EVANSTON, Ill. – Purdue junior Luke Manuel captured third place at 174 pounds at the 47th Annual Midlands Wrestling Championships, hosted by Northwestern University at Welsh Ryan Arena on Tuesday and Wednesday. Manuel avenged his only loss of the tournament in the bronze medal match, defeating Colby Covington of Oregon State by decision, 5-3.
Manuel dominated the entire match against Covington, scoring the only two takedowns of the bout and applying constant pressure on his opponent. He snared his first points about halfway through the first period, getting the best of a scramble and working behind his Beaver opponent. Covington escaped after about a 20-second ride by Manuel, but Manuel quickly ducked behind Covington and pulled him to the mat for a second score and after another escape held a 4-2 lead. The pair traded escapes in the second and third periods, but Manuel steered the action, keeping constant pressure on Covington’s head and not coming close to giving up a takedown.
Manuel had an outstanding tournament, continuing his excellent season in progress at 174 pounds. After bumping up to 174 from 165 pounds this season, he’s reeled off a 27-2 record to date, including a 7-1 mark at Midlands. His current record is good for the third best single-season winning percentage in Purdue history at 93.1%, while his career mark of 82-26 (75.9%) is tied with Boilermaker great Bernie Barrile for 10th all-time at Purdue. He’s also on the doorstep of climbing on to the Boilermakers’ career takedown leaderboard, improving his collegiate total to 183, just four shy of 20th in school history.
The Boilermakers finished 11th as a team, totaling 58.5 team points.
The Boilermakers continue their season on Sunday, Jan. 3, heading to Old Dominion University for a trio of dual matches. Visit PurdueSports.com for a full preview of Sunday’s action and information on event coverage.