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SDSU's Kocer takes second at Midlands

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Wagner native David Kocer took second place at 174 pounds Saturday at the prestigious 55th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships outside Chicago.

Kocer lost by major decision to Arizona State's Zahid Valencia — the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the country — 18-7 in the championship match but was 4-1 for the weekend. Kocer, ranked No. 9 in the country, had two technical falls in the opening rounds, followed by two major decisions to reach the championship round, including a 13-0 shutout of Purdue's Drew Lydy in the semifinals.

SDSU teammate Seth Gross pinned Buffalo's Bryan Lantry to win the 133-pound title, becoming the first Jackrabbit to win a Midlands crown. He won four matches by technical fall and two by pin. The Jackrabbits were fifth as a team with 99 points, while Iowa won the title with 156.5 points. SDSU hosts Oregon State in dual action Friday in Brookings.