By Alex Rychwalski
Maryland junior Youssif Hemida was the star of the 55th Midlands Championships for the Terps, finishing third in the 285-pound class. In his final match of the Saturday night session, Hemida pinned his opponent in just over a minute to cap off his weekend with a 4-1 record.
“I’m a little disappointed honestly,” said Hemida of his third-place finish. “I wanted to take home first obviously, but [I’m] definitely happy. Last year I came here and I didn’t even place… so I’m definitely happy, but there are areas I need to work on a bit.”
Hemida’s lone loss of the tournament came by way of top-seeded Tanner Hall of Arizona State, who also defeated him in the 2017 NCAA championships by a score of 2-1. This year’s edition was no less of a heartracing affair, with Hall pulling out a 2-1 victory on riding time.
On Friday, Hemida went 3-0, closing out the day by defeating No. 9 Billy Miller of Edinboro 5-1 before his semifinal defeat.
Three other Terps made it to the round of 16 in their respective weight classes, but none of them were able to get over the hump. Alfred Bannister, Brendan Burnham and Josh Ugalde all came just a victory short of the quarterfinals.
Of the three Maryland wrestlers who came up short of the quarters, Ugalde came the closest in the 174-pound class after winning his first two matches, but dropped a tight 7-5 battle against Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola in the round of 16.
The Terrapins next hit the mat on Friday, Jan. 5 at home against Ohio State at 7:00 p.m.