EVANSTON, Ill. — Josh Alber and Drew Foster won individual championships and the University of Northern Iowa wrestling team put together its best finish ever Sunday at the Midlands Championships.
The Panthers finished second behind champion Iowa, 184-119.5. The Hawkeyes also had a pair of champions in Austin DeSanto and Alex Marinelli.
UNI sent six wrestlers into Sunday’s semifinals and four reached the finals. Max Thomsen and Taylor Lujan finished second while Bryce Steiert and Michael Blockhus (unattached) were fourth and Kyle Biscoglia seventh.
Alber used a second-period escape and two third-period takedowns to edge Iowa’s Max Murin 5-2 for the title at 141 pounds. Foster capped a dominating tournament with a 3-2 win over Hawkeye Cash Wilcke in the 184-pound final.
Top-seeded Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton denied Thomsen the title at 149 by a 7-4 margin, and defending NCAA champion Zahid Valencia of Arizona State topped Lujan 17-7 in the 174-pound championship match.
Iowa’s Desanto posted a 15-5 major decision for his title at 133, and Marinelli edged top-seeded Evan Wick of Wisconsin 4-3 in the final at 165.
Four Hawkeyes were runners-up. In addition to Murin and Wilcke, Spencer Lee made the final at 125 where he fell to Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern 7-3 and Kaleb Young dropped a 6-2 decision to Northwestern’s top-seeded Ryan Deakin at 157.
Pat Lugo and Jeren Glosser were fourth for Iowa, and Paul Glynn and Jacob Warner took fifth.