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Harner and Smith Participate In Midlands Championship
Tim Harner and Christian Smith represented the Flames' wrestling program at the 44th annual Midlands Championship, hosted by Northwestern at the Welsh-Ryan Arena on December 29 and 30.
The annual tournament attracts hundreds of the most talented wrestlers from around the country in a two-day, four-session double-elimination tournament. The tournament has historically brought together the very best in amateur wrestling and has provided the springboard for 81 Olympic wrestlers.
Smith posted a 2-2 record as he competed in the 125 pound weight class and Harner finished with a 3-2 record at 141 pounds.
Smith opened the event against fourth-seeded Brandon Precin and lost by fall, 4:48, to the Northwestern wrestler to drop to the wrestleback bracket. Smith opened the consolation round with a 6-2 decision over American's Jason Borshoff, followed by a close 4-3 decision win over Cleveland State's Ryan Riggs. However, Smith's run in the bracket came to a halt as he lost by fall, 3:55, to Pennsylvania's Rollie Peterkin.
Like Smith, Harner also dropped his opening match as he lost a 7-3 decision to Cleveland State's Mike Hurley. Harner rebounded in the wrestleback bracket with three-straight wins, starting with an 11-0 major decision over Nebraska-Keamey's Jeff Rutledge.
Harner followed with a first period pin, 2:34, against Lincoln College's Mitch Webber and an 8-7 decision victory over Upper Iowa's John Gamble. However, Purdue's Nick Bertucci, who eventually placed seventh in the bracket, beat Harner in an 8-7 decision at the start of Session 3.
With the 3-2 record in the event, Harner raises his record on the year to 20-10, which leads the team in individual victories. Smith's 2-2 mark during the Midlands Championship ups the junior's record to 13-7 on the year.
Harner and Smith will join the rest of the Flames' wrestling squad this weekend when they travel across the Commonwealth to participate in the Virginia State Intercollegiates hosted by Old Dominion on Saturday.