Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Midlands Preview (Fri Dec 29th-Sat Dec 30th) = 157 lbs


Jacori Teemer
Arizona State

Jacori Teemer last participated in a Midlands championships during his redshirt year five seasons ago, where to took 5th place. Now he's back as a senior & the number one contender to win a title.  He'll have challenge, but it'd take quite the upset for anyone else to upend him. 

Chase Saldate
Michigan State

The Spartan has continuously gotten better as the seasons have gone by, but he is still looking for a big monumental, defining moment in his career.  Came close with a R12 finish at the NCAA championships last season.  As he hunts for an All American honor this year, what a treat it would be to have a standout Midlands tournament.  A 8-5 win over last year's Midlands champ Trevor Chumbley, he also owns a 4-3 win over Johnny Lovett, an 8-0 major over Marcus Robinson & a 37 second fall over Munkhtulga Zuunbayan. 

Trevor Chumbley

Last year's champion Trevor Chumbley plans on doing exactly what he did last year. Coming in here and upsetting his way to another Midlands title.  In order to do so he'd have to most likely avenge a loss to Saldate & pull off a huge win over Teemer.  At the same time, avoid being upset himself.  There's a lot of talent in this bracket.  Chumbley owns an 8-0 major decision over Marcus Robinson. 

Peyten Kellar

Here's another on the list of potential finalist here at the Midlands.  Peyten Kellar has been known to win in crucial moments & it's likely we see him in the quarters & quite probable that we see him in the semis. The Bobcat owns a 10-4 decision over Dylan Cedeno. 

Johnny Lovett
Central Michigan 

This weight class features a ton of unranked talent and it's hard to know exactly where to start when discussing it.  Johnny Lovett seems as good of a place as any.  The Chippewa has been ranked in the past & he's proven himself on more than one occasion.  I see it is very likely that he places in the top 8 here & I wouldn't put it past him to pull off an upset or two against the ranked opponents he's likely to go up against. 

Legend Lamer
Cal Poly 

Collegiate wrestlers often find themselves in positions where they need to reestablish themselves and reinvent themselves.  That's exactly where Legend Lamer happens to be at the moment.  His first two seasons of wrestling he did quite well competing at 149 lbs.  Last year he bumped up to 165 & I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you that it wasn't exactly a smooth sail.  Now he's testing out the waters at 157 & the Midlands gives the Mustang an opportunity to really test out his sea legs at his new weight class.  It's thus far been a season full of ups and downs, but as we head into second semester, earning a medal here would do wonders for his esteem. 

Munkhtulga Zuunbayan
Northern Illinois

Want a darkhorse? I'll give you a darkhorse.  The guy that could win the tournament? I don't know about that.  Now a guy that could get hot and win the tournament or come back to an impressive 3rd? Yeah, I think that's a possibility for Munkhtulga Zuunbayan.  The guy is inconsistent.  He seems to either win big or lose big.  Yet you cannot ignore the fact that he has a 10-8 s.v. over Chumbley & a 4-3 win over Lovett is pretty impressive itself. Zuunbayan is the type of wrestler that could end up going 0-2. He's also the type of wrestler that could upset his way to the semi-finals and have ever Twitter post reading, "Who the heck is the Zuunbayan guy!?!!?"  These types of wrestlers make wrestling fun don't they? 

Marcus Robinson
Cleveland State

I was under the impression that Marcus Robinson was done wrestling, but I was very happy to see his name listed on the roster recently.  I felt that things didn't end as they should have for the Viking last season & I'm glad to see him with the opportunity to go about unfinished business.  He was one match shy of placing last year & I believe he is one of the best bets Cleveland State has for a top 8 finish this tournament.  Not to go off on too much of a tangent here, but as we see teams improve & make positive adjustments, some get a lot of credit and some don't.  I feel that the Vikings are making some positive changes & it is happening rather quietly.  Maybe if they put together a good Midlands, it'll be the start of the more prestigious media outlets giving them a little more credit. I mean hey, JT#1 recognizes the effort, but JT#1 ain't Track or Flo.  Robinson was R12 here last season & owns a 5-2 decision over Zuunbayan. 

Dylan Cedeno

Tournaments have upsets and every weight class will have upsets.  As to who will make those upsets at 157 lbs? I wouldn't put it past Dylan Cedeno to pull off one or two. The Cavalier is 8-2 thus far this season as he'll look to earn a top 8 Midlands finish. 

Other place-winner candidates.....

U.R.                                        U.R.                                             U.R. 
D.J. McGee                         Caleb Dowling                           Jude Swisher
George Mason                        West Virginia                            Pennsylvania

Looking over the rest of the wrestlers likely to be in this bracket, three other names stick out to be as plausible place-winner candidates.  D.J. McGee of George Mason has been known to squeak out some notable wins in his career.  The type of wrestler that is difficult to score upon once he gets a lead. Caleb Dowling can be really tough & I could also see freshman Jude Swisher having a good tournament.  For the record McGee owns a 3-2 decision over Swisher. 

On the Non-DI front.....

#2 in NCAA Division III
Javen Estrada
North Central

If we're gonna have a top 8 place-winner here at 157 lbs, then it's gonna be 2023 NCAA D3 runner-up Javen Estrada. The Cardinal would have to put together one heck of a good tournament, but with the right draw & a couple of huge wins, I could see him taking home a medal. 

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