EVANSTON, Ill. – Four members of the Franklin & Marshall wrestling team competed at day one of the 53nd annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern, with 141-pounder Rick Durso being the lone Diplomat to advance into tomorrow's final day of action. He will look to place for the third straight season, but will need to wrestleback in the consolation bracket after suffering a tightly-contested quarterfinal defeat.
Durso, who took fifth last season at 149 and fourth in 2013 at 141, opened with a pin of Columbia's Jacob Macololooy at 2:49. The bracket's No. 6 grappler and No. 19 ranked wrestler in the nation, Durso continued his run in the 141-pound championship bracket with a narrow 5-4 decision over Oregon State's Jack Hathaway, before following with a huge 4-3 win against the bracket's No. 11 seed and EIWA-foe Jordan Laster of Princeton.
In the quarterfinals, Durso took on another Princeton opponent Matthew Kolodzik, who knocked off the bracket's No. 3 wrestler Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers by an 11-4 score in the previous round. An opening-period takedown put Durso in an early 2-0 hole, but he fought back with a pair of escapes to enter the third with the bout tied at two. However, Kolodzik chose down to start the frame and registered an escape followed by a takedown for the 5-2 victory.
Scott Stevens was pinned (2:50) in his first matchup of the day at 133 and saw his tournament come to an end with a heartbreaking 11-9 overtime loss in the wrestlebacks. Jason Bing (149) faced a tough draw in his beginning match, squaring off with the nation's No. 2 grappler and the top-seeded Brandon Sorensen of Iowa. Bing fell by a 17-1 tech. fall score and bowed out in the consolations with an opening 6-0 loss.
Robbie King went up against the 165-pound bracket's No. 3 seed Chad Welch of Purdue in the first round and fell by an 18-2 score, before seeing his tournament come to an end with a 11-6 defeat in consolations.
Day two 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. The Diplomats will also compete tomorrow at the fourth annual David H. Lehman F&M Open, beginning at 9:00 a.m.