The Terps wrestling team was back in action at the 55th annual Midlands Championship on Dec. 29-30 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Junior heavyweight Youssif Hemida finished in third place, the highest finish for the Terps this weekend.
Hemida entered the weekend as a fourth-seed and was matched up against Duece Rachal from Illinois. Two periods passed with no score, but Hemida defeated Rachal 4-2 to move onto the next round. Hemida dominated in his match against Patrick Grayson, winning 10-1 and a spot in the quarterfinals to face off with Billy Miller of Edinboro, who is fifth-seeded and ranked No. 9 in the nation.
Despite a scoreless first period, Hemida got the scoring going with an escape and stall in the second period. Hemida punched his ticket to the semifinals with a 5-1 win over Miller.
Though Hemida fell 2-1 in the semifinal match to Arizona State’s Tanner Hall, he secured a spot in the third place match after a win over Amarveer Dhesi of Oregon State.
Looking to finish strong, Hemida captured the third place spot in the 285-pound weight class following a pin on Matt Stencel from Central Michigan with just over a minute into their match.
Beginning the weekend for the Terps was freshman Danny Bertoni in the 133-pound weight class. Bertoni was defeated by way of fall in the second period by Rutgers’ Scott Delvecchio, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation. In the consolation bracket, Bertoni defeated Trevor Tarsi of Harvard before falling to Andrew Marten by major decision.
Redshirt junior and recent Wilkes Open champion Alfred Bannister took the mat for the Terps in a 149-pound weight class battle against Jakob Bergeland from Minnesota. Bannister took an early lead after a takedown in the first period, but Bergeland did not go down that easy. The two battled it out into the final period, but Bannister was able to defeat Bergeland 10-8 by decision, moving on to the next round.
Bannister was matched up against Malik Amine from Michigan in the second round of the championship bracket. After two period without a score, Bannister took a 2-1 lead in the third period after an escape, and he eventually took the match by a 3-1 decision.
His third match against Ryan Deakin from Northwestern did not yield the same results. Deakin defeated Bannister by a 13-1 majority decision, moving Bannister to the consolation bracket where he lost 12-4 to Eastern Michigan’s Kyle Springer.
Redshirt junior Ryan Diehl came into Midlands as the No. 5 seed, but lost a close match to University of Pennsylvania’s Jacob Lizak by a 4-2 decision in his first match of the day. Diehl would then move onto the consolation bracket and become one of only three Terps to move onto second-day action.
In his consolation match, Diehl pinned Lenny Peterson only 32 seconds into the match, which was the third fastest pin of the day.
After earning two takedowns in the second period, redshirt junior Justin Alexander defeated Jon Errico from Penn by a 6-4 decision. In his second match, Alexander fell to Nebraska’s Luke Webster, 4-1.
For the 165-pound weight class, Brendan Burnham battled it out against Rider’s Jesse Dellavecchia. Burnham came out on top with a 9-7 win by decision, but lost his second match to Jonathan Viruet from Brown. After winning two consolation matches to move onto Saturday action, Burnham’s run at Midlands came to an end when he was defeated by Penn’s May Bethea.
Ugalde was the lone wrestler for Maryland in the 174-pound weight class, and he showed his talent in his first match of the day. A first round-bye led to a match between the redshirt sophomore and Carlin Powell of Princeton, which Ugalde completely dominated. Ugalde won by technical fall after posting 18 points on Powell in the first period.
Ugalde lost his second match to Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola, but won a consolation match against Jacob Covaciu of Wisconsin due to his three four-point near falls.
Thanks to Hemida and the rest of the team’s performances, the Terps ended the Midlands tournament in the top 15.
The Terps will be back in action Jan. 5 to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a conference dual meet at home.