Tanner Gardner and Ray Blake Continue to Second Day of Midlands

Dec. 29, 2005

Evanston, Ill. - Co-captains Tanner Gardner and Ray Blake will continue tomorrow at the second day of competition at the 2005 Midlands Championship at the Welsh-Ryan Arena on the campus of Northwestern University. Four of Stanford's six wrestlers advanced to the second session of competition tonight, with Gardner and Blake both winning and earning a spot in tomorrow's third session.

After the first session, fifth-seeded Gardner was the Cardinal's only remaining wrestler in the main draw and he earned a spot in tomorrow's semifinals with a 7-5 decision over fourth-seeded Luke Magnani of Iowa at 125 pounds. Gardner will face fourth-ranked and top-seeded Nick Simmons (Michigan State) in the third session, as the pair competes for a spot in the championship match.

At 165 pounds, Blake lost a one-point decision in his opening match, but posted three-straight wins to stay alive in the wrestleback bracket. He will face 17th-ranked Will Durkee of Northwestern tomorrow, with the winner advancing to the consolation quarterfinals.

Sophomore Josh Zupancic and redshirt freshman Luke Feist both advanced to the second session today, but dropped their second bouts of the tournament to end their run at Midlands. Zupancic won his first two matches in the main draw at 149 pounds, including an 8-5 victory over Cal State Bakersfield's Brandon Doyle, before falling to second-seeded and fifth-ranked Mike DiSalvo in the round of 16. Feist lost a one-point decision in his first match at 174 pounds, but came back with two-straight wins in the consolations before dropping his second match to 13th-ranked Brandon Sinnott of Central Michigan.

Sophomore Scott Loescher (157) and fifth-year senior Ryan Hagen (184) both faced tough opening round opponents and could not rebound in the wrestlebacks.

Tomorrow's competition begins with the semifinals and consolation rounds at noon. The tournament concludes with the championship, third-place and fifth-place bouts at 7:30 p.m. (CT).

2005 Midlands Championships
Evanston, Ill. * Dec. 29, 2005
Stanford Results Only
Full Brackets
125 pounds -- Tanner Gardner (2-0, Advances to Semifinals): bye; dec. Jeff Sato (Columbia), 2-1; dec. Luke Magnani (Iowa), 7-5.
149 pounds -- Josh Zupancic (2-2): dec. Adam Kuchnia (Wisc.-LaCrosse), 5-1; dec. Brandon Doyle (CS-Bakersfield), 8-5; lost to No. 5 Mark DiSalvo (Central Michigan), 13-5; lost to Rob Hitschler (Penn), 3-1.
157 pounds -- Scott Loescher (0-2): lost to Travis Koppenhafer (unattached), 11-9; lost to Sherwood Fendryk (Sacred Heart), 5-1.
165 pounds -- Ray Blake (3-1): lost to Johnny Galloway (Northern Illinois), 3-2; dec. Tim Palmer (Wisc.-LaCrosse), 5-1; dec. Eric Luedke (Iowa), 6-2; dec. Mike Baria (Harvard), 6-2.
174 pounds -- Luke Feist (2-2): lost to Donny Reynolds (Illinois), 4-3; dec. Danny Dahl (SFSU), 5-4; dec. Nick Corpe (Purdue), 4-3; lost to No. 13 Brandon Sinnott (Central Michigan), 8-2.
184 pounds-- Ryan Hagen (0-2): lost to No. 20 Louis Caputo (Harvard), 6-0; lost to Richard Escobar (SFSU), 8-2.

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