COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland wrestling team (3-4, 0-4 B1G) will travel to the 55th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern University. The prestigious event will feature some of the best wrestlers in the country, including participants from 14 teams currently ranked in the InterMat Wrestle top-25.
Maryland will battle many Big Ten opponents as well. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers and Wisconsin will all join Maryland and host Northwestern in the event.
Wrestling will begin with Session I at 9:30 a.m. (CT) on Friday, Dec. 29. Session II will take place at 7 p.m. (CT) that evening. Day two of wrestling will begin with Session III at 12 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, Dec. 30, and the final session of the Midlands Championships will be at 7 p.m. (CT) that evening. The event will be streamed on BTN2GO.com ($) and on FloWrestling ($). Live stats will also be provided by TrackWrestling.
MARYLAND AT THE MIDLANDS
Alfred Bannister extended Maryland's streak of placing at least one wrestler in the top eight of his weight class with his 8th-place finish last year. He also became the 30th Terrapin to place in the top eight of the Midlands Championships.
Maryland has had three wrestlers win their respective weight classes all-time, including both Jimmy Sheptock (184) and Christian Boley (197) during the 2013 season. Alex Krom took the 141 pound crown in 2009.
The Terps return six wrestlers who competed in the Midlands Championships last season. Along with Bannister, Justin Alexander, Josh Ugalde, Patrick Gerish, David-Brian Whisler and Youssif Hemida all represented Maryland in 2016.
A LOOK AT THE TERPS
Maryland comes into the Midlands Championships with its most dual wins since the 2015-16 season. Maryland knocked off Campbell and George Mason before upsetting Stanford on the road.
The Terps have been paced by junior heavyweight Youssif Hemida, whose early-season success has earned him the No. 10 ranking in the heavyweight division by InterMat Wrestle. Hemida has posted an impressive 10-0 record to begin the season, including four wins over ranked opponents. Hemida also captured the heavyweight title at the Road Runner Open in November.
Freshman Kyle Cochran has also impressed in his first season of collegiate wrestling. The New Jersey-native has tallied six wins, including his first Big Ten win over Shayne Oster of Northwestern.
WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK
Maryland has earned the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor twice this season. Youssif Hemida earned the honor on Nov. 21, and Patrick Gerish followed by winning the award on Dec. 19.
Hemida became the first-ever Maryland wrestler to earn the distinction after his upset win over No. 12 Nathan Butler of Stanford and his Road Runner Open title.
Gerish earned the honor after winning the 165-pound bracket at the Cleveland State Open. The New Jersey-native posted a 5-0 record with four wins coming by way of fall.
NEXT TIME OUT
Maryland will host Big Ten foe Ohio State on Jan. 5 at the XFINITY Center Pavilion. The match will begin at 7 p.m. and will be streamed on BTN2Go.com.