Missouri junior Mark Ellis.
Dec. 28, 2008
Columbia, Mo. - Closing out the 2008 calendar year in Evanston, Ill., the fifth-ranked Missouri wrestling team will compete in the 46th annual Midlands Tournament beginning Monday, Dec. 29, at 9:30 a.m. (CT) in the Welsh-Ryan Arena. The two-day tournament features 11 of the nation's top 25 ranked wrestling programs and several of the country's best grapplers.
Five Missouri wrestlers earned top-five pre-tournament seeds in their respective weight class. Complete brackets will be released by host school Northwestern on Dec. 29.
Missouri Head Coach Brian Smith and 13 members of the Tiger squad are slated to compete in the annual event. Seven members of the Missouri squad are ranked among the top-25 in the nation, with junior heavyweight Mark Ellis (Peculiar, Mo.) ranked highest of his teammates at third. Ellis, along with teammates Nicholas Marable (165, Collierville, Tenn.), Raymond Jordan (174, New Bern, N.C.), and Maxwell Askren (197, Hartland, Wis.) received the No. 2 seed in their respective weight class. Senior co-captain Michael Chandler (High Ridge, Mo.) was recognized as the No. 3 seed at 157 pounds.
"This is a grind of a tournament," Smith said. "I'd even go so far as to say that it's as tough as the National Championships. The Midlands will give our individuals a lot of good experience and should help determine where the members of our lineup stand among their opponents."
Jordan, seeded second at 174 pounds behind Jay Borschel of Iowa, will put his perfect 15-0 record on the line when the tournament begins Monday morning. Jordan and teammate Askren are the sole Missouri grapplers to maintain spotless records a little over a month into the season. Askren owns a 12-0 record and stands at 66-7 while Jordan is 103-24 in four years.
Fans interested in watching the finals of The Midlands, can catch the action live on the Big Ten Network beginning at 7 p.m. (CT) Tuesday, Dec. 30.
Check back to mutigers.com for information regarding brackets for the Midlands Tournament.
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