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Edinboro finishes second at Midlands, Port wins title

12/31/2013
Edinboro University Sports Information

EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Edinboro wrestling team matched its best finish ever at the 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships and Mitchell Port became the first Fighting Scot to take home first place since 2011 as the second day of competition concluded on Monday. Iowa ran away with first place, totaling 187.5 points, with Edinboro capturing second place with 102.5 points. Michigan finished third in the 47-team field at Northwestern's Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Edinboro had five wrestlers medal, led by Port's first place showing at 141 lbs. The redshirt junior became the Boro's first titlist since Chris Honeycutt won at 197 lbs. in 2011. Port, the number one seed and ranked number one nationally, improved to 14-0 with an 11-2 major decision over Illinois' Steven Rodrigues in the finals. A year ago Port finished fifth.

The Fighting Scots added third place finishes by A.J. Schopp at 133 lbs. and Johnny Greisheimer at 157 lbs., while Ernest James took home fifth place at heavyweight and Vic Avery was eighth at 184 lbs.

The national runner-up at 141 lbs. a year ago, Port dominated the final against Rodrigues, who came in unseeded but had upset four seeds to reach the finals. He would record the first of three takedowns less than 20 seconds into the match, and with just over a minute remaining picked up three back points for a 5-0 lead.

An escape and takedown late in the period boosted the lead to 8-0 after two periods. Rodrigues would get on the board with an escape, but Port added another takedown midway through the third period and owned over three minutes in riding time.

Schopp, meanwhile, overcame a 3-0 loss to fourth-seeded Joe Colon of Northern Iowa in the semifinals to win two more matches and take home third place at 133 lbs. He had placed fifth the previous two years. Colon would go on to record a first period pin over second-seeded Tony Ramos of Iowa in the finals.

Ranked number one by InterMat and the top seed, Schopp won a 5-0 decision over Mason Beckman of Lehigh in the consolation semifinals. The victory over the third-seeded Beckman avenged an earlier loss to Beckman in the NWCA All-Star Classic. The redshirt junior then overcame another nemesis in the third place match, prevailing 3-0 over Wisconsin's Tyler Graff, the fifth seed. A year earlier Graff had defeated Schopp in the Midlands Championships and in the NCAA's. Schopp is now 18-1.

Greisheimer, the number eight seed, turned in some of the best wrestling of his career the last two days. The fifth-year senior won six of seven matches, with his lone loss to top-ranked Derek St. John of Iowa, who went on to win the Midlands crown. Greisheimer upset second-seeded Nick Brascetta of Virginia Tech in the consolation semifinals, winning by fall at 4:42, before winning a 9-6 decision against Isaiah Martinez of Illinois in the third place match. He is now 14-6.

James, another fifth-year senior, came in as the tenth seed at heavyweight and would boost his season record to 14-5 while capturing fifth place. He was another Fighting Scot to exact some revenge. He would advance in the consolation round with a fall over ninth-seeded Ty Walz of Virginia Tech at 3:27, after previously losing to Walz in the early-season dual. James eventually won a medical forfeit over Spence Myers of Maryland, the number two seed.

Avery may have finished higher but the redshirt sophomore forfeited his final two bouts in the consolation quarterfinals and seventh place match with an injury. He had previously missed a month with an ankle injury early in the year. He is now 7-2.

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