Blake and Gardner Capture Fifth Place at Midlands

Dec. 30, 2005

Evanston, Ill. - Co-captains Ray Blake and Tanner Gardner finished strong today, as both Cardinal wrestlers captured fifth place at the 2005 Midlands Championships on the campus of Northwestern University.

After a pair of wins in yesterday, fifth-seeded Gardner was dropped from the main bracket by fourth-ranked and top-seeded Nick Simmons (Michigan State) in the semifinals today, and then lost a three-point decision to Penn's Mike Silengo. But Gardner came back to win his final match of the tournament against Northern Iowa's Seth Wright with a technical fall in just 1:51 to capture fifth place.

Eighth-seeded Blake upset 17th-ranked Will Durkee of Northwestern with a 5-3 sudden victory decision this afternoon to earn a rematch against Johnny Galloway of Northern Illinois, who knocked Blake out of the main draw in his opening bout of the tournament. Blake lost a 3-2 decision to Galloway yesterday, but today, Blake posted a 6-4 decision to advance to the consolation semifinals. Despite a 7-1 loss to second-seeded Jared Frayer, a 2002 graduate of the University of Oklahoma and a current Harvard assistant coach, Blake fought back and ended the day with a 3-2 victory over Max Dean of Indiana to claim fifth place.

Gardner has placed in all five tournaments he has wrestled in this season, while Blake has earned a top-finish in five of the six tournaments he has competed in this year. Blake leads Stanford with 28 victories, while Gardner is second on the team with 21.

Next Saturday, Stanford will travel to Grand Prairie, Texas, for the Lone Star Duals, where the Cardinal will match up against Harvard, Army and North Carolina. On Jan. 15, the Cardinal will host No. 4 Illinois in Stanford's home opener.

2005 Midlands Championships
Evanston, Ill. * Dec. 30, 2005
Complete Stanford Results
125 pounds -- Tanner Gardner (3-2, Fifth Place): bye; dec. Jeff Sato (Columbia), 2-1; dec. Luke Magnani (Iowa), 7-5; lost to No. 4 Nick Simmons (Michigan State), 6-0; lost to Mike Silengo (Penn), 5-2; tech. fall Seth Wright (Northern Iowa), fall at 1:51.
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 (6-2, Fifth Place): 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; dec. No. 17 Will Durkee (Northwestern), 5-3 sv; dec. Johnny Galloway (Northern Illinois), 6-4; lost to Jared Frayer (Gator WC), 7-1; dec. Max Dean (Indiana), 3-2.
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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