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The Iowa wrestling team produced a strong showing on the opening day of the 54th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships.

Five Hawkeye wrestlers advanced to Friday’s semifinals, as Thomas Gilman (125), Brandon Sorensen (149), Michael Kemerer (157), Alex Meyer (174) and Sam Stoll (285) all moved on after quarterfinal victories. Iowa leads the team standings as well, with 85.5 points.

Gilman upended Messiah College’s Lucas Malmberg, 23-7, by technical fall; Sorensen moved past Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin, 12-4, by major decision; Kemerer defeated Purdue’s Alex Griffin, 11-2, by major decision; Meyer knocked off Harvard’s Josef Johnson, 11-2, by major decision; and Stoll capped things off with a decision victory over Oklahoma’s Ross Larson, 6-2.

Iowa’s Topher Carton (141), Kaleb Young (165), Alex Marinelli (165) and Samuel Brooks (184) all advanced to the quarterfinals as well before falling.

Meanwhile, Iowa State’s Lelund Weatherspoon (174) was the only Cyclone to advance to the quarterfinal round, and he delivered. The redshirt senior landed a 3-2 decision win over Boise State’s Austin Dewey to move on. Iowa State finished the first day 11th in the team standings with 37 points.

Friday’s semifinal matches:

125: Iowa’s Thomas Gilman vs. American’s Josh Terao

149: Iowa’s Brandon Sorensen vs. North Carolina State’s Sam Speno

157: Iowa’s Michael Kemerer vs. Arizona State’s Jason Tsirtis

174: Iowa’s Alex Meyer vs. Iowa State’s Lelund Weatherspoon

285: Iowa’s Sam Stoll vs. Arizona State’s Tanner Hall

Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.

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