Iowa Takes Team Lead After First Session of 40th Midlands Championships

By John Fuller | Dec. 28, 2002, 12 a.m. (ET)
With competition reaching the quarterfinals after session 1, the Hawkeyes lead the competition with 39 points. Penn State is in second with 35 points and Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club (34 points), Michigan (27.5 points), Illinois (27 points) and Ohio State (27 points) round out the top six. Iowa has five wrestlers competing in tonight's quarterfinals: 125-pound Luke Eustice, 149-pound Ty Eustice, 174-pound Tyler Nixt, 184-pound Jessman Smith and 285-pound Steve Mocco. Joe Williams of the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, and formerly a star at Iowa, continues his quest for an amazing ninth consecutive Midlands title. Williams defeated Ryan Hagen of Stanford 12-4 in the first round and Matt Herrington of Pennsylvania 8-5 in the second round. 2002 NCAA finalists Luke Eustice of Iowa (125 pounds), Joe Heskett of the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club (165 pounds), Matt Lackey of Illinois (165 pounds), Greg Parker of Princeton (184 pounds), Jon Trenge of Lehigh (197 pounds), Steve Mocco of Iowa (285 pounds) and Tommy Rowlands of Ohio State (285 pounds) are all competing in this evening's quarterfinals. Heskett and Nick Preston of Ohio State (285 pounds) are on pace to join the prestigious Midlands "20 in 4" club. The "20 in 4" Club is for wrestlers who have won 20 matches or more in the first four Midlands competitions. Going into tonight's quarterfinals, Heskett needs three more wins to join the club while Preston needs two. There were few upsets in the first session, but when they came, they were monstrous. At 133 pounds, unseeded Mike Simpson of Arizona State knocked off top-seeded All-American Cliff Moore of Iowa 8-5 in the first round of competition. Marat Tomaev of Penn State, also unseeded, beat #6 Ryan L'Amoreaux of Michigan State 10-3 in the first round as well. At 141 pounds, defending NCAA champion Aaron Holker of Iowa State was defeated 10-6 by Derek Phillips of Central Michigan. Phillips' big move came when he put Holker to his back, taking a lead that the gambling Holker could not overcome. Jeremiah Tobias of Michigan knocked off #9 seed Nathan Galloway of Penn State in the first round and then dismantled #8 seed Josh Daugherty of Ohio State in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals at 149 pounds. Tobias will meet up with John Fisher of the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club in the next round. Jon Garvin of Northern Iowa pinned #3 seeded Ty Morgan on Central Michigan in a first round overtime match at 149 pounds. At 174 pounds, Mitch Hancock of Central Michigan dominated All-American Mark Fee of Appalachian State before pinning him late in the second period. Hancock was later defeated by Matt Erwin of V.M.I. Also at 174 pounds, John Carr of East Stroudsburg pinned Andy Hrovat of the Wildcat Wrestling Club in the third period to advance to the quarterfinals. Anthony Reynolds of Sacred Heart has also been impressive after defeating #5 seed Anton Talamantes of Ohio State 7-3. Reynolds was able to control the match from his feet, scoring three takedowns against his well-known opponent. The 40th Midlands Championships has also seen a lot of fresh faces dominating in the early rounds. Freshmen Kyle Ott of Illinois (125 pounds), Nick Simmons of Michigan State (125 pounds), Mark Jayne of Illinois (133 pounds), Ty Eustice of Iowa (149 pounds), Derek Zinck of Lehigh (157 pounds), Alex Tirapelle of Illinois (157 pounds), Matt Herrington of Pennsylvania (165 pounds) and Troy Letters of Lehigh (165 pounds) have all advanced to this evening's quarterfinal round. Continue to log on to for complete coverage of the 40th Midlands Championships.