The West Virginia University wrestling team closes out the year in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, to compete at the 58th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships inside the NOW Arena from Dec. 29-30.
“We are looking forward to focusing on wrestling,” fifth-year coach Tim Flynn said. “Midlands is one of the better tournaments every year, so I think it’s a good in-season test for our guys to see where they are.”
The two-day event kicks off at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 29. Fans can catch all the action live on B1G+ and follow along on Trackwrestling for live stats throughout the tournament.
Below are the dates, times, and broadcast networks for each round:
|Thursday morning||Dec. 29||Session I – First Round||10:30 a.m.||B1G+|
|Thursday evening||Dec. 29||Session II – Quarterfinals/Wrestlebacks||8 p.m.||B1G+|
|Friday morning||Dec. 30||Session III – Semifinals/Consolations||12 p.m.||B1G+|
|Friday evening||Dec. 30||Session IV – Finals||7:05 p.m.||B1G+|
*All times are Eastern Standard
As the only Big 12 conference representative at the midseason invitational, West Virginia will bring 16 wrestlers, including two unattached, to face off with some of the top competitors in their respective weight classes. Six Mountaineers are ranked in FloWrestling’s top 30, including No. 6 Killian Cardinale, No. 21 Sam Hillegas (149), No. 5 Peyton Hall (165), honorable mentions Anthony Carman (184) and Austin Cooley (197), and No. 21 Michael Wolfgram (HWT).
This year’s field is filled with 22 other schools across 12 states (Arizona, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin). Five of the participants are currently ranked in the top 25 of the latest NWCA Coaches Poll. No. 3 Arizona State leads the way, followed by No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 15 Northwestern, No. 18 Rutgers, and No. 21 Pittsburgh, while WVU (5) and Princeton (3) received votes.
Other schools participating at Midlands include Bloomsburg, Brown, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Chicago, Cleveland State, Franklin & Marshall, George Mason, Harvard, Indiana, Illinois, North Central College, Northern Illinois, Penn, Southern Illinois Edwardsville, and Virginia.
The Mountaineers make their first appearance at the annual event since 2017 and 16th overall as a team. They started traveling to the tournament in 1984 and one year later witnessed All-American Jim Akerly take third at 150 pounds to become the first Mountaineer to reach the podium. The highest mark for an individual came when three-time national champion Greg Jones claimed the crown at 184 pounds in 2003.
Overall, WVU has registered 18 top-8 finishes and placed as high as 11th twice in the team standings (1989 & 2003).
Full List of Mountaineers Competing at #Midlands58
No. 6 Killian Cardinale
No. 21 Sam Hillegas
No. 5 Peyton Hall
Brody Conley (Unattached)
HM Anthony Carman
Dennis Robin (Unattached)
HM Austin Cooley
No. 21 Michael Wolfgram