EVANSTON, Ill. – Junior Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) prevailed three times to earn a spot in the 184 pound weight class semifinals as the Brown wrestling team sits in 13th place out of 47 teams after day one action at the 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Sunday.
Bernstein, seeded fifth at Midlands and ranked 14th in the nation at 184 according to the latest InterMat Wrestling poll, pinned his opening round opponent in under two minutes and took down 12th-seeded Jake Turk, 12-3, to move into the quarterfinals. Bernstein then bested fourth-seeded No. 10 Vic Avery of Edinboro, 9-3, and is one match away from Monday's championship round.
Now 16-3 on the season, Bernstein will face top-seeded No. 2 Ethen Lofthouse of Iowa. Three of the four wrestlers remaining at 184 are in the nation's top 20, including No. 3 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland.
Junior Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Nev.) surrendered by pinfall in his Midlands debut but stays alive in the 174 pound weight class wrestlebacks to take on CSU Bakersfield's No. 15 Bryce Hammond, who was upset by pinfall by Jordan Wofhert in the second session. Consecutive forfeits put McDonald up against Iowa's Alex Meyer for a shot at the quarterfinals, but McDonald fell 1-0.
Freshman Justin Staudenmayer (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) earned back-to-back wins at 157 before being pinned by second-seeded Nick Brascetta of Virginia Tech. Augsburg's Will Keeter bowed out to Staudenmayer, 2-0, but the rookie's day would end against Columbia's seventh-seeded Markus Sheidel, 4-3.
Wrestling unattached, Billy Watterson grabbed a 3-2 opening round win before dropping a 14-4 decision to fourth-seeded Thomas Gilman of Iowa. Watterson drew Dominic Olivieri (unattached, Illinois) in the next session and won, 8-5, then moved into Monday's session by forfeit.
The action continues Monday with the third session, semifinals, consolation matches and seventh place matches at noon.
The Big Ten Network will air the finals of the 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championship live at 8 p.m. CT on Monday.
Billy Waterson (Unattched)
Defeated Billy Rappo (Maryland), 3-2
Defeated by (4) Thomas Gilman (Iowa), 14-4
Defeated Dominic Olivieri (Illinois), 8-5
Defeated Mike Fuenffinger (Augsburg), Forfeit
Defeated by Chris Caton (Indiana), 16-6
Defeated by (9) #19 Dom Malone (Northwestern), 12-0
Defeated Connor Sutton (Columbia), 7-4
Defeated by (8) Jake Short (UN-Minnesota), 6-1
Defeated by Curt Delia (Rider), 11-3
Pinned by (2) Darrion Caldwell (RAW 24), 0:53
Pinned Trevor Willson (Utah Valley), 1:20
Defeated by Frank Goodwin (Maryland), 6-1
Defeated Zach Witte (Northern Iowa), 3-1
Defeated Robert Coukos (Northwestern), T1.5;17-0;4:51
Defeated by (2) Nick Brascetta (UN-Virginia Tech), 12-4
Defeated Will Keeter (Augsburg), 2-0
Defeated by (7) Markus Sheidel (Columbia), 4-3
Pinned by (7) Brock Gutches (Southern Oregon), 1:40
Defeated Eric Morris (Harvard), Forfeit
Defeated Bryce Hammond (CSU Bakersfield), Forfeit
Defeated by Alex Meyer (Iowa), 1-0
(5) #14 Ophir Bernstein
Pinned Sean Pollock (CSU-Bake), 1:55
Defeated (12) Jake Turk (UN-South Dakota State), 12-3
Defeated (4) #10 Vic Avery, 9-3