PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Three days of tournament action wrap up the 2013 calendar year for the Brown wrestling team, but the Bears are just gearing up as Friday's 81st Annual Wilkes Open (Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) and the two-day 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championships (Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.) will set the tone for plenty of single and dual meet action in January. Brown will send 10 competitors to the mat at the Wilkes Open while seven Bears dot the roster for the Midlands.
"These two tournaments have a long standing tradition in the sport of wrestling," said Head Coach Todd Beckerman. "The Wilkes Open is known as 'the Rose Bowl of Wrestling.' The Ken Kraft Midlands Championships has been around for over 50 years with schools participating from every power conference. We also have a strong alumni base in the Chicago area so it will be nice for our alums to see us compete in this prestigious event."
A total of 17 teams and 262 total wrestlers are scheduled for the Wilkes Open. Brown stands as one of 11 Division I programs sending wrestlers to the event, while host squad Wilkes University is ranked fifth in the country in Division III.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
For updates throughout the three days of action, be sure to like Brown Wrestling on Facebook and follow @Brown_Wrestling on Twitter. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #Rhode2OKC.
BERNSTEIN RANKED NO. 12/14 AT 184, SEEDED SEVENTH AT MIDLANDS
Junior captain Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) ranks 12th and 14th in the nation in the 184 pound weight class according to latest Amateur Wrestling News and InterMat rankings, respectively. Bernstein drew the seventh seed at the Midlands Championships and looks to improve upon his 13-3 record.
Northwestern head coach Drew Pariano and Director of the Ken Kraft Midlands Tim Cysewski announced the list of contenders on Dec. 23. The list can be seen here.
BIG TEN NETWORK TO AIR MIDLANDS FINALS LIVE ON MONDAY
The Big Ten Network will air the finals of the 51st Ken Kraft Midlands Championship live at 8 p.m. CT. The Midlands first session begins at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 29, followed by the second session at 7 p.m. The action continues Monday with the third session, semifinals, consolation matches and seventh place matches at noon. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #Midlands51 to join the conversation on social media.
GLENN COLLINS '85 TO HOST ALUMNI FUNCTION AFTER MIDLANDS
The Brown Wrestling team invites all alumni and friends to come meet Head Coach Todd Beckerman and the team at the home of Glenn Collins '85 immediately after the Midlands Championships finals on Sunday. To RSVP, click here.
Attendance is free of charge. Chicago style pizza and beverages will be served.
BERNSTEIN PLACES FOURTH AT 184 AT CLIFF KEEN INVITATIONAL
Bernstein plowed through the 184 pound weight class wrestlebacks en route to a fourth place finish that helped Brown jump to 19th place out of 33 teams at the 32nd annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 7.
After a pinfall victory in Friday's opening round followed by a 4-1 setback to #12 Gabe Dean of Cornell, Bernstein drew Ryan Tompkins of Army and moved on due to medical forfeit. Bernstein then pinned ninth-seeded Nick Vetterlein of Virginia Tech in 4:10 and trumped Wyoming's #18 Benjamin Stroh, 10-2, to move into the third place match. Ninth-ranked and second-seeded Kenny Courts of Ohio State awaited Bernstein and defeated Brown's top-ranked grappler, 13-6.
LAST TIME OUT
Brown jumped up eight spots to 19th overall in the team standings thanks to Bernstein's showing at the Cliff Keen Invitational. Anthony Finocchiaro (Canastota, N.Y.) picked up two wins at 133, Cortlandt Choate (Orwigsburg, Pa.) grabbed a 14-2 victory in the 149 pound weight class wrestlebacks and Ryder Cavey (Eldersburg, Md.) prevailed 6-0 in the opening round at 285.
The Bears return to action on Saturday, Jan. 4, at the Franklin & Marshall Open in Lancaster, Pa.