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Jan 03 Burroughs tops Howe in Midlands Finals Precin named Champion of Champions

By Media Reports | Jan. 03, 2011, 3:16 p.m. (ET)
By Scott Pulverenti
Nebraska Sports Information

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Senior Jordan Burroughs captured the 165-pound title at the 48th Annual Midlands Championship in Evanston, Ill., after upsetting the No. 1 wrestler in the country Andrew Howe (Wis.) by decision,10-7, on Thursday. Also wrestling in the finals was No. 10 Josh Ihnen (184), but the sophomore couldn't pull off the upset falling to No. 6 Travis Rutt (Wis.), 4-3, to capture a second place finish.
Burroughs, who entered the tournament as the 2nd-rated wrestler at 165-pounds, was named the Dan Gable Most Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament and improved his record to a perfect 18-0 on the season. Burroughs' victory snapped Howe's 48-match winning streak entering the finals. The senior advanced to the finals after defeating Chris Spangler (Iowa St.) in the semifinals.

Burroughs gained an edge early in the match after recording two takedowns in the first period to go up 4-1. After an early escape by Burroughs to take a 5-1 lead in the second period, Howe responded with his own takedown to close the score to 5-3, but Burroughs closed the period out with a reversal to stretch his lead to 7-3 heading into the third period. After choosing down to open the third period, Howe was able to escape and gain a takedown to make the score 7-6. Burroughs was able to escape to extend his lead to two points, and finished off the match by gaining a penalty point and the riding time to make the final score, 10-7. Howe was awarded a stalling point in the third period for his seventh point.

By Scott Hammer
Northwestern Sports Information

Northwestern senior Brandon Precin has always felt fortunate to compete at a tournament as prestigious as the Midlands Championships on his home mats and just a few miles from his hometown of Orland Park. He made the most of his final chance Thursday, downing defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Matt McDonough of Iowa, 3-1, to win his second career Midlands crown.

After the match, Precin was announced as winner of the Art Kraft Champion of Champions award, which is voted on by all 10 Midlands champions.

Precin, now 19-0 on the year, follows former NU wrestler Jake Herbert in becoming the second Wildcat in the 48-year history of the Midlands to claim two championships. Northwestern wrestlers have now won eight tournament titles since 2004.

"It's a great honor to win a second Midlands title, especially to come back after placing third last year," Precin said. "(McDonough's) singles, his grip are unbelieveable. We've still got duals, Big Tens and NCAAs so it could be the first of many (matches against McDonough). A lot of times when (opponents) are even strength it could just be that one guy has a little more gas in the tank. That could be the difference."

"Brandon executed our match strategy to perfection," said Northwestern head coach Drew Pariano. "It's the first of what could be four matchups this season so it's only the start of a great rivalry."

In a bout featuring unbeaten wrestlers and the last two Midlands champions, an aggressive Precin gained a 2-0 advantage two minutes into the first period with a takedown. After riding out the period, Precin made it 3-0 with an escape to start the second. McDonough returned the favor in the third but Precin refused to be taken down late and held on to win by the score of 3-1.

Precin, winner in 50 of his last 53 collegiate matches, will likely face McDonough once again less than a month from now when the Wildcats and Hawkeyes meet in Big Ten dual competition on Friday, Jan. 28, in Evanston.

2010 Midlands Championship Match Outcomes
125: #2 Brandon Precin (NU) dec. #1 Matt McDonough (IA), 3-1
133: #1 Tyler Graff (WIS) dec. #2 B.J. Futrell (ILL), 13-6
141: #2 Boris Novachkov (POLY) win by default #1 Jimmy Kennedy (ILL)
149: #1 Kevin LeValley (BUCK) dec. #6 Cole Schmitt (WIS), 4-0
157: #8 Chase Nelson (OKLA) dec. #7 Kyle John (UMD), 11-7
165: #2 Jordan Burroughs (NEB) dec. #1 Andrew Howe (WIS), 10-7
174: #1 Jon Reader (IA ST) dec. #3 Ben Bennett (CMU), 9-4
184: #3 Travis Rutt (WIS) dec. #4 Josh Ihnen (NEB), 4-3
197: 10 Matt Wilps (PITT-Unatt.) dec. #4 Byron Tate (WART), 5-4
285: #1 Zach Rey (LEH) dec. #6 Jarod Trice (CMU), 3-1

Rankings reflect seeds at Midlands Championships