Iowa's 184-pound Cash Wilcke wrestles during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

‘Let the best man win’ as Iowa faces off at Midlands

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Two Iowa teammates will face-off in an exciting 197-pound matchup.

By James Geerdes

james-geerdes@uiowa.edu

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Some of the top wrestlers in the country will meet today in the final portion of the Midlands Championships.

Returning Midlands champions Brandon Sorensen and Michael Kemerer have proved to be exciting wrestlers throughout the tournament, while heavyweight Sam Stoll has bulldozed his way through his weight class.

Perhaps more exciting, a Spencer Lee and Nick Suriano matchup is a very real possibility, but a guaranteed bout will feature Jacob Warner and Cash Wilcke.

Hawkeyes Warner and Wilcke will square off in Iowa’s lone intrasquad matchup in the semifinals of the 197-pound bracket. The pair wrestled competitively in Iowa’s wrestle-offs when true freshman Warner pulled off a 4-3 decision over the sophomore.

Warner has had a successful season while wrestling unattached this year. He upset No. 2 Willie Miklus of Missouri at the Lindenwood Open. And at Midlands, Warener beat 5th-ranked Jacob Smith of West Virginia in the quarterfinals, 3-1.

Wilcke is a returning All-American and is ranked eighth in the nation. Head coach Tom Brands said he will not remove Warner’s redshirt with Wilcke in the lineup.

“Wilcke’s doing a great job, and no matter what happens, we like both those guys, we’re happy with both of them,” head coach Tom Brands said. “I’ll say this: Let the best man win.”

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Wrestlers warm up during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Fans make their way into the arena during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 125-pound Justin Stickley gets ready for his match during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Justin Stickley wrestles Northern Illinois' Kirk Johansen during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 141-pound Vince Turk gets ready for a match during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 141-pound Vince Turk wrestles during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

A wrestler maneuvers through people around the mats during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 174-pound Mitch Bowman signs in during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 184-pound Mitch Bowman wrestles during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

An official calls for a review of Mitch Bowman's last second takedown as time expried during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa fans react to a reviewed call during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 184-pound Mitch Bowman reacts to his loss in overtime during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 157-pound Michael Kemerer wrestles Arizona State's Gene Ol Pierce during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 157-pound Michael Kemerer prays after a win during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 174-pound Kaleb Young wrestles during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 184-pound Cash Wilcke wrestles Rutgers Anthony Messner during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 133-pound Paul Glynn wrestles Wisconsin's Jens Lantz  during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's fixes his headgear during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Fans stand in the aisle while watching matches during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 141-pound Max Murin gets pinned during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Young event staffers play on the mats after the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 184-pound Cash Wilcke wrestles during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 285-pound Sam Stoll wrestles Penn's Patrik Garrenduring the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

A young event staffer looks on while an official signals the end of a round to wrestlers during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 285-pound Sam Stoll wrestles Penn's Patrik Garrenduring the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

An Iowan fan calls out during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 133-pound Paul Glynn puts on his singlet straps and secures his head gear during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 133-pound Paul Glynn wrestles during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 149-pound Brandon Sorensen wrestles Rutgers during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's 149-pound Brandon Sorensen wrestles Old Dominion's Kevin Budock during the first session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 149-pound Brandon Sorensen wrestles Rutgers during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Rutgers gets his face checked for blood during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa 149-pound Brandon Sorensen wrestles Rutgers during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Officials and medical staff clean up blood off of a mat during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

An Illinois wrestler lays down alongside his team mates during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Jacob Warner celebrates during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa fans cheer during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa head coach Tom Brands speaks with members of the media during the second session of the 55th Annual Midlands Championships in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

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