Hall and Valencia lead ASU wrestling at Midlands Championships

ASU finished sixth overall in the two-day event over the weekend

Coming off a convincing road loss to No. 1 Penn State earlier this month, the ASU wrestling team took the mat at the 56th annual Midlands Championships at Sears Centre Arena near Chicago over the weekend.

The No. 8 ranked Sun Devils suffered a rough start on Saturday. Redshirt senior Ryan Millhof held a 10-2 lead until he suffered an injury during the second period of his match in the round of 64, causing the 125-pounder to miss the remainder of the tournament.  

His teammates rebounded however and the Sun Devils entered Sunday ranked seventh in points as a team, finishing sixth overall with 83 points and with six wrestlers placing during the two-day tournament.

Senior heavyweight Tanner Hall defeated hometown wrestler Conan Jennings from Northwestern in the final round to earn his second career Midlands title and Josh Shields (165 pounds) placed third in his weight class.

Meanwhile, NCAA champion and ASU redshirt junior Zahid Valencia captured his third Midlands title in the 174-pound weight class and led the entire field in total match points with 89.  

Hall and freshman Jacori Teemer wrestled unattached in the event. Teemer, making his collegiate debut, earned a fifth-place finish in the 149-pound division.

Sophomore Josiah Kline (133 pounds) placed fourth and redshirt senior Jacen Petersen (165 pounds) placed eighth in their weight classes also contributing to ASU's performance.

In a quick turnaround, ASU will return to Tempe for the first time since mid-November when it hosts No. 5 Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 8:00 p.m. MST.

 Reach the reporter at kmgianco@asu.edu and follow @Kaleb_Mart on Twitter.

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