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Midlands Championship: 10 Boilermakers advance to second session

EVANSTON, Ill. — The Purdue wrestling team saw 10 of its 11 wrestlers advance to the second session of the 47th Annual Midlands Wrestling Championships, hosted by Northwestern University at Welsh Ryan Arena in Evanston, IL. Purdue finished the first session with 24.5 team points and junior Logan Brown advances to the quarterfinals at 197 pounds as the only Boilermaker remaining in the championship brackets.

Logan Brown Purdue Wrestler

Junior Logan Brown advances to the quarterfinals at 197 pounds as the only Boilermaker remaining in the championship brackets.

The pigtails and first round brought mixed results for the Boilers as some tough draws and bad luck led to a 7-5 start. A trio of Boilermakers drew pigtail matches as sophomore Jake Fleckenstein and senior Nick Corpe emerged victorious, while ninth-seeded junior Colton Salazar fell to the wrestlebacks. Fleckenstein opened Purdue’s tournament with a solid 15-7 major decision over DaMonte Riley of Lincoln College at 141 pounds and Corpe tallied an 8-3 win over Bucknell’s David Thompson at 184, while Salazar fell to Hadley Harrison of Clarion by major decision at 157, 12-2.

Fleckenstein followed up with a first-round victory over Missouri’s Nick Hucke, notching his second major decision of the day in a 19-9 effort. Joining him in the win column were Brown, fellow juniors Juan Archuleta and Luke Manuel, and seniors Nick Bertucci and Sam Patacsil. Archuleta snared a late takedown to score a 3-1 decision over Northern Illinois’ Vince Castillo at 141 pounds, while Manuel and Brown notched major decisions at 174 and 197 pounds, respectively. Manuel, ranked seventh in the nation and seeded third at 174, blanked Big Ten rival Brian Roddy of Northwestern, 8-0, while 12th-ranked and seventh-seeded Brown posted a 14-1 victory over Chicago’s Troy Carlson. Bertucci and Patacsil notched narrow wins at 149 pounds as Bertucci used a late reversal and nearfall to edge Wisconsin’s Shawn Perry, 6-5, and Patacsil rode an early takedown and nearfall to a 4-2 win over James Fleming of Clarion.

Corpe, freshman Cashé Quiroga, sophomore Bill Putman and junior Akif Eren were less fortunate in the opening round, all suffering losses to highly-ranked and seeded opponents. Corpe fell in a hard-fought match with 12th-ranked and eighth-seeded Jerome Ward of Iowa State, 2-1, while at 125 pounds Quiroga was caught early and nearly came back in a 6-4 loss to seventh-ranked and second-seeded Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech. At 133 pounds, Putman dropped a 10-0 major decision to No. 6 ranked and No. 2 seeded Scotti Sentes of Central Michigan, and Eren was pinned by 17th-ranked and eighth-seeded Billy Ashnault of Rutgers in 5:32.

In the second round, the Boilermakers had tough times at 141 and 174 pounds, but thrived at 197 on the strength of a decision victory. Brown knocked off his fifth ranked opponent of the season, taking a 6-2 win from No. 16 Chad Hanke of Oregon State. Fleckenstein and Archuleta respectively fell to the 10th- and 11th-ranked wrestlers in the nation at 141 pounds as Fleckenstein was pinned by Maryland’s Alex Krom in 1:46, while Archuleta fell just shy of defeating Tyler Nauman of Pittsburgh, 9-6. Manuel suffered just his second loss of the season at 174, dropping a 3-1 sudden victory decision to Oregon State’s Colby Covington.

Salazar, Putman, Quiroga and Eren did some damage in the wrestlebacks as they all advanced to tonight’s session. Salazar and Putman all needed to win a pair of matches to advance as they all drew pigtail matches on the consolation side. Salazar scored a 6-2 decision over Wisconsin’s Kalvin York to start his wrestlebacks, and remained alive with a thrilling 7-5 decision over seventh-seeded Conrad Polz of Illinois, ousting a potential scorer for the Illini. Corpe scored his first fall of the season in his consolation pigtail, sticking Nick Anthony of Cleveland State in 4:25, but was the only Boilermaker ousted from the opening session as he fell to Northern Iowa’s Andy O’Loughlin, 7-0.

Putman took a forfeit win from Naveed Baghari of San Francisco State to earn his first victory of the tournament, and followed up with a 10-2 major decision over Triton’s Vince Vallez. Quiroga advanced to the consolation second round and picked up bonus points with a 20-6 drubbing of Iowa State’s Dallas Collier, while Eren moved on in closer fashion, edging out Eric Ellington of Rend Lake College in sudden victory, 5-3.

Tonight’s action picks up at 8 p.m. (EST) with the consolation second round and championship quarterfinals. Continue to follow the Boilermakers at the Purdue Wrestling Twitter page.

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