EVANSTON, Ill.—Three CSU Bakersfield wrestlers placed in the top eight of their respective weight classes Friday at the 54th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.

Lorenzo De La Riva faced the No. 2 seed, Rider’s Chad Walsh in the 165-pound semifinals. De La Riva posted the first points of the match with a takedown early in the first period. De La Riva was in the top position for over a minute before Walsh earned a two-point reversal to tie the match. De La Riva quickly earned a two-point reversal to re-take the lead.

De La Riva earned 1:44 in riding time in the first period and took the bottom to begin the second. Walsh was called for stalling for the second time, awarding De La Riva a point. Walsh, who remained on top, posted a two-point near fall to cut the lead to one. De La Riva was called for stalling as his riding time advantage was wiped away by Walsh who would end up with 15 seconds of riding time as the second came to a close.

De La Riva was on top to begin the third as Walsh quickly earned a two-point reversal which led to a four-point near fall. Back-to-back De La Riva stall calls made it 12-5 in favor of Walsh. Walsh charted another two-point near fall. With over a minute of riding time, Walsh won the match 15-5.

De La Riva dropped into the consolation semifinals to face Iowa’s Alex Marinelli. A pair of Marinelli takedowns combined with over three minutes of riding time would send De La Riva into the fifth place match 5-1.

The fifth place match was a quarterfinal rematch as De La Riva took on Kaleb Young of Iowa (unattached) once again. Young took an early lead and held on for a 9-4 victory.  

Russell Rohlfing placed sixth at 141 pounds. Rohlfing advanced into the consolation semifinals when he was awarded a victory via injury default against South Dakota State’s Henry Pohlmeyer. In the consolation semis, Rohlfing, the sixth seed, met up with the seventh seed, Iowa’s Topher Carlton. Carlton used the top position to take an early 3-1 lead.

Rohlfing battled back for an escape and he took Carlton down for a 4-3 lead. With the Hawkeye wrestler holding over two minutes in riding time to begin the third, Rohlfing stayed on top for the final period to earn the 4-3 decision. Rohlfing dropped a 7-4 decision to the 12th seed, Chad Red of Nebraska (Unattached) in the consolation semifinals. Rohlfing wrestled for fifth place against Kanen Storr of Iowa State. Storr would defeat Rohlfing 7-5.

Matt Williams would finish seventh.  Williams defeated Riley Lefever of Wabash 7-2 in the consolation quarterfinals. In the consolation semis, Williams faced Northern Illinois’ Shawn Scott. Trailing 3-0 into the final minute of the match, Williams got a late takedown, but Scott’s riding time advantage would make it a 4-2 final score.

Williams wrestled for seventh place against Northwestern’s Jacob Berkowitz. In a rematch of the tournament opener for both wrestlers saw the score tied at four to begin the third period. Williams scored a two-point reversal from the down position that was followed by a four-point near fall. Williams would take seventh by a 11-6 score.

"A competition like this is a great measuring stick to see where we stand nationally," said CSUB head coach Manny Rivera. "It was great to get three guys on the podium. However, I believe we should have had more placers. We definitely having things to improve on and we can get a lot better before the post season."

The three Roadrunner placewinners are the most for CSUB in a single Midlands Tournament since 2005 when the ‘Runners had four entries place. As a team, CSUB finished 14th (45.5). Iowa took home the team title (150.5).

The Roadrunners (2-1) return home Wednesday night when CSUB hosts West Virginia (0-5). The dual begins at 6 p.m.

~www.GoRunners.com~