Precin Named Champion of Champions After Win Over Top-Ranked McDonough
Senior becomes second Wildcat to win multiple Midlands titles
Final Brackets / Team Scores
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Team Standings: Northwestern T-13th/44
Next NU Event: Pittsburgh Duals - Sunday, Jan. 9, Pittsburgh, Pa.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern senior Brandon Precin has always felt fortunate to compete at a tournament as prestigious as the Midlands Championships on his home mats and just a few miles from his hometown of Orland Park. He made the most of his final chance Thursday, downing defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Matt McDonough of Iowa, 3-1, to win his second career Midlands crown.
After the match, Precin was announced as winner of the Art Kraft Champion of Champions award, which is voted on by all 10 Midlands champions.
Precin, now 19-0 on the year, follows former NU wrestler Jake Herbert in becoming the second Wildcat in the 48-year history of the Midlands to claim two championships. Northwestern wrestlers have now won eight tournament titles since 2004.
"It's a great honor to win a second Midlands title, especially to come back after placing third last year," Precin said. "(McDonough's) singles, his grip are unbelieveable. We've still got duals, Big Tens and NCAAs so it could be the first of many (matches against McDonough). A lot of times when (opponents) are even strength it could just be that one guy has a little more gas in the tank. That could be the difference."
"Brandon executed our match strategy to perfection," said Northwestern head coach Drew Pariano. "It's the first of what could be four matchups this season so it's only the start of a great rivalry."
In a bout featuring unbeaten wrestlers and the last two Midlands champions, an aggressive Precin gained a 2-0 advantage two minutes into the first period with a takedown. After riding out the period, Precin made it 3-0 with an escape to start the second. McDonough returned the favor in the third but Precin refused to be taken down late and held on to win by the score of 3-1.
Precin, winner in 50 of his last 53 collegiate matches, will likely face McDonough once again less than a month from now when the Wildcats and Hawkeyes meet in Big Ten dual competition on Friday, Jan. 28, in Evanston.
Northwestern senior Andrew Nadhir finished in fourth place Thursday after falling in a tough overtime match against fourth-seeded Eric Terrazas of Illinois. With the score knotted at one after three periods, Nadhir had two solid chances at takedowns in the sudden victory period only to see the action carry out of bounds. Terrazas was able to score in his half of the tiebreaker period to claim third.
The Wildcats finished in a tie with Maryland for 13th place in the tournament, compiling 48.5 team points. Missouri claimed the team title with 103.5, breaking Iowa's string of three straight team titles. Nebraska's Jordan Burroughs (165 pounds) was named the Dan Gable Most Outstanding Wrestler after defeating defending NCAA champ Andrew Howe of Wisconsin in the Midlands final.
Northwestern is now off from competition until Sunday, Jan. 9, when it heads east to face Millersville, Drexel and Pitt in the Pittsburgh Duals.
Complete match-by-match outcomes from Thursday's championship matches is below:
2010 Midlands Championship Match Outcomes
125: #2 Brandon Precin (NU) dec. #1 Matt McDonough (IA), 3-1
133: #1 Tyler Graff (WIS) dec. #2 B.J. Futrell (ILL), 13-6
141: #2 Boris Novachkov (POLY) win by default
149: #1 Kevin LeValley (BUCK) dec. #6 Cole Schmitt (WIS), 4-0
157: #8 Chase Nelson (OKLA) dec. #7 Kyle John (UMD), 11-7
165: #2 Jordan Burroughs (NEB) dec. #1 Andrew Howe (WIS), 10-7
174: #1 Jon Reader (IA ST) dec. #3 Ben Bennett (CMU), 9-4
184: #3 Travis Rutt (WIS) dec. #4 Josh Ihnen (NEB), 4-3
197: 10 Matt Wilps (PITT-Unatt.) dec. #4 Byron Tate (WART), 5-4
285: #1 Zach Rey (LEH) dec. #6 Jarod Trice (CMU), 3-1
Rankings reflect seeds at Midlands Championships