Wisconsin All-American Dean Hamiti rides West Virginia All-American Peyton Hall in the 165-pound finals at the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.
Sam Janicki

Wisconsin All-American Dean Hamiti rides West Virginia All-American Peyton Hall in the 165-pound finals at the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.


Wisconsin’s Hamiti named OW, Penn earns first Ken Kraft Midlands Championships team title

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

HOFMANN ESTATES, Ill. – A stellar set of finals on Saturday evening concluded the 59th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships at NOW Arena—Wisconsin’s Dean Hamiti was presented with the Jack Leese Champion of Champions Award and the Dan Gable Outstanding Wrestler Award after earning the 165-pound title, while the Penn Quakers bagged the programs first team title at the prestigious holiday event.

Already a two-time NCAA All-American and Big Ten champion for head coach Chris Bono and the Badgers, Hamiti looked every big a NCAA title contender as he blitzed the 165-pound bracket with three pins on Friday, followed up by a pair of shutout major decisions in the semis and finals. It was a 12-0 win over West Virginia’s Peyton Hall, a three-time NCAA qualifier and 2022 All-American, that cemented Hamiti’s claim as the event’s top wrestler.

Wisconsin picked up a second individual champion from 184-pound graduate transfer Shane Liegel who was a four-time NCAA Div. III All-American and national champion at Loras College. He fought to a 9-6 win in sudden victory against Penn’s Maximus Hale in the championship bout.

The only program to match Wisconsin’s two champions was Lehigh, who bagged first place finishes from NCAA All-American Michael Beard at 197 pounds and true freshman Luke Stanich at 125 pounds. Beard ousted two-time NCAA qualifier Luke Stout of Princeton in a 15-0 final. Stanich, who wrestled unattached, needed overtime tiebreakers to surpass Elijah Griffin of Cal Baptist in an exciting 8-7 championship contest.  

An upstart West Virginia crew was the lone team to push three athletes into the finals and picked up a stunning win at 141 pounds. NCAA qualifier Jordan Titus decked All-American and No. 1 seed CJ Composto of Penn 18-3 to bring home the title. In addition to Hall and Titus, the Mountaineers saw freshman Ty Watters make the finals. The two-time Pennsylvania state champion was topped by unseeded, unattached competitor Ty Whalen in a 5-1 final at 149 pounds.

Reigning U23 World champion Isaac Trumble of North Carolina State looked every bit a contender at heavyweight this weekend. He posted three pins and a major decision prior to a 2-1 win in the finals over No. 1 seed Luke Luffman of Illinois, who is a three-time NCAA qualifier.

2017 Cadet World bronze medalist and two-time NCAA All-American Jacori Teemer of Arizona State earned a five-point win over defending Midlands champion Trevor Chumbley of Northwestern in the 157-pound finals.

Two-time age-group U.S. World Team member Dylan Ragusin, wrestling unattached for Michigan at 133 pounds, and NCAA qualifier Edmond Ruth of Illinois round out the list of individual champions.

Although it didn’t gain an individual champion, the Penn collective put up 127.5 team points with eight place winners. Wisconsin pushed up to second place with a strong day two at 104.5 team points. West Virginia found itself in third place with 100.5 team points. These three programs are the only ones to crack the 100-point threshold at the event.

Final results and complete brackets of the 59th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships are available on Trackwrestling.com. Replays from the event are available online with a Big Ten Plus subscription.

2023 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships

At Hoffman Estates, Ill., Dec. 29-30

Team Standings

1. Penn, 127.5

2. Wisconsin, 104.5

3. West Virginia, 100.5

4. Michigan State, 84.5

5. Illinois, 82

6. Central Michigan, 74

7. Virginia Tech, 69

8. Northwestern, 65.5

9. Harvard, 62.5

10. Princeton, 58.5

Final Results

125 pounds

1st – Luke Stanich (Lehigh) dec. Elijah Griffin (California Baptist), 8-7 TB-1

3rd – Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) dec. Cooper Flynn (Virginia Tech), 1-0

5th – Diego Sotelo (Harvard) dec. Blake West (Northern Illinois), 11-8

7th – Vinny Kilkeary (Ohio State) dec. Tristan Lujan (Michigan State), 4-1 SV-1

133 pounds

1st – Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) dec. Dylan Shawver (Rutgers), 4-1

3rd – Zeth Romney (Cal Poly) maj. dec. Michael Colaiocco (Penn) Maj 16-3

5th – Sam Latona (Virginia Tech) dec. Mason Leiphart (Franklin & Marshall), 6-2

7th – Julian Chlebove (Arizona State) med. for. Marlon Yarbrough (Virginia)

141 pounds

1st – Jordan Titus (West Virginia) tech. fall CJ Composto (Penn), 18-3

3rd – Tom Crook (Virginia Tech) dec. Danny Pucino (Illinois), 8-4

5th – Jordan Hamdan (Michigan State) med. for. Jimmy Nugent (Central Michigan)

7th – Brandon Cannon (Ohio State) dec. Dylan Layton (Cleveland State), 9-3

149 pounds

1st – Ty Whalen (Unattached) dec. Ty Watters (West Virginia), 5-1

3rd – Kannon Webster (Illinois) dec. Corbyn Munson (Central Michigan), 6-2

5th – Cross Wasilewski (Penn RTC) dec. Kaleb Burgess (Buffalo), 13-6

7th – Caleb Tyus (SIU Edwardsville) dec. Sam Cartella (Northwestern), 4-1

157 pounds

1st – Jacori Teemer (Arizona State) dec. Trevor Chumbley (Northwestern), 11-6

3rd – Lucas Revano (Penn) dec. DJ Mcgee (George Mason), 4-2

5th – Johnny Lovett (Central Michigan) dec. Colton Washleski (Rider), 10-7

7th – Chase Saldate (Michigan State) fall James Harrington (Harvard), 1:07

165 pounds

1st – Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) maj. dec. Peyton Hall (West Virginia), 12-0

3rd – Beau Mantanona (Michigan) dec. Maxx Mayfield (Northwestern), 4-1 SV-1

5th – Caleb Fish (Michigan State) dec. Chris Moore (Illinois), 1-0

7th – Luke Gayer (Rutgers) dec. Tate Geiser (Cleveland State), 12-6

174 pounds

1st – Edmond Ruth (Illinois) maj. dec. Philip Conigliaro (Harvard), 13-4

3rd – Nick Incontrera (Penn) dec. Max Maylor (Wisconsin), 5-1

5th – Brody Conley (West Virginia) med. for. Justin McCoy (Virginia)

7th – Alex Cramer (Central Michigan) med. for. Adam Kemp (Cal Poly)

184 pounds

1st – Shane Liegel (Wisconsin) dec. Maximus Hale (Penn), 9-6 SV-1

3rd – Niel Antrassian (Penn RTC) med. for. Cody Howard (Virginia Tech)

5th – James Conway (Franklin & Marshall) med. for. Nate Dugan (Princeton)

7th – Troy Fisher (Northwestern) dec. Hayden Filipovich (Purdue), 7-3

197 pounds

1st – Michael Beard (Lehigh) tech. fall Luke Stout (Princeton), 15-0

3rd – Cole Urbas (Penn) dec. JT Davis (Lehigh), 1-0

5th – Andy Smith (Virginia Tech) med. for. Cameron Caffey (Michigan State)

7th – Aidan Conner (Princeton) dec. Kael Wisler (Michigan State), 8-1

285 pounds

1st – Isaac Trumble (North Carolina State) dec. Luke Luffman (Illinois), 2-1

3rd – Jimmy Mullen (Virginia Tech) dec. Jacob Bullock (Indiana), 9-6

5th – Daulton Mayer (Thomas More) med. for. Trevor Tinker (Cal Poly)

7th – Josh Terrill (Michigan State) fall John Stout (Penn) Fall 0:28