If you were a betting type of person and asked to pick the Iowa Hawkeye from Pennsylvania most likely to win a 2018 Midlands Championship – Austin DeSanto (Exeter Township) likely wouldn’t be your first choice. But, when the dust settled on the 56th Ken Kraft Midlands Championship from Northwestern University, it was Austin DeSanto who was standing atop the podium at 133 pounds.

He entered his first Midlands Championship as the #11 ranked wrestler in the Nation by Flo and capitalized on the absence of #1 Seth Gross and the medical withdrawal of 4-time All-American Nathan Tomasello. After defeating 2017 PIAA State Champion Doug Zapf (Downingtown West/UPenn) in the quarterfinals (13-3), DeSanto took on the #15 ranked wrestler Dylan Duncan (Illinois). His high paced attacks earned him a victory by disqualification when Duncan was hit with stalling five times. He didn’t slow down in the finals against #18 Noah Gonser (Campbell), rolling to a (15-5) major decision and claiming the title. 

DeSanto’s Hawkeye teammates from Pennsylvania weren’t as happy after the finals. #1 Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional) fell to #2 Sebastian Riveria (Northwestern) in the 125 pound finals; #18 Max Murin (Centreal Cambria) fell to #10 Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) in the 141 pound finals; and #7 Kaleb Young (Punxsutawney) was defeated by #2 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) in the 157 pound finals.

Arguably the biggest performance of Midlands came from Pennsylvania’s very own Sammy Sasso (Nazareth) who competed for Ohio State unattached and stormed to a third place finish in a deep 149 pound weight. In his opening match of Midlands the 2-time Pennsylvania State Champion took on Arizona State rookie Jacori Teemer – a wrestler who prevented Sasso from making the 2017 USA Cadet World Freestyle Team. This time around it was again Teemer who came out on top winning a controversial (8-6) match that sent Sasso packing early. 

That is when Sasso went on a roll in the consolation round winning seven straight matches to finish in third place. He took out fellow Keystone State wrestler and #13 ranked Josh Maruca (Franklin Regional/Arizona State) in an impressive (8-5) decision. He didn’t stop there. In the consolation semifinals Sasso faced off with 2-time NCAA All-American and #6 ranked senior Alec Pantaleo of Michigan. He was dominate in a (4-0) victory that would highlight his young career. In the consolation finals Sasso took out the #8 ranked wrestler in the Nation, Pat Lugo of Iowa, to finish in third place. Sasso was joined by fellow Buckeye rookie and 3-time Pennsylvania State Champion Gavin Hoffman who also competed unattached for Ohio State and took fifth at 184 pounds.

Bucknell teammates Joey Gould (Bethlehem Catholic) and Zach Hartman (Belle Vernon Area) both had impressive Midlands with Gould finishing fifth at 141 pounds and Zach Hartman taking third at 157 pounds. Franklin Regional native Josh Shields (Arizona State) dropped a semifinals match to eventual champion Alex Marinelli (Iowa) at 165 pounds but bounced back for third.

For complete results visit TrackWrestling.


Midlands – 125

1st Place – Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern
2nd Place – Spencer Lee of Iowa
3rd Place – Pat Glory of Princeton
4th Place – Connor Brown of Wisconsin
5th Place – Travis Piotrowski of Illinois
6th Place – Justin Cardani of Illinois – UNAT
7th Place – Kyle Biscolglia of Northern Iowa – UNAT
8th Place – Elijah Oliver of Indiana


1st Place Match
Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern) won by decision over Spencer Lee (Iowa) (Dec 7-3)


3rd Place Match
Pat Glory (Princeton) won by major decision over Connor Brown (Wisconsin) (Maj 14-5)


5th Place Match
Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) won by medical forfeit over Justin Cardani (Illinois – UNAT) (MFF)


7th Place Match
Kyle Biscolglia (Northern Iowa – UNAT) won by decision over Elijah Oliver (Indiana) (Dec 3-1)



Midlands – 133

1st Place – Austin Desanto of Iowa
2nd Place – Noah Gonser of Campbell
3rd Place – Zachary Sherman of North Carolina – UNAT
4th Place – Josiah Kline of Arizona State
5th Place – Paul Glynn of Iowa
6th Place – Dylan Duncan of Illinois
7th Place – Colin Valdivez of Northwestern
8th Place – Jens Lantz of Wisconsin


1st Place Match
Austin Desanto (Iowa) won by major decision over Noah Gonser (Campbell) (Maj 15-5)


3rd Place Match
Zachary Sherman (North Carolina – UNAT) won by decision over Josiah Kline (Arizona State) (Dec 7-3)


5th Place Match
Paul Glynn (Iowa) won by medical forfeit over Dylan Duncan (Illinois) (MFF)


7th Place Match
Colin Valdivez (Northwestern) won by decision over Jens Lantz (Wisconsin) (Dec 1-0)



Midlands – 141

1st Place – Josh Alber of Northern Iowa
2nd Place – Max Murin of Iowa
3rd Place – Yahya Thomas of Northwestern
4th Place – Michael Blockhus of Northern Iowa – UNAT
5th Place – Joey Gould of Bucknell
6th Place – Corey Shie of Army West Point
7th Place – Tristan Moran of Wisconsin
8th Place – Ben Freeman of Michigan


1st Place Match
Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) won by decision over Max Murin (Iowa) (Dec 5-2)


3rd Place Match
Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) won by decision over Michael Blockhus (Northern Iowa – UNAT) (Dec 8-1)


5th Place Match
Joey Gould (Bucknell) won by major decision over Corey Shie (Army West Point) (Maj 13-5)


7th Place Match
Tristan Moran (Wisconsin) won by major decision over Ben Freeman (Michigan) (Maj 11-2)



Midlands – 149

1st Place – Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton
2nd Place – Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa
3rd Place – Sammy Sasso of Ohio State – UNAT
4th Place – Pat Lugo of Iowa
5th Place – Jacori Teemer of Arizona State – UNAT
6th Place – Alec Pantaleo of Michigan
7th Place – Khristian Olivas of Fresno State
8th Place – Henry Pohlmeyer of South Dakota State


1st Place Match
Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) won by decision over Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) (Dec 3-1)


3rd Place Match
Sammy Sasso (Ohio State – UNAT) won in sudden victory – 1 over Pat Lugo (Iowa) (SV-1 6-4)


5th Place Match
Jacori Teemer (Arizona State – UNAT) won by medical forfeit over Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) (MFF)


7th Place Match
Khristian Olivas (Fresno State) won by fall over Henry Pohlmeyer (South Dakota State) (Fall 4:12)



Midlands – 157

1st Place – Ryan Deakin of Northwestern
2nd Place – Kaleb Young of Iowa
3rd Place – Zach Hartman of Bucknell
4th Place – Jeren Glosser of Iowa
5th Place – Eric Barone of Illinois
6th Place – Mike D`Angelo of Unattached
7th Place – Logan Parks of Central Michigan
8th Place – John Vanbrill of Rutgers – UNAT


1st Place Match
Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) won by decision over Kaleb Young (Iowa) (Dec 6-2)


3rd Place Match
Zach Hartman (Bucknell) won by decision over Jeren Glosser (Iowa) (Dec 8-3)


5th Place Match
Eric Barone (Illinois) won by decision over Mike D`Angelo (Unattached) (Dec 6-2)


7th Place Match
Logan Parks (Central Michigan) won by medical forfeit over John Vanbrill (Rutgers – UNAT) (MFF)



Midlands – 165

1st Place – Alex Marinelli of Iowa
2nd Place – Evan Wick of Wisconsin
3rd Place – Joshua Shields of Arizona State
4th Place – Bryce Steiert of Northern Iowa
5th Place – Jonathan Viruet of Brown
6th Place – Caden McWhirter of Northern Illinois
7th Place – Joseph Gunther of Illinois
8th Place – Jacen Petersen of Arizona State


1st Place Match
Alex Marinelli (Iowa) won by decision over Evan Wick (Wisconsin) (Dec 4-3)


3rd Place Match
Joshua Shields (Arizona State) won by decision over Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) (Dec 3-2)


5th Place Match
Jonathan Viruet (Brown) won by decision over Caden McWhirter (Northern Illinois) (Dec 5-0)


7th Place Match
Joseph Gunther (Illinois) won by decision over Jacen Petersen (Arizona State) (Dec 6-5)



Midlands – 174

1st Place – Zahid Valencia of Arizona State
2nd Place – Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa
3rd Place – Brit Wilson of Northern Illinois
4th Place – Andrew Morgan of Campbell
5th Place – Willie Scott of Rutgers
6th Place – Ryan Christensen of Wisconsin
7th Place – Jairod James of Mount Union
8th Place – Ben Harvey of Army West Point


1st Place Match
Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) won by major decision over Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) (Maj 17-7)


3rd Place Match
Brit Wilson (Northern Illinois) won by decision over Andrew Morgan (Campbell) (Dec 11-5)


5th Place Match
Willie Scott (Rutgers) won by medical forfeit over Ryan Christensen (Wisconsin) (MFF)


7th Place Match
Jairod James (Mount Union) won by medical forfeit over Ben Harvey (Army West Point) (MFF)



Midlands – 184

1st Place – Drew Foster of Northern Iowa
2nd Place – Cash Wilcke of Iowa
3rd Place – Mason Reinhardt of Wisconsin
4th Place – Jackson Hemauer of Fresno State
5th Place – Gavin Hoffman of Ohio State – UNAT
6th Place – Christian LaFragola of Brown
7th Place – Trevor Allard of Bloomsburg
8th Place – Thomas Penola of Purdue


1st Place Match
Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) won by decision over Cash Wilcke (Iowa) (Dec 3-2)


3rd Place Match
Mason Reinhardt (Wisconsin) won by decision over Jackson Hemauer (Fresno State) (Dec 4-1)


5th Place Match
Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State – UNAT) won by decision over Christian LaFragola (Brown) (Dec 4-3)


7th Place Match
Trevor Allard (Bloomsburg) won by decision over Thomas Penola (Purdue) (Dec 6-3)



Midlands – 197

1st Place – Patrick Brucki of Princeton
2nd Place – Tanner Sloan of South Dakota State – UNAT
3rd Place – Lucas Davison of Northwestern – UNAT
4th Place – Rocco Caywood of Army West Point
5th Place – Jacob Warner of Iowa
6th Place – Thomas Lane of Cal Poly
7th Place – Josh Hokit of Fresno State
8th Place – Brett Perry of Buffalo


1st Place Match
Patrick Brucki (Princeton) won by major decision over Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State – UNAT) (Maj 13-4)


3rd Place Match
Lucas Davison (Northwestern – UNAT) won by decision over Rocco Caywood (Army West Point) (Dec 6-4)


5th Place Match
Jacob Warner (Iowa) won by medical forfeit over Thomas Lane (Cal Poly) (MFF)


7th Place Match
Josh Hokit (Fresno State) won by fall over Brett Perry (Buffalo) (Fall 6:28)



Midlands – 285

1st Place – Tanner Hall of Arizona State – UNAT
2nd Place – Conan Jennings of Northwestern
3rd Place – Matt Stencel of Central Michigan
4th Place – Aj Nevills of Fresno State
5th Place – Mason Parris of Michigan – UNAT
6th Place – Jere Heino of Campbell – UNAT
7th Place – Tony Cassioppi of Iowa – UNAT
8th Place – Trent Hillger of Wisconsin


1st Place Match

Tanner Hall (Arizona State – UNAT) won by decision over Conan Jennings (Northwestern) (Dec 4-3)


3rd Place Match

Matt Stencel (Central Michigan) won by decision over Aj Nevills (Fresno State) (Dec 10-5)


5th Place Match

Mason Parris (Michigan – UNAT) won by medical forfeit over Jere Heino (Campbell – UNAT) (MFF)


7th Place Match

Tony Cassioppi (Iowa – UNAT) won by forfeit over Trent Hillger (Wisconsin) (FF)