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    Welch, Munster are Midlands Finalists, NU in Second

    In his final Midlands as a collegiate wrestler, John Schoen placed for the first time, finishing eighth at 197 lbs.

    In his final Midlands as a collegiate wrestler, John Schoen placed for the first time, finishing eighth at 197 lbs.

    Dec. 30, 2011

    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
    Team Standings: Northwestern 2nd/43 (97.5 points, through Session III)
    Next NU Event: Midlands Championships Session IV – Friday, Dec. 30, 7 p.m.
    Final Session III Brackets & Team Standings
    2011 Midlands Championships Website
    EVANSTON, Ill. – Two Northwestern wrestlers look to become Midlands champions for the first time in their careers as Jason Welch (157) and Lee Munster (174) both won their semifinal bouts and will wrestle in the finals tonight. Northwestern sits in second place with 97.5 points, 10 points ahead of third place Oklahoma, heading into the final round. Three other NU wrestlers will also be on the medal stand as Levi Mele (125) and Mike McMullan (heavyweight) compete for third place tonight and John Schoen placed eighth at 197 lbs. during Session III. Iowa holds the team lead with 145.0 points.
    Session IV, which includes the first, third and fifth place matches, begins tonight at 7 p.m. The Big Ten Network will broadcast tonight’s finals and it will air on tape-delay tonight at 9:30 p.m. CT.
    Top-seeded Jason Welch came back once again from a first-period deficit to punch his ticket into the finals at 157 lbs. Welch trailed Oklahoma’s No. 4 seed Matt Lester 2-0 in the first period of his semifinal bout but used a reversal and three nearfall points to take the 5-2 lead heading into the second. Welch added another reversal, putting the score at 7-2 in the second and Lester added on a point for riding time as Welch earned the 7-3 decision. Welch now faces a rematch against No. 2 seed Granbayar Sanjaa from American in the finals. These two met at the NWCA All-Star Classic in November where Welch was the 8-5 winner.
    No. 5 Lee Munster became the second Northwestern finalist with his 9-0 major decision over No. 9 seed Luke Rynish from UW-Parkside (Division II). Munster scored eight points in the first period and added another point with 2:25 of riding time in the win. He meets No. 2 seed Ethen Lofthouse of Iowa tonight in the 174 lbs. finals.
    No. 4 seed Levi Mele wrestled No. 8 Jarrod Garnett, who was competing unattached from Virginia Tech, in the semifinals at 125 lbs. Mele got out to a 2-0 lead with a first-period takedown and lead 2-1 heading into the second period after Garnett added an escape point. After a scoreless second, Garnett used a reversal to take the 3-2 lead and Mele tied it up with an escape in the final 30 seconds but Garnett won the bout 4-3 with 2:40 of riding time. The loss was Mele’s first of the year and snapped his 16-match winning streak. Mele bounced back in the consolation round, defeating No. 6 seed Joe Roth from Central Michigan 2-0 to earn a spot in the third place match against top-seeded Jesse Delgado from Illinois.
    After defeating a Hawkeye yesterday, No. 10 Mike McMullan faced another Iowa competitor in the semis, No. 3 seed Bobby Telford. Telford struck first with a second-period escape and McMullan had a big reversal with 55 seconds left in the match to go up 2-1. Telford managed one more escape and with riding time not a factor, the two went to sudden victory. Telford then secured the 4-2 victory with the winning takedown. McMullan takes on unseeded Matt Gibson of Iowa State in the third place bout with a medical forfeit to Maryland’s No. 5 Spencer Myers in the consolation semifinals.
    John Schoen secured a spot on the Midlands medal stand for the first time in his Northwestern career with a win in the consolation round and placed eighth at 197 lbs. He matched up against Illinois No. 8 Mario Gonzalez in his first match of the day and wrestled in his third-consecutive overtime match. Schoen got out to a 2-0 lead in the bout but two escapes tied the score at 2-2 heading into the third period. Schoen had another lead in the third period but Gonzalez scored a takedown with 19 seconds remaining to force overtime. In the sudden victory it was then Schoen scoring the winning takedown with 19 seconds left for the 7-5 victory. Schoen then was bounced to the seventh place match with a 9-5 win by No. 4 Christian Boley from Maryland. He then added one more overtime bout to his resume in the seventh place match but No. 7 seed Grant Gambrall of Iowa won 3-1 in sudden victory and the unseeded Schoen finished eighth.
    No. 9 Kaleb Friedley was eliminated from competition in the wrestlebacks at 149 lbs. Friedley faced No. 12 Shane Welsh from Lehigh and fell 8-3 in the consolation round.
    No. 8 Jarrod Garnett (Va Tech-UNATT) dec. No. 4 Levi Mele (NU), 4-3
    No. 4 Levi Mele (NU) dec. No. 6 Joe Roth (CMU), 2-0
    No. 12 Shane Welsh (Leh) dec. No. 9 Kaleb Friedley (NU), 8-3
    No. 1 Jason Welch (NU) dec. No. 4 Matt Lester (OU), 7-3
    No. 5 Lee Munster (NU) Maj. Dec. No. 9 Luke Rynish (UW-Park), 9-0
    John Schoen (NU) dec. No. 8 Mario Gonzalez (Ill), 7-5, SV
    No. 4 Christian Boley (MD) dec. John Schoen (NU), 9-5
    No. 7 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) dec. John Schoen (NU), 3-1, SV
    No. 3 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. No. 10 Mike McMullan (NU), 3-1, SV
    No. 10 Mike McMullan (NU) med. forf. No. 5 Spencer Myers (MD)