Terps in Eighth Place after First Day of Midlands Championships

Dec. 29, 2008

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    EVANSTON, Ill. - The University of Maryland wrestling team scored 42 points Monday to sit in eighth place after the first day of the Midlands Championships at Northwestern University. The Terrapins were led by Steven Bell, the lone Terp to advance to Tuesday's semifinal round.

    Bell, the ninth-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, went 2-0 on the day. Bell pinned Jake Fleckenstein in 1:16 and took an 8-5 decision against Iowa's Matt McDonough. Bell then bested No. 17 Kyle Hutter of Old Dominion in the quarterfinals, taking a 4-3 decision.

    Bell will take on No. 4 Nick Fanthorpe of Iowa State in the semifinals. Should he defeat Fanthorpe, Bell will face the winner of No. 2 Jimmy Kennedy and No. 11 Daniel Dennis in the championship bout.

    Hudson Taylor, the seventh-ranked wrestler in the nation at 197 pounds, was dominant in his first three matches, winning all by fall. Taylor pinned Alec Bonander in 1 minute, 53 seconds, John McClure in 3:44 and Matt Powless in 4:24. However, Taylor dropped a 4-1 decision to Wisconsin's Trevor Brandvold in the quarterfinals.

    Mike Letts, who is wrestling unattached, also reached the quarterfinals, winning two matches before losing his quarterfinal match to No. 4 Raymond Jordan of Missouri, 5-2.

    Taylor and Letts, as well as 125-pounder Brendan Byrne, all have a chance to place as highly third in tomorrow's action. After a third-round loss, Byrne won two wrestleback matches and will face No. 4 James Nicholson of Old Dominion in his first matchup on Tuesday.

    No. 1 Iowa and No. 2 Iowa State are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, after the first day of action.

    Tuesday's semifinal and championship matches will be televised on the Big Ten Network.