EVANSTON, Illinois – The Iowa State wrestling team (1-4, 1-3 Big 12) capped off the Midlands Championships with three medal winners. Redshirt senior Earl Hall (fourth), freshman Kanen Storr (fifth) and redshirt senior Lelund Weatherspoon (second) all finished on the podium.
As a team, the Cardinal and Gold finished 12th at the 54th Midlands Championships with 54.5 points.
Iowa State returns home next Friday, Jan. 6 for their first home dual of the season. The Cyclones will take on the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first of two Beauty and the Beast events. Wrestling begins at 6:30 p.m.
No. 3 Lelund Weatherspoon was pitted against the No. 1 seed from Arizona State, Zahid Valencia in the championship bout. The two 174-pounders met in Las Vegas this season, with Valencia getting the better of Weatherspoon.
Just like the first, the Sun Devil won by major-decision, defeating Weatherspoon 11-2. This is the second year in a row that Weatherspoon finished on the podium at the Midlands Championships.
In the 133-pound third-place match, No. 4 Earl Hall took on SDSU’s No. 3 Seth Gross. Hall was unable to connect on any of his attacks, falling to the Jack Rabbit, 13-1. With a fourth-place finish, Hall has two podium finishes in as many trips to the Midlands Championships.
True freshman Kanen Storr ended his Midlands debut on a high note. He knocked off CSU Bakersfield’s No. 6 Russell Rohlfing by 7-5 decision. With his victory, Storr joins Tanner Weatherman (fifth in 2011) and Jon Reader (seventh in 2006) to finish on the podium as ISU true freshman since 1982.
The second day of the Midlands Championships welcomed four Cyclones back to the mat. No. 4 Earl Hall, Kanen Storr, Colston DiBlasi and No. 3 Lelund Weatherspoon all advanced to day two.
For No. 3 Weatherspoon, the Midlands semifinal was a rematch from the Cy-Hawk dual earlier this month. He was pitted against Iowa’s No. 2 Alex Meyer. In the first period, Weatherspoon connected on a big upper body move and took Meyeer for six-points. Meyer mounted a late-match comeback, but Weatherspoon was able to hold off the Hawkeye, advancing to the finals on a 9-7 decision.
At 133-pounds, No. 4 Hall pieced together a 3-0 record in the first half of the day. He bolstered two come-from-behind wins in his first two matches, defeating Billy Rappo of Maryland by 11-8 decision and Ohio’s No. 7 Cameron Kelly, 7-3. He earned a spot in the consolation finals after a 4-3 victory over No. 12 Jamall Morris of N.C. State.
Storr continued to roll on the backside of the bracket. He earned a spot on the podium with a 5-4 victory against Ohio State’s No. 8 Luke Pletcher. A true freshman as well, Pletcher was pegged as the No. 6 overall recruit in the class of 2016.
In his next matchup, the Leslie, Michigan, native took down Pitt’s Nick Zanetta by 3-1 decision, but fell to No. 3 Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers, 2-1, on riding time.
DiBlasi suffered a 10-5 loss to Purdue’s No. 10 Alex Griffin. The redshirt freshman picked up three falls at the 2016 Midlands Championships, giving him 11 this season and the most in the nation this year.