By Tim Glon
EVANSTON, Ill. — Ohio Northern senior Kyle Kwiat posted a 1-2 record against NCAA Division I competition at the 50th annual Midlands Championships Saturday and Sunday hosted by Big 10 member Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Kwiat, the top-seeded defending Division III national champion at 174 pounds, was seeded 11th out of 41 wrestlers in his weight class, the vast majority of whom are from Division I schools.
In the history of the prestigious event, 105 former Midlands wrestlers have gone on to the Olympics.
This year, as many as six of the first year's 10 winners to return, including former Ohio Northern wrestling coach Mike Palmissano, who founded the Polar Bear program in the fall of 1966, and 1972 Olympic champion Dan Gable, who went on to coach Iowa to nine straight NCAA titles.
Kwiat started the tournament with a 15-2 major decision over Kurtis Julson of North Dakota State.
Sixth-seeded and No. 16-ranked (Division I) John-Martin Cannon of Buffalo then topped Kwiat by major decision 15-4 in the Round of 16.
In the consolation bracket, Kwiat was downed 10-0 by Craig Kelliher of No. 9-ranked (Division I) Central Michigan to eliminate him from the tournament.
Kwiat is now 15-3 on the season.
The 19th-ranked Polar Bears will return to action Jan. 5 with a 1 pm dual at Washington & Lee (Va.)