Wrestling Finishes Ninth at Midlands

Dec. 30, 2008

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    EVANSTON, Ill. - Steven Bell, Hudson Taylor and Mike Letts all placed for the University of Maryland wrestling team Tuesday at the Midlands Championships at Northwestern University, as the Terrapins finished ninth as a team with 56 points.

    Bell was Maryland's top placer, finishing fourth at 133 pounds. Taylor finished seventh at 197 pounds and Letts, who was wrestling unattached, finished fifth at 174 pounds.

    "We wrestled well this weekend," Maryland head coach Kerry McCoy said. "We made a few mistakes, but they can all be fixed. Having three guys place and finish in the top 10 is a great accomplishment. I am looking forward to the next few weeks, where we will get some good training and work on our areas of concentration."

    Bell was the only Terp to reach the semifinals in his class, but was toppled by No. 4 Nick Fanthorpe of Iowa State, 8-4. Bell rebounded with a wrestleback victory against Iowa's Montell Marion, but dropped the third-place bout to No. 2 Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois, 6-1.

    Taylor won both his Tuesday matches via fall, pinning Lamar Brown of Rutgers in six minutes and Kyle Simonson of Iowa State in 1:25.

    Letts took a pair of major decisions to begin his day, besting Oregon State's Ben Harris, 17-3, and Illinois' John Dergo, 11-3. However, Letts lost a decision to No. 2 Jay Borschel of Iowa, 7-4, before winning the fifth-place match, 10-1, against Olivet's Kyle Vanderhyde.

    Brendan Byrne also competed Tuesday for the Terps at 125 pounds, but lost his only match to No. 4 James Nicholson of Old Dominion, 12-4.

    Iowa won the team title, narrowly edging in-state rival Iowa State, 156.5-153.5.

    Maryland returns to action January 11 when it will host North Carolina in the first Atlantic Coast Conference dual of the season.