Labriola Takes Fourth at Midlands Championships
Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Nebraska freshman Mikey Labriola took fourth place at 174 pounds at the 55th-annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, one of the top tournaments on the NCAA wrestling calendar. Labriola went 5-2 on the weekend, but fell to No. 15 Dylan Lydy of Purdue in the third-place match by a 3-2 decision on Saturday at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Labriola, who began the tournament as the second seed, started fast on Friday, as he won each of his first two matches with a 12-3 major decision over Danny Bush of Iowa State and a 7-5 decision over Josh Ugalde of Maryland. In the quarterfinals, Labriola fell to Lydy, who was responsible for both of Labriola's losses on the weekend and his only two losses on the season to this point, by a score of 6-4.
The freshman, who was competing unattached, battled back through the consolation rounds, reeling off three wins in a row to earn a spot in the third-place match. He first took down Joey Gunther of Iowa by a 4-3 decision, before defeating Johnny Sebastian (Northwestern) by a 14-6 major decision and Garrett Sutton (Michigan) by a 7-6 decision in the consolation semifinal.
Following his performance at the Midlands Championships, Labriola is 18-2 on the season with three wins over ranked opponents and 12 wins by bonus points competing unattached, as he is expected to redshirt this season for the Huskers.
Five other Huskers also participated at the Midlands Championships, but did not place. Jordan Shearer (149), Luke Weber (157) and Johnny Blankenship each went 2-2, while Collin Purinton (149) and Patrick Grayson (HWT) went 1-2.
The Huskers finished with a total of 10 team points.
Nebraska will return to dual action next weekend, as the Huskers will travel to Illinois for their first conference matchup against the Fighting Illini on Friday, Jan. 5. The dual is set to begin at 8 p.m. and will be televised on BTN. It will also be available on BTN2Go and the BTN mobile app. The Huskers will return home that same weekend to host Maryland on Sunday, Jan. 7. Tickets for the Maryland dual, as well the rest of NU's remaining home duals are on sale now at Huskers.com/Tickets.
55th-Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships
Hoffman Estates, Ill. (Sears Centre Arena)
149: Collin Purinton - DNP (1-2)
149: Jordan Shearer - DNP (2-2)
157: Luke Weber - DNP (2-2)
165: Johnny Blankenship - DNP (2-2)
174: Mikey Labriola - 4th (5-2)
HWT: Patrick Grayson - DNP (1-2)