth round to move into tomorrow's third session.
Day 2 of the Midlands wraps up tomorrow with the third session, which includes the semifinals, consolation matches and seventh-place matches at noon (1:00 p.m. EST). The finals, along with the third and fifth place matches are set for tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. EST, all of which will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
Follow tomorrow's action here.