The 2013 portion of the Princeton wrestling season will conclude in two different spots over the next three days. While the majority of the starting lineup heads to Northwestern for the prestigious 51st Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30, there will be a group of 11 Tigers who compete Saturday at the Wilkes Open.
Princeton (3-1) is looking to finish the opening half of an already impressive season in style, and a strong performance at the Midlands would be an ideal way to ring in 2014. Some of the nation's top programs will compete at the two-day meet, including No. 3 Iowa, No. 9 Northwestern, No. 14 Northern Iowa and No. 19 Lehigh.
Earning a spot on the podium among this field of teams can earn immediate national respect. Just ask Adam Krop, who went from an unseeded, and virtually unknown, sophomore to the Top 20 with a third-place finish at the 2011 Midlands. He won every match except a one-point loss to the nation's top-ranked wrestler, and that finish helped him earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.
Krop is Princeton's lone pre-seeded wrestler at Midlands; he is the third seed at 141 pounds, trailing only Edinboro's Mitchell Port (the nation's top-ranked wrestler) and Franklin & Marshall's Richard Durso (ranked fifth nationally and the reigning EIWA champion).
The Big Ten Network will televise the finals of the Midlands Championships live Monday night at 8 pm.
Princeton will bring six underclassmen to Midlands, while several others will head to the Wilkes Open. Last year, five Tigers placed at Midlands, including both Kevin Moylan and Judd Ziegler, both of whom would represent Princeton at the EIWA Championships.