EVANSTON, Ill. – Facing a gauntlet of decorated 141-pound grapplers in his second and final day of competition at the 53rd annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern on Wednesday, Franklin & Marshall's Rick Durso battled to a seventh-place finish, his third straight top-eight showing at the historic event.
In the seventh-place match, Durso took on three-time NCAA qualifier and reigning All-American Chris Mecate of Old Dominion, who is ranked No. 3 in the nation and was the bracket's top seed. The bout featured a rematch of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, where Durso (currently ranked No. 19 in the nation) came away with a 3-2 decision over Mecate to reach the quarterfinals en route to his own All-America bid.
Following a scoreless first, Durso registered an escape in the second to enter the final frame with a 1-0 advantage. A pair of nearfall points in the third sealed the win, as Mecate recorded a late escape to make it a 3-1 final.
Durso opened his second day with a thrilling 3-1 sudden victory decision over American's Tyler Scotton, before falling to the 141-pound weight class' No. 5 ranked wrestler, and the bracket's No. 2 seed, Kevin Jack of North Carolina State by a 7-4 decision. Durso concluded the tournament with a 5-2 record that included one pin and four decisions.