(Tempe, AZ) No. 3 Sun Devil Wrestling heads to Chicago, Illinois, this week for Northwestern’s two-day Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. Wrestling runs Dec. 29-30 at NOW Arena for the first time since 2019. Forty-three powerhouse programs including No. 2 Iowa, No. 4 Iowa State, No. 5 Michigan, No. 11 Wisconsin, and No. 13 Northern Iowa will be present. The Sun Devils will travel 14 wrestlers.
Watch (Big Ten Network+)
FloWrestling Midlands Preview
ASU Travel Party:
125: Brandon Courtney, Richard Figueroa, Tristan Mascarenas
133: Michael McGee, Julian Chlebove
141: Jesse Vasquez
149: Kyle Parco
157: Max Wilner, Michael Kilic
165: Tony Negron
174: Cael Valencia
184: Anthony Montalvo
197: Jonathon Fagen
HWT: Cohlton Schultz
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29
- 9:30 a.m. – First Session (10 Mats) – (Championship Rounds 1 & 2, Wrestlebacks)
- 7:00 p.m. – Second Session (10 Mats) – (Quarterfinals, Wrestlebacks)
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30
- 11:00 a.m. – Third Session (8 Mats) – (Semis, consolation, 7th place match, women’s division begins)
- 6:05 p.m. – Fourth Session (4 Mats) – (1st, 3rd, 5th place matches–men’s and women’s divisions)
- Awards ceremony to conclude at 9:00 p.m.
Midlands Hall of Fame Inductions will be prior to the final session
The Battle at 125
There’s no getting around it – 125 for Arizona State has been a hot topic for weeks now with three-time All-American and 2021 NCAA runner-up Brandon Courtney sitting out the first five events of the season and Richard Figueroa going 10-0 in Courtney’s place, including a sweep at the Cliff Keen Invitational and upsets over Matt Ramos (Purdue) and Noah Surtin (Missouri). Courtney’s making his debut this week in Chicago, and Figueroa is entered into the tournament too. This should be fun.
Lightweights Making Noise
Figueroa is obviously turning heads at 125, but he’s not the only lightweight putting in work. Two-time All-American Michael McGee is 9-1 on the year, with his lone loss against Vitali Arujau. McGee earned bonus points in six matches so far this year (4 MD, 2 Fall), won a Hammer Award at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic, and was a runner-up at Cliff Keen Invitational.
Two-time All-American Kyle Parco has found himself caught up in the madness at 149. Everyone at the top has lost at least once, including Yianni Diakomihalis, Sammy Sasso, and Austin Gomez. Parco’s 8-2 on the year with the same hardware from the Journeymen Classic and CKLV as McGee. He’s been highly energized and motivated, and he’s doing everything he can to keep his name in the national conversation.
Midlands kicks off a cross country road trip for ASU. The Sun Devils will be on the road from Dec. 27-Jan. 8 as they have contests in Illinois (Midlands), Texas (vs. Cornell), and Iowa (Iowa State). ASU vs. Cornell from Austin, Texas, on Jan. 4 will stream live on FloWrestling, and Iowa State hosts the Sun Devils Jan. 8 on Big 12 Now/ESPN+.
ASU vs Cornell Showcase:
Press Release courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics – Will Edmonds