Evanston, Ill. — Nebraska sophomore wrestler Robert Kokesh extended his winning streak to 17 matches, and won an individual title in the process.
Kokesh won the 174-pound weight division Sunday night at the Midlands Invitational with an 8-4 decision over Lehigh’s Nathan Brown.
The Wagner, S.D., native, who also won the 174-pound title at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas a month ago, improved to 22-1 on the season. Kokesh’s only loss is a 3-1 decision against Minnesota’s Logan Storley.
Kokesh, who dominated his first five opponents en route to the championship match, controlled the second half of his match with Brown.
Kokesh led 3-2 after the first period before Brown got a reversal midway through the second period to grab a 4-3 lead.
But Kokesh, who is ranked eighth nationally in his weight class, got a reversal 15 seconds later to regain the lead. Kokesh added another reversal early in the third period and he didn’t allow Brown to get to his feet the rest of the way.
The championship was by the closest match Kokesh had all weekend. He recorded two pins, a technical fall and a win by major decision in his four matches Saturday. Then in Sunday’s semifinals, he got a 10-2 major decision over ninth-ranked Lee Munster of Northwestern.
The only other Husker to wrestle Sunday was 165-pounder Austin Wilson. Wilson won four wrestleback matches Saturday, but lost his only match Sunday, falling 7-5 to Rider’s Ramon Santiago.
Iowa freshman Cory Clark finished fourth at 125 pounds.
Clark dropped a pair of decisions Sunday, including a 10-6 decision to eventual champion Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech in the semifinals.
Iowa State’s Kyven Gadson finished in fourth place at 197. He went 5-2 on the weekend.
Gadson won three straight to reach the third-place match, where he lost an 8-6 decision to Oregon State’s Taylor Meeks.
Illinois won the invitational’s team title with 99.5 points, finishing two points ahead of Virginia Tech. Oklahoma was third with 85, followed by Oregon State with 81.5.
Nebraska placed 15th with 39 points, while Iowa State was 17th with 32.5 points.
Team scoring (top 20 finishers): 1, Illinois 99.5, 2, Virginia Tech 97.5, 3, Oklahoma 85, 4, Oregon State 81.5, 5, Central Michigan 76,5, 6, Lehigh 74, 7, Northwestern 67, 8, Michigan 65.5, 9, North Dakota State 57, 10, Pittsburgh 56.5, 11, Edinboro 52.5, 12, Wisconsin 50.5, 13, Northern Iowa 49.5, 14, Binghamton 39,5, 15 (tie), Nebraska and Columbia 39, 17 (tie), Iowa State and North Carolina 32.5, 19, Indiana 29, 20, Maryland 28.5.