Maple, Graham claim titles at Midlands

The University of Oklahoma wrestling team placed third overall and claimed two individual champions this weekend at the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

The Sooners finished third after they scored 85 points in two days of wrestling. Illinois claimed first with 99.5 points, while Virginia Tech placed second with 97.5 points. Oregon State (81.5) and Central Michigan (76.5) rounded out the top five at fourth and fifth, respectively.

Top-ranked 141-pounder Kendric Maple continued his undefeated 2012 campaign with a 5-1 decision over B.J. Futrell from the University of Illinois. The victory also marked Maple's second-straight Midlands victory, following a championship title in 2011.

The championship bout was the second time that the pair has met on the mat this season, and the second time that Maple claimed a win after he took home a 6-2 decision over Futrell at the NWCA All-Star Classic in November.

OU's second championship of the night came from Bubby Graham in the 165-pound bracket. Before his final bout Graham upset Virginia Tech's No. 2 seed Pete Yates in the semifinals and was set to face the top-seeded Bekzod Abdurakhmanov of Clarion in the final before he was forced to take an injury forfeit to Graham.

The Sooners also gained points from Nick Lester, who finished fifth in the 149-pound bracket, and twin brother Matt Lester, who finished seventh in the 157-pound bracket.

The Sooners will return to action on Saturday, Jan.5 at 7 p.m.against the Iowa State Cyclones in historic McCasland Field House.


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