HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Fifth-year senior Killian Cardinale and redshirt junior Anthony Carman led the way for the West Virginia University wrestling team on Thursday to conclude day one of the Midlands Championships at the NOW Arena.

Cardinale, ranked No. 6 at 125 pounds, earned a spot in the semifinals of a midseason tournament for the second year in a row after claiming a 3-0 record in his season debut.

He pinned Franklin and Marshall’s Mason Leiphart in 2:16 and then registered a 10-3 decision over Princeton’s Nicholas Kayal to reach the quarterfinals against George Mason’s Markell Baker, who knocked off No. 17 Dylan Shawver from Rutgers (4-2) in the previous round.

The Bristow, Virginia, native took Baker down twice in the first period and added two more in the second on his way to securing a 12-6 decision. Cardinale will take on Arizona State’s Brandon Courtney in a rematch from last year’s quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships, where Courtney escaped with a 3-2 victory.

At 184 pounds, Carman posted a 3-0 record as well to end the first day. He scored a 19-1 tech. fall over Omega Training Center’s Mike Kelly and concluded the night with back-to-back decisions. The Glen Dale, West Virginia, native battles No. 19 Reece Heller from Pitt for a spot in the finals.

Juniors Sam Hillegas (149) and Peyton Hall (165), and redshirt sophomore Austin Cooley (197) advanced to the quarterfinals of their respective weight classes, while senior Scott Joll (174) and redshirt junior Michael Wolfgram (HWT) each sealed a 3-1 record to stay alive for another day. All return for day two in contention for a top-five finish.

Additionally, freshman Brody Conley remains in the hunt for a spot on the podium while competing unattached at 174 pounds.

West Virginia finished day one in a tie with Illinois for sixth place in the overall standings. No. 11 Wisconsin holds the top spot (78.5), followed by No. 15 Northwestern (63.0), No. 21 Pitt (61.5), No. 18 Rutgers (60.0), and Penn (58.0) to round out the top five.

Day two of the Midlands Championships kicks off on Friday with the semifinals and seventh-place bouts at 12 p.m. ET, before the finals, as well as the third-and-fifth -place matches commence at 7:05 p.m. ET. All the action can be seen on B1G+.

Direct links to the live stream and live stats can be found on the wrestling schedule page at