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      Lefever reflects on what it took to become four-time NCAA D-III national champion

      Riley Lefever could win wrestling matches 1-0 or 2-0.
      But what’s the fun it that?
      On his way to a fourth national championship, the Wabash College senior was named NCAA Division III’s most dominant wrestler by averaging 5.79 points per match during the 2016-17.
      To punctuate his fourth crown, he scored a pin in the 197-pound finals to help the Little Giants place third in the team standings. Lefever left the meet in LaCrosse, Wis., with the National Wrestling Coaches Association Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet Award.
      “I like to push the pace,” Riley said. “Once you wear them down, it’s going to be easier to get to the legs.
      “That’s the way I approach wrestling, wear them down, push the pace and score a lot of points.”
      Riley often finishes in a decisive way.
      “He’s got a lot of horsepower,” Wabash head coach Brian Anderson said. “He’s big with cradles, bundling them up.”
      Lefever, who was an IHSAA state runner-up at 170 for Carroll High School (Fort Wayne) as a senior in 2013, became the first national championship in Wabash history as a freshman (Chris Healey placed second for the Little Giants in 2005) and went on to go 129-0 against D-III competition during his collegiate career while joining Augsburg's Marcus LeVesseur (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) as the division’s only four-time champions.
      Overall, Riley was 158-6 (38-0 as a freshman, 37-3 as a sophomore, 44-0 as a junior, 39-3 as a senior).
      “His aggressive style and his approach to never stop scoring, it is exhausting to his opponents,” Anderson said. “He is a great example of wrestler who likes breaking people on the mat.”
      In putting away Ithaca College senior Carlos Toribio in 4:52, Lefever took his foe from his feet to his back — something he’s done countless times in drills and matches.
      After taking each of his first three titles — all at 184 — Lefever trained with a purpose during the summer and came back better for the intercollegiate season.
      Competing against grapplers in higher divisions, Riley won the Iowa State University/Harold Nichols Open and placed second at the Eastern Michigan University Open at the beginning of his senior season.
      For his last college go-round, Riley was bigger and was even tougher on his feet.
      “I talked to Coach Anderson and wanted to do what is best for the team,” Riley said. “I knew I got a little bigger. I saw it as just another challenge, facing bigger guys and wearing them down.
      “I want to move guys around, snap them to the mat and score.”
      As it had been at 184, getting those big guys off their feet was the focus.
      “Takedowns, that’s where most matches are won,” Riley said. So, he worked on singles, doubles, ankle picks and more. His lunch break was often coupled with watching video of the sport’s finest and how they execute moves.
      “The best wrestlers are moving all the time and finding those angles,” Riley said. “It’s fun wrestling to watch.”
      As a Little Giants assistant, Reece Lefever got to watch Riley make history from the corner of the mat.
      “It was pretty awesome,” Reece said. “Riley likes to have fun and get after it. Winning 1-point matches isn’t as fun as scoring a ton of points. That’s what the fans like to see, too. He put on a show for people.”
      Kent and Nancy Lefever’s sons earned eight All-American honors on the mat for Wabash — four for for Riley, three for Reece and one for Conner (twin to Reece). In 2015, all three brothers were in the D-III national finals with Riley (184) and Conner (174) winning and Reece (157) placing second.
      Reece was the first Little Giant to achieve All-American status three straight seasons.
      Conner, a volunteer assistant at Wabash, says it’s his little brother’s drive that takes him to the top of the podium.
      “He wants to get better,’ Conner said. “He’s not satisfied with just winning. He wants to dominate.”
      Reece and Conner sparred with Riley a couple times a week during his tournament run. A few years ago, there was a chance of taking little brother down once in awhile,
      “I could hang with him,” Conner said. “Since he went up and weight class and gotten so much better, it’s tough to keep up with him.”
      Conner has watched Riley consistently put it on opponents.
      “Riley likes to lift the guys and slam them down hard,” Conner said. “As a fan, it’s fun to watch the guys who can take anybody down at will.
      “He breaks them down mentally.”
      Anderson has watched the twins show the younger brother the way and seen him take the program to new heights.
      “(Conner and Reece) are perfect examples of how you need to live your life, stay on the tracks with your training and always do one more thing in pursuit of a national title,” Anderson said. “Conner attained it and Reece just missed it.
      “The whole Lefever family and guys on those teams, these are the groups that took it up a notch and believe they were good enough to challenge for national trophies.”
      The bar has been set higher in Crawfordsville and Conner knows where the credit lies.
      “Riley changed the whole atmosphere of Wabash wrestling,” Conner said. “Nobody believed anyone could win a championship.
      “That’s how we’ve been able to make that big improvement.”
      And to think his mat career almost ended before it really got started.
      “I played soccer and planned on playing soccer instead of wrestling, but I was practically dragged to practice by my brothers, teammates,” Riley said. “My parents made me go.”
      Riley, who placed sixth at the Carroll Sectional as a 125-pound freshman with an 11-18 record, counts his brothers as his biggest influence.
      “I get to train with them everyday,” Riley said. “They were studs when I was growing up. They pushed each other.
      “I still work on technique with them and they are the main reason I came to Wabash.”
      Riley wrestled with Conner and Reece for three years at Carroll.
      “Those are memories I’ll never forget,” Riley said.
      The brothers are also products of the Roadrunner Wrestling Club. Besides the Lefevers, college All-Americans from that Garrett-based organization are Travis Barroquillo (three times) and Matt Hurtford (twice).
      After thriving in the competitive atmosphere at Wabash, Riley intends to continue his mat career and Anderson will still be there to guide him.
      “My ultimate approach is that I will feed them as fast as they want to eat,” Anderson said. “You have different levels of committed athletes in your program. Riley is one of the most elite. He is hungry for opportunities. I’ve made sure he’s being challenged as much a humanly possible. That that will continue. I will work to help him.”
      Anderson sees a possible World University Games or U.S. Open appearance for Riley this summer and he could wind up at a Regional Training Center or the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
      “He definitely has the ability and the build where he can do it,” Reece said. “He can get pushed by guys his size and at his level.”
      In May, Academic All-American Riley is scheduled to graduate from Wabash as an English major and History minor. He is scheduled to marry longtime girlfriend Madison in August.
      When he hangs up his shoes, Riley said he plans to be a wrestling coach.

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      Steven Bradley Named First Coach at Marian University

      INDIANAPOLIS - Former three-time Indiana state wrestling champion and Beech Grove standout Steven Bradley has been named the first-ever head wrestling coach at Marian University, director of athletics Steve Downing officially announced on Thursday.
      "We are excited to have Steven join our staff," said Downing. "We believe he will bring energy to the department and will build the program exactly how we want it built. Steven will bring in quality student-athletes who will perform on the field and in the classroom."
      "I am very excited about this opportunity to create and enviroment that breeds success on and off the wrestling mat," said Bradley. "I look forward to having a positive influence on the lives of these young men on a daily basis. This wrestling program is a great addition to the high-quality athletics at Marian University as well as to Indiana wrestling as a whole. I would like to thank President Elsener and Mr. Downing for hiring me and having faith in me to run this program with the utmost integrity."
      Bradley brings a wealth of experience within the wrestling world. In his 10 seasons as a collegiate coach, he has helped guide 33 all-americans, 73 national qualifiers and three national champions.
      In his first head coaching job, Bradley spent three seasons at Lincoln College in Illinois. From 2012-14, he earned back-to-back regional coach of the year accolades after guiding his team to a pair of team regional championships in 2013 and 2014. In his three seasons, he coached 12 NJCAA All-Americans, 26 national qualifiers, two national champions and had a 21-9 record in dual matches. In his first season, he guided the team to a third-place finish at the 2012 NJCAA National Championship. He was also the director of the Lincoln College Fitness Center during his time as head coach.
      Bradley spent 2008-11 as assistant coach at Lincoln before being elevated in 2012. During his time as an assistant, he worked with 10 all-americans, 28 national qualifiers and one national champion.
      His first college coaching stop was as assistant coach at the University of Indianapolis from 2005-08. In his four seasons as an assistant at UIndy, he worked with 11 all-americans and 19 national qualifiers.
      In 2008, Bradley was inducted into the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame as a wrestler.
      Bradley began his collegiate wrestling career at Lincoln College and was a NJCAA national runner-up in 2000. He graduated from Lincoln in 2000 and continued his studies at UIndy where his career was cut short due to injury. He took up coaching with the Greyhounds and earned his bachelor of science in 2005. He completed his master of coaching education from Ohio University in December of 2013.
      He resides in Indianapolis and will guide the Knights into their first season as a NAIA program beginning this fall.

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      #WrestlingWednesday Feature: Wabash Wrestling has Lefever Fever

      Brought to you by EI Sports

      To say Wabash College’s wrestling program is like a family might be an understatement.
      Wabash has five wrestlers who have qualified for this weekend’s Division III Nationals, three of which are brothers.
      The Little Giant’s are hoping those brothers can catapult the team to their best ever finish in the National Championship.
      “Last year we finished ninth as a team, which was our best finish ever,” Wabash assistant coach Danny Irwin said. “Without a doubt we feel like we should do much better this year, just based on our seeds. All five guys are capable of getting on top of the podium.”
      Wabash is led by the Lefever brothers, who wrestled for Fort Wayne Carroll in high school. Twins Reece and Conner are seniors. Reece is the No. 2 seed at 157 pounds. Conner is the top seed at 174 pounds and younger brother Riley, a sophomore, is a returning champion who is the No. 1 seed at 184 pounds.
      Wabash freshman Devin Broukal and junior Ethan Farmer, both from Bloomington South High School, have also qualified for Nationals, but are unseeded.
      Riley won Nationals last season. Wrestling didn’t always come easy to the youngest Lefever brother, however. In high school he finished his freshman season with a dismal 11-18 record. He improved by his sophomore year, finishing 26-15. As a junior things really started to click. Riley was 38-3 his junior year, wrestling at 160 pounds.
      In his senior season Riley finished 46-1 and was a state runner up.
      “I didn’t really start to enjoy wrestling until my freshman year,” Riley said. “That’s when I found my love for the sport. I started wrestling all year around with my brothers. Because of that, I really started to improve pretty quickly.”
      The Lefevers are each others’ biggest supporters, but they are also highly competitive with one another – especially Conner and Reece.
      “With Riley being the little, big brother (he’s younger, but physically bigger) he doesn’t get into it as much as Reece and Conner do,” Irwin said. “I think those two would just assume kill each other then let the other guy win. We have to break them up all the time for the good of the team."
      “But as much as they fight, I don’t think anyone could be as supportive to each other as they are.”
      Conner admits that Riley is the toughest of the three right now, mainly because of his size.
      “Riley would beat the crap out of us,” he said. “He throws us around like rag dolls. We have had a lot of time to throw him around like that, until he got in college. We don’t like it, but it is what it is.”
      All three brothers credit their parents, Kent and Nancy, for pushing them to get better in the sport.
      “I know the way we were raised has had a big impact on how we wrestle,” Reece said. “My parents sent us to camps. They were always willing to spend the time and money it took to get us to tournaments and camps. They always made sure they gave us every opportunity in wrestling.”
      Even now, Kent and Nancy do not miss any matches. They travel all across the country to see their three boys compete.
      All three are hoping to take home a National Championship. They know that if they do, Wabash will place higher than it ever has before.
      “They all three can win,” Irwin said. “And hopefully get us some bonus points in the mix. If they do that, that will put us in contention for a National title.”
      Wabash finished the season with a 12-2 mark and was fourth at the National Duals.
      “We all love this school,” Reece said. “The team camaraderie is very good. We are all close friends and we all want our team to succeed. We are definitely a family at Wabash.”


      Drew Hughes wins Big Ten Wrestler of the Week

      Michigan State Earns Wrestler of the Week Plaudit

      Spartans’ Hughes picks up the honor after winning four matches at the Reno Tournament of Champions

      Wrestler of the Week
      Drew Hughes, Michigan State
      165 pounds – Fr. – Lowell, Ind. – Lowell

      Helped lead the Spartans to a second-place finish at the Reno Tournament of Champions
      The unranked wrestler picked up three technical falls before earning a 2-0 sudden victory win over 12th-ranked Branson Ashworth of Wyoming
      Earns the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career
      Last Michigan State Wrestler of the Week: Michael McClure (Dec. 18, 2012)

      2016-17 Wrestlers of the Week
      Nov. 8: Connor Medbery, Sr., WIS
      Nov. 15: Connor Medbery, Sr., WIS
      Nov. 22: Kyle Snyder, Jr., OSU
      Nov. 29: Brett Pfarr, Sr., MINN
      Dec. 6: Logan Massa, Fr., MICH
      Dec. 13: Anthony Rubinetti, Fr., NU
      Dec. 20: Drew Hughes, Fr., MSU

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      #Wrestling Wednesday Feature: Purdue Ready for NCAA Championships

      Brought to you by EI Sports

      When Tony Ersland took the job as Purdue University’s head wrestling coach he knew it would be a challenge to compete in arguably the toughest wrestling conference in the country. He embraced the challenge.
      Ersland’s Boilermakers finished the season ranked in the top 25 in the country. Purdue finished with a dual record of 10-8 overall and 3-6 in the Big Ten. Eight Boilermaker wrestlers will compete in the NCAA National Championships this week, starting Thursday.
      “There were a lot of positives for us this year,” Ersland said. “This was my first year in the program with the kids. We set the foundation for how we are going to operate. Overall, I’m happy with the progress we made this year.
      Ersland comes to Purdue from Nebraska, where he was an assistant coach for the past eight seasons. He has coached several top wrestlers, including Craig Brester who was a two-time NCAA finalist and a Big 12 champion.
      “Craig is one athlete who is near and dear to my heart,” Ersland said. “He started out as a walk on at the University of Nebraska. Then he became a two time All-American. He’s the type of athlete that makes coaching worthwhile. He poured his heart and soul into wrestling. He was a special wrestler, and his work is what made him that way.”
      Purdue’s Danny Sabatello, Brandon Nelsen, Nick Lawrence, Doug Welch, Patrick Robinson, Chad Welch, Patrick Kissel and Braden Atwood will all be competing in the NCAA Championships.
      “Our goal is to have national champions and All-Americans,” Ersland said. “That’s the mindset we are going in with. We want to go in and perform at a high level. We’ve wrestled outstanding competition all year long. The Big Ten is a brutal grind. It’s like SEC football. We’ve had four out of the top five teams in the country in the Big Ten.
      “It’s extremely competitive. It’s tougher sometimes to win in the conference than it is in a national bracket. There are no illusions going into the national tournament. You know exactly what you need to do.”
      Ersland likes the quality of wrestlers he has been able to look at in Indiana. He feels that there is great talent in the state.
      “Purdue is in the middle of a great wrestling state,” Ersland said. “Indiana turns out a lot of good talent and we want to see those wrestlers stay at home. We don’t want the Jason Tsirtsis out there to look elsewhere.”
      When asked about Indiana’s high school tournament format, Ersland said he prefers to keep a one-class system.
      “Personally I like the one class tournament,” Ersland said. “I can understand a two class format as well. But as far as evaluating talent, I really enjoy the one class. You don’t end up with a watered down system.
      “I think Michigan’s system sort of waters it down. They have four classes and that’s too many. One or two tops is the way to go.”
      Ersland is married to wife Carolyn. They have twin sons, Jaxon and Mason.
      “They will always have a wrestling partner,” Ersland said of his sons. “My hope is that they will fall in love with the sport as much as I have. But right now they are just four years old. They love to come to practice and watch the guys roll around. I try to get them in bed, but sometimes they just want to stay up and watch wrestling on T.V.”
      The NCAA championships begin at noon on Thursday in St. Louis.


      Manchester Black and Gold capture SMC title

      NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Paced by four individual weight class champions, Manchester University gave the home crowd at the 2015 Spartan Mat Classic plenty to cheer about Saturday, Jan. 10.
      Freshman 125-pounder Ruben Rodriguez, Jr., (Hammond, Ind.) and junior 141-pounderJosh Juarez (South Bend, Ind.) rolled through their round-robins with unblemished marks. Sophomore 174-pounder Dylan Lauffer (Fairfield, Ohio) and junior heavyweight Dustin Kult (Lafayette, Ind.) each worked their way through traditional brackets for championships.
      The Spartans posted 131 points, besting the five team field competing inside Stauffer-Wolfe Arena by 43.5 points. Wabash College placed second (87.5 points), and Ohio Northern University was close behind in third (72 points).
      Lauffer, en route to Outstanding Wrestler honors, picked up his team-leading eighth fall in the semifinals after registering a 7-0 shutout in the first round. In the championship, against Heidelberg College of Ohio's Patrick Brown, he led from the start, piling up 10 points as part of a 10-4 decision. The three wins moved his season record to 17-11. Kult, also capturing three victories, registered a major decision and fall to match up with Ohio Northern's Greg Biben in the final. After working to a 2-2 tie over the regulation seven minutes, Kult, improving to 8-5, brought the MU crowd to its feet with an overtime takedown on the edge of the mat for a 4-2 victory, marking his second invitational title of the season. Rodriguez, Jr., marching towards leveling his season record (8-9), pieced together a decision, fall and injury default, while Juarez, moving over .500 (8-7), reeled off a technical fall, major decision and decision.
      MU continues traditional tournament competition Saturday, Jan. 17. They travel to Elmhurst College of Illinois for the Al Hanke Invitational.
      NOTES: Freshmen Chase Wilson and Matt Ruddick just missed adding to the home squad's individual champion total. Wilson, a native of Peru, Ind., went 3-1 in the 133-pound robin, with a hard-fought 4-2 loss to Wabash's Jacob Cottey sending him to second. Ruddick, a native of Seymour, Ind., and the second seed at 165, roared into the finals with a fall and major decision before Heidelberg's Myles Wright caught him for a first period pin.

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      #WrestlingWednesday Feature: Hurford Wraps up Successful NJCAA Career

      Brought to you by EI Sports

      Former Culver Community wrestling standout Matt Hurford is making a name for himself in the junior college ranks.
      Hurford recently finished as runner-up in the National Junior College Athletic Association championships. The Ellsworth Community College sophomore has placed runner-up in the championships both of his years at the school.
      Ellsworth is a two-year college program. So now Hurford is weighing his options and hoping to wrestle Division I for the remainder of his collegiate years.
      “I’ve got several Division I coaches talking to me,” Hurford said. “I’ve just got to decide what I’m going to do and what the best fit for me is going to be.”
      At Culver Community High School Hurford ended his senior year on a high note. He won state at 182 pounds, beating Perry Meridian’s Jake Massengale 9-4 in the final.
      “That was probably the highlight of my wrestling career so far,” Hurford said. “I was so happy after that.”
      Ellsworth coach Cole Spree was pleased to have Hurford on his team the past two seasons.
      “He’s the hardest worker we have,” Spree said. “That is ultimately the key to his success. His work ethic and what he expects from himself is second to none. There are times in the room where he gets beat by the other guys, but that’s only because he practices so hard, he warms up so hard, he can wear himself out because he only knows one speed.”
      Spree said he loves to recruit Indiana wrestlers. Ellsworth is located in Iowa Falls, Iowa.
      “I’ve got one other kid from Indiana on my team right now (Merrillville’s Isaac Rentas),” Spree said. “A lot of Indiana kids don’t want to go far away. But the kids from Indiana are usually very grounded and seem to all come from very good programs and they know their wrestling.”
      Hurford admits he has work to do in order to be able to compete at the level he would like to in Division I.
      “I think my strength and my hard work are my two biggest assets,” he said. “But I still have to improve technique-wise.”
      Hurford wasn’t always a good wrestler. He started competing in second grade and struggled quite a bit up until about seventh grade.
      “I think seventh grade is when things really started to click for me,” Hurford said.
      Wrestling has been an uphill climb for Hurford since the beginning. He didn’t get recruited heavily out of high school, despite winning the state championship. But it didn’t stop him. Instead he went to Ellsworth to improve, and has done so. Spree contributes Hurford’s success to the amount of time he spends working to get better.
      “Matt doesn’t have freaky speed,” Spree said. “He doesn’t have anything that would make you say ‘wow.’ But he’s got that attitude that no matter what is put in front of him, he’ll go around it, or through it, or over it. He’ll do whatever it takes. That’s why he will continue to be a success.”
      If you have a story idea for #WrestlingWednesday, email jerhines@cinergymetro.net with your suggestion.


      Sabatello Wins Roadrunner Open

      Complete Results // TrackWrestling
      FRESNO, Calif. - Eleven Purdue wrestlers placed at the Roadrunner Open, highlighted by a championship outing from Danny Sabatello (133) and a runner-up performance from Nick Lawrence (141), Sunday inside Selland Arena. The Boilermakers additionally earned a pair of third-place finishes, one fourth and three fifth- and sixth-place finishes. Together the 13 grapplers in action posted a 54-18 record at the event, while winning 25 of their 54 matches via bonus points (4 TF, 6 MD, 15 F).
      After receiving a first-round bye, Sabatello went on an offensive tear by winning back-to-back bonus point matches. The redshirt junior began the day by building a 10-0 lead on Jack Hogan of Peninsula Grapplers before pinning him early in the second period (3:39). He then disposed of Appalachian State's Vito Pasone with a 13-3 major decision.
      A first-period takedown and penalty point, combined with 1:07 of riding time gave Sabatello a 4-1 decision over Ian Nickell of Cal State Bakersfield to move into the finals for a battle against Joey Palmer. Sabatello shut his unattached opponent out, 6-0, behind takedowns in the first and third periods, an escape in the final period and racked up 2:51 of riding time. With a 4-0 mark on the day, the Long Grove, Ill., native pushed his season record to 7-1.
      Like Sabatello, Lawrence went on an offensive tear in his first two matches at 141 pounds. The redshirt senior took down his first two opponents a dozen times in a 13-4 major decision of Peter Russo, who was wrestling unattached, and a 20-5 technical fall of Cal State Bakersfield's Adrian Panduro. Lawrence needed just 5:33 for the tech fall, his first since Feb. 2, 2013.
      In the quarterfinals, Lawrence scored a 7-1 decision of Appalachian State's Mike Longo with a single takedown in each period and had an escape to start the second period. Even though Troy Heilmann of North Carolina held the riding time advantage (1:23), Lawrence defeated the Tar Heel 3-2 thanks to an early takedown and escape in the second. He went up against another North Carolina opponent in the title match, 14th-ranked Joey Ward, and suffered a 5-2 loss. Ward took the Boilermaker down twice and escaped in the second to win the match. With a 4-1 outing, Lawrence's season mark moved to 8-3.
      Fellow redshirt senior Brandon Nelsen took third at 149 pounds while moving up the Purdue wrestling history charts. Nelsen pinned his first two opponents, Daniel Avalos of Fresno State Wrestling Club and San Francisco State's Dylan Furtado, in 2:25 and 3:27, respectively, to get into the semifinals. He then 7-2 decision to Stanford's Garrett Schaner, but fell to Illinois' Kyle Langenderfer, 8-4, in the semifinals.
      He picked up where he left off in the consolation semifinals, taking just 90 seconds to stick AJ Fierro of Cal State Bakersfield. The third pin of the day lifted his career total to 28 and moved him in to the No. 6 spot in program history. Nelsen collided with teammate Alex Griffin in the third-place match, with a first-period takedown and an escape in the second serving as the deciding factor in a 3-1 decision for the veteran. The Indianapolis, Ind., native now owns a record of 9-2 with five of his nine victories coming by way of fall.
      Pat Robinson captured third-place honors 165 pounds with an exclamation point, pinning Nick Kee of Appalachian State in 3:41. To get there, he first held off Justin Lozano of Peninsula Grapplers for a 10-8 decision and followed with a 5-3 win over Menlo's Eric Lopez.
      Neither Robinson nor No. 14 Jim Wilson of Stanford scored in the first period of their semifinal matchup. Wilson got on the board with an escape to start the second period and Robinson struck with the takedown. Wilson eluded Robinson's hold and tied the bout at 2-2 with two minutes to go. Starting the third period from bottom, Robinson took a 3-2 edge with an escape, but it didn't hold as Wilson got the decisive takedown and the 4-3 win.
      In the consolation semifinals, the redshirt senior edged North Carolina's Ethan Ramos, 9-7. Robinson holds a 5-1 record after his season-opening weekend in California.
      Three other Purdue wrestlers registered multiple pins. The first of Chad Welch's two pins was a dramatic one as he upset No. 20 John Michael Staudenmayer of North Carolina with the horn sounding at the end of the first period. He pinned the Tar Heel again in 6:54 to place fifth at 174 pounds.
      In the 184-pound wrestlebacks, Patrick Kissel stuck unattached wrestler Dylan Bollinger in 4:44 and followed with a 39-second fall of Appalachian State's Dominick Vetell. The 39-second pin is the fastest of the redshirt senior's career. Kissel (9-3) placed fifth.
      Ninth-ranked Braden Atwood used 3:27 to pin Andrew Teats of Sierra (1:09) and Marcus Haughian of Grand Canyon (2:18). The two falls by the redshirt senior pushed his career total to 26 and now ranks ninth all-time in program history.
      ROADRUNNER OPEN PLACEWINNERS 133 // Danny Sabatello // 1st 133 // Kyle Ayersman // 5th 141 // Nick Lawrence // 2nd 149 // Brandon Nelsen // 3rd 149 // Alex Griffin 4th 157 // Doug Welch // 6th 165 // Pat Robinson // 3rd 174 // Chad Welch // 5th 184 // Patrick Kissel // 5th 197 // Braden Atwood // 6th 285// Tyler Kral // 6th The Purdue wrestling team will host Indiana Tech and No. 17 Northern Iowa in its first home duals of the season inside Holloway Gymnasium on Nov. 23. Action starts at 1 p.m. ET with the Boilermakers taking on Indiana Tech, followed by Northern Iowa at 2:30 p.m. Northern Iowa and Indiana Tech will also dual at 4 p.m.

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      Luke Blanton Takes Big 10 Wrestler of the Week Honors

      BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday the winner of this week's Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor. Indiana sophomore Luke Blanton (149) picked up his first career weekly award.
      Blanton had one of the best weekends of his young Indiana career. On December 11, at 20th-ranked Minnesota, Blanton came from behind to upset No. 10 Jake Short in the penultimate bout of the dual. Blanton was behind 6-4 after two periods, then surged ahead with an 11-4 third round in his favor. Blanton sealed the win with a clutch takedown and a two-point nearfall on the edge of the mat with 30 seconds remaining. The win also lifted Indiana to a 19-18 team win over Minnesota, their first Big Ten dual win since 2011.
      On Sunday, December 13, the Hoosiers took on Eastern Michigan, a team on the brink of cracking the national top 25. Indiana battled to a hard-earned 25-9 win over the Eagles, highlighted by Blanton's win over No. 16 Nicholas Barber in the 149 lbs. bout. Blanton took the dual win on a 4-0 decision, in which the Hoosier displayed excellent defensive work.
      With this award, Blanton becomes the first Hoosier this season to win the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor. He's the first Hoosier to win the award since NCAA runner-up Taylor Walsh (December 31, 2014).
      The pair of wins garnered national recognition for Blanton. He rose to the No. 20 spot in the latest Asics FloRankings, and sits at 29th in the latest Dual Impact Index polls.
      After a strong 3-0 weekend, Indiana earned their first national rankings of the season. The Hoosiers are 20th in the latest InterMat team dual rankings, and 22nd in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll.
      The Hoosiers return to action on Sunday, December 20, when they'll take part in the Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev.
      2015-16 Wrestlers of the Week
      Nov. 3 Nathan Tomasello, So., OSU
      Nov. 10 Brett Pfarr, Jr., MINN
      Nov. 17 Sammy Brooks, Jr., IOWA
      Nov. 24 Bo Nickal, Fr., PSU
      Dec. 1 Isaiah Martinez, So., ILL
      Dec. 8 Micah Jordan, Fr., OSU
      Dec. 15 Luke Blanton, So., IND

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      Marian University Adds Wrestling

      INDIANAPOLIS - The Marian University department of athletics is proud to announce the expansion of the department with the addition of men's wrestling beginning with the 2016-17 season of competition, director of athletics Steve Downing announced on Thursday.
      "We are proud to continue the expansion of our department," said Downing. "We have added women's soccer (1998), women's golf (2004), men's football (2007), men's and women's bowling (2010) and women's lacrosse (2015) in the past two decades and the addition of men's wrestling just makes sense. It's an emerging sport across the nation and we are looking to bring in the top quality student-athletes who will not only compete for championships, but also be strong students in the classroom."
      Beginning in the fall of 2016, the Knights will compete for the NAIA national championship as an independent member.
      Men's wrestling is the 24th sport within the department of athletics.


      Manchester University awarded NCAA Division III Midwest Regional

      NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University, in conjunction with the Allen County Memorial Coliseum and Visit Fort Wayne groups, has been awarded a bid to host the 2017 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional wrestling Championships.
      The event is set for late February at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
      “We’re very appreciative of being the host for this big event,” Director of Athletics Rick Espeset said. “It’s a great honor to have our university’s name and brand associated with this type of NCAA competition.”
      “Fans should be excited for this coming (to Fort Wayne),” head coach Kevin Lake noted. “There are many athletes on participating teams that are from Fort Wayne and surrounding areas including three-time defending national champion Riley LeFever of Wabash College. It’s an incredible showcase of some of the top student-athletes in NCAA Division III all vying for a berth to the national meet.”
      Visit Fort Wayne and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum group mirrored Manchester University’s anticipation.
      "We’re thrilled to welcome the NCAA DIII Wrestling Regional to Fort Wayne,” Stephanie Coleman, sports sales manager at Visit Fort Wayne, said. “Early estimates have it bringing a quarter of a million dollars in new spending to our community. We’re so fortunate to have a great collaborative relationship between Visit Fort Wayne, the Memorial Coliseum and Manchester University.”
      “Our location is great for the NCAA’s tournaments,” Dan O’Connell, president and CEO of Visit Fort Wayne, admitted. “(The NCAA) was looking for a central location with a high quality venue and a member university and community interested in making the student athlete’s experience at the tournament memorable. We ‘pinned’ all three of those needs, literally.
      “Fort Wayne is within a days’ drive of over 90% of the participating institutions,” he added. “We offer an outstanding venue in the Memorial Coliseum which has experience in hosting both wrestling as well as NCAA tournaments. And lastly, along with Manchester University, Visit Fort Wayne is committed to providing every wrestler with a ‘championship experience’.”
      Allen County War Memorial Coliseum has played host to the 2010 NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey Midwest Regional and 2006 NCAA Division I men’s volleyball national championship as well as the 2015 and 2016 Cliff Keen National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Duals among its signature events.


      Wabash Fourth At National Duals, Second at Manchester

      By Brent Harris
      Wabash captured fourth place on the final day of the 2015 National Duals, while the remainder of the Little Giant team took second place at Saturday's Spartan Mat Classic.

      Wabash advanced to Saturday's showdown of nationally-ranked Division III teams in the semifinals and finals of the National Wrestling Coaches Association's showcase event at the Allen County War Memorial. The Little Giants, ranked third in the latest NWCA poll, lost to second-ranked Wartburg 34-9 in the semifinals. Fourth-ranked Concordia-Moorhead edged Wabash in the finals 21-19 to take third place. Wartburg went on to defeat number-one ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater 20-13 to claim its fourth consecutive Duals title and ninth championship overall.
      Wabash scored three decisions against Wartburg in Saturday's semifinals, with all three wins coming from the Lefever brothers. Reece Lefever, ranked fifth at 157 pounds by the NWCA, fought to a 4-3 victory over fourth-ranked Drew Wagenhoffer in their second meeting of the season. Wagenhoffer scored a 9-6 win earlier this season against Lefever at the Concordia Open.

      "It's nice to avenge my only loss to another Division III competitor from earlier in the season," Lefever said. "Defeating Wagenhoffer shows I'm improving and doing the right things every day."

      Twin brother Conner Lefever, ranked second at 174 pounds, scored an equally impressive win with a 7-6 decision against fifth-ranked Brandon Welter. Younger brother Riley Lefever scored a 6-3 win against Devin Peterson at 184 pounds.

      The Little Giants battled back and forth against Concordia-Moorhead in the finals before the deciding final bout. The Cobbers opened with three consecutive wins before Nick Bova scored a pin at 2:31 of his 149-pound bout against Yonas Gebreab. Reece Lefever added four more team points to the score with an 11-1 major decision at 157 pounds versus Ben Cousins. Conner Lefever's 5-3 victory against Sebastian Gardner at 174 pounds put Wabash up a point at 13-12. Riley Lefever scored six points for the Little Giants when his opponent at 184 pounds, Dane Ringquist, was unable to continue their match due to an injury. However, the Cobbers scored nine points in the final two bouts to take the two-point victory and third place overall.

      "I always look forward to wrestling talented competition, and every team at the National Duals is tough," Riley Lefever said. "I don't necessarily know each and every opponent I wrestle or their ranking, but I step on the mat with the same mindset --- to beat my opponent physically and mentally in order to score as many points possible. Looking back, you can always learn things from any match, but you learn more when you wrestle tougher opponents."

      "While we would have preferred placing higher, we're happy to have improved from our fifth-place finish last year," Conner Lefever said. "All of the teams here are top-notch. We lost against two of the best teams in the nation. We look to get better so we can avenge these losses later in the season."

      Wabash head coach Brian Anderson echoed his senior wrestler's comments.

      "We learned quite a bit from last year's fifth-place finish and used that to perform better this year. While it's nice to know this year's team produced the highest finish in Wabash history at the National Duals, I know we are not satisfied with the overall result.

      "This was a big weekend for many reasons but most important was putting these guys in the toughest situation possible to know exactly where we are at as a team. We know our weaknesses and our strengths after the last two days of battle which we will use to keep building toward our goals in March as individuals and as a team. Several different individuals stepped up in each of the duals, however all three Lefevers showed why they will be contending for individual national titles at the end of the year."

      While several of the Wabash wrestlers competed at the National Duals in Fort Wayne, another portion of the Little Giant team wrestled at the Spartan Mat Classic at Manchester University. The Spartans won their home tournament with a total of 131 points, while Wabash took second with 87.5 points in the five-team event.

      Pat Parham won the 149-pound individual title with a 3-0 record, opening with a pin at 2:04 against Manchester's Ryan Gossett. Parham fought to a 2-1 victory against Luis Godines from Mount St. Joseph University in round two before defeating teammate Mack Neal in the final by a score of 8-3. Neal took second with a 12-2 major decision over Paul Mikesell from Manchester before his loss to Parham in the finals. Jeremy Chen scored a 12-0 major decision against Gossett in the finals to take fifth place.

      Christian Rodriguez won the 157-pound weight class with a 9-2 win over Alex Arney from Manchester before picking up a 5-4 victory over fellow Wabash wrestler Chance Brown in the finals. Brown advanced to the finals after scoring a 5-4 victory against teammate Jeff Mucha in the semifinals. Mucah took fifth place, scoring a pin a at 48 seconds in first match of the day against Joe Kammerer from Mount St. Joseph before adding a pin at 2:35 in the final versus Arney.

      Jacob Cottey won a round-robin matchup at 133 pounds with three victories. He scored an opening round 4-2 decision over Chase Wilson from Manchester, followed by a pin at 4:48 versus Brennen Storey of Manchester in round three. A final pin round five gave Cottey the first place finish. Robbie Carter posted a pair of wins in the weight class to finish fourth overall. He pinned Storey at 3:45 in the second round before handing Cottey his only loss by a score of 5-2 in round four.

      Mak Maldonado earned a third-place finish at 174 pounds, opening the tournament draw with a pin at 3:21 versus Taylor Ferrill from Manchester. After a two-point loss in the semifinals, Maldonado rallied for a 16-1 technical fall against Jack Knoll of Heidelberg before a forfeit by teammate Luke Davis provided the final victory. Davis advanced to the finals after a 9-5 win against Ferrill and an 8-6 decision over teammate Grant Gough in the consolation semifinals. Gough won his opening bout by a major decision of 13-2 against Knoll, then defeated him for a second time in the finals by a score of 7-0 to finish fifth.

      Corey Hawk added a third-place finish in the round robin 141-pound weight class after scoring an 18-1 technical fall in the opening round versus Clayton Capes from Manchester. Nolan Fenwick won 7-6 in the consolation semifinals at 197 pounds on the way to a fourth-place finish.

      The Little Giants return to action Saturday when Wabash will serve as host for the annual Max Servies Duals. Competition begins at 9 a.m. at Chadwick Court.


      Purdue’s Chad Welch Takes Second in Las Vegas

      Dec. 6, 2015
      Complete Purdue Results / Tournament Central / Complete Tournament Results
      • Chad Welch was Purdue's first Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational finalist since Logan Brown at 197 pounds in 2010.
      • Since 2002, six Boilermakers have advanced to the finals ... C. Welch becomes the 26th Purdue wrestler to have placed in the tournament ... the last 165-pounder to place for Purdue was Luke Manuel with a fourth-place finish in 2008.
      • This was the fifth title match appearance of C. Welch's career and second of the season ... was the 165-pound runner-up wrestling unattached at the Michigan State Open.
      • Nine of C. Welch's 13 wins this season are with bonus points (4 MD, 1 TF, 4 F) ... he has already matched career season-high marks in major decisions and pins ... in 15 matches wrestled, he has only given up five takedowns.
      LAS VEGAS -- Purdue's Chad Welch closed out the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational on Saturday with a runner-up performance at 165 pounds. The Boilermakers finished the two-day tournament in the Cashman Center with 52 points to place 15th.
      C. Welch, the tournament's No. 10 seed, suffered a 5-3 loss in the title match to top-seeded Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin. Jordan took C. Welch down in the first and made the most of a neutral start in the second. His fifth point came by way of 2:40 riding time. All three of the redshirt senior's points came on escapes, one in each period.
      In his semifinal match, a first period takedown proved to be the winner for C. Welch in a 2-1 upset of third-seeded Clark Glass of Oklahoma. C. Welch held off a shot by the Sooner by getting hold of an ankle, to which he leveraged to turn Glass' hips and flatten him out on the mat. A few moments later he came around, gaining control and earning the two. Riding time ran in the Boilermakers' favor for 58 seconds to close out the period.
      The score held at 2-0 through the second as Glass took a neutral start. His lone point came via riding time accumulated in the third with C. Welch on bottom.
      During his tournament run, the two-time NCAA qualifier defeated the second-, third- and seventh-seeded wrestlers, all while lifting his season record to 13-2. C. Welch, who is currently unranked, pinned No. 4 Cooper Moore of UNI, decisioned No. 9 Glass and major decisioned No. 13 Seth Thomas of Oregon State. His now has a trio of wins over top-10 opponents in his career.
      Markus Scheidel of Columbia denied Doug Welch from moving forward in the 157 wrestlebacks, dealing the second-seeded Boilermaker a 9-4 tournament-ending loss. Scheidel, the No. 9 seed, built an 8-1 lead through five minutes with a pair of takedowns, a reversal and a two-point nearfall. D. Welch escaped in the third and followed with a takedown, but it was too little too late.
      The redshirt senior's record stands at 7-3 after a 2-2 showing at the tournament.
      At 149 pounds, ninth-seeded Alex Griffin medically forfeited a consolation match to seventh-seeded Matt Kraus of Arizona State.
      Missouri captured the team title with 154 points, followed by Cornell (113), Minnesota (105), Oklahoma (102) and Ohio State (96.5) to round out the top five.
      The Boilermakers will be inactive until the end of the month when they travel to Evanston, Illinois, for the Ken Craft Midlands Championships Dec. 29 to 30.


      Parris rises to a heavyweight contender

      By Drew Hughes
      Mason Parris has been an Indiana fan favorite since his freshman year of high school where he lost a heart breaker to senior and eventual state champion Chase Osborn 11-10. After this the Lawrenceburg native’s high school career was flawless and didn’t lose another match on his way to three state titles and a 201-1 career record. 
      With one of the most dominant careers Indiana has ever seen Parris set the record for most career pins at the state finals where he had 11. He ended his prep career as the 3rd ranked recruit in his class as well as being ranked 1st at 220lbs.
      Right out of high school Parris was thrown into the mix as his redshirt was pulled at the University of Michigan halfway through the season where in his varsity debut, he took down the then #1 ranked heavyweight from Oregon State. Mason would then go on to place 7th at the Big Ten championships that year and lost in the round to place at the NCAA tournament. 
      His sophomore season Mason was as dominant as ever compiling a 28-1 record with 18 of those wins earning bonus points. Parris finished the year as a Big Ten finalist but with to the NCAA championships being cancelled due to COVID he had to settle with being named a NWCA first team All-American.
      This season Parris is currently ranked 2nd in the country at Heavyweight and is 6-0 on the year with all of his wins being bonus point wins. Mason is also ranked #4 in the Hodge trophy rankings and will most likely me the 2nd seed at the Big Ten tournament this year.
      Being a three-sport athlete in high school Parris didn’t have as much time as most to wrestle freestyle. He only wrestled in 1 freestyle national tournament the summer before college where he ended up with a 3rd place finish. With the help of the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club, which is based at the University of Michigan, Mason has made tremendous strides in freestyle.
      After his true freshman season, he made the junior world team at 125kg where he won a gold medal. Mason is currently ranked 19th in Flowrestling’s international rankings and this past December beat 2-time world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski. This April, Parris will have a chance to compete for the spot on the Olympic team for the now 2021 games in Tokyo. When talking about international wrestling Parris said “I am striving to make the Olympic team and bring home a gold medal. I am undecided on how long I would like to wrestle for (internationally). It depends on a lot of factors. I would like to at least see another Olympic cycle in 2024.”
      With Covid giving everyone an extra year of eligibility, a big question is what athletes are going to take advantage of it. When asked Mason said “I plan on using my extra covid year. I am treating this year more as my redshirt year, since I did not have one. It is amazing that I am getting another year to chase my dreams after being cut short before NCAA’s last year. I really want to utilize this year to improve and win an NCAA Championship.”
      Mason is currently pursuing a Civil Engineering degree and would like to utilize that after college but is also open to other options as he said “I am still keeping my options open. I may try to play football for my 5th year, go to the WWE, or continue to wrestle internationally. I want to wait and decide what is the best opportunity for me and my future.”


      UIndy places seven at Trine Invitational

      Jackie Paquette, Asst. AD for Student Support & Sports Information
      ANGOLA, Ind.- The Greyhound wrestling team opened its 2014-15 season Saturday at the Trine Invitational, with five UIndy grapplers earning runner-up finishes, and another two taking fourth place on the day.
      Nick Crume (3-1) was the first Greyhound runner-up, taking second in the 133 bracket. The redshirt freshman opened his season with a 15-0 tech fall over Olivet's Dean Roberts, added a major decision in the quarterfinals and took an 8-3 decision in the semifinals. Crume stumbled in the bracket final, falling via pin to Indiana Tech's Mitch Pawlak.
      True-freshman Angelo Robles (3-1) also took second, in the 141-pound bracket. The Decatur Central product earned a trio of decisions en route to the final match, where he fell to Muskegon's Zachary Cooper 12-2.
      Barry McGinley (3-1) opened his day with a fall in 1:23 over Trine's Adam Boles, then took a pair of wins in the quarter and semifinals before falling to Jordan Victor of John Carroll by a score of 12-6 to take second in the 157 weight class.
      Also taking second was sophomore Shelden Struble (3-1). After a first round bye, Struble opened the season with a 9-3 win over North Central's Matt Marcotte in round two. He then took a win in the quarterfinals, and pinned his John Carroll opponent in 2:13 to earn a berth in the championship match. The Bryan, Ohio native fell in a close 6-4 match to John Carroll's Tyler Hardtke.
      Brian Snyder (3-1) earned three wins in his first three bouts, outscoring his opponents 18-5. He then fell to Trine's Mackenzie Green 4-0 in the final match to take his second-place finish at 285.
      Mason Meling (3-2) and Brian Wagner (3-2) both took fourth place in the 141-pound and 197-pound weight classes, respectively.
      The Greyhounds continue their season next Saturday, heading to St. Charles, Mo. for the Lindenwood Open.


      Mackenzie Green Leads Thunder at Trine Invitational

      ANGOLA, IND.-- Mack Green won the Heavyweight championship to lead Trine's performance in the Trine Invitational, held Saturday at the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Athletic Recreation Center.
      Green (Buchanan, Mich./Buchanan) won all four of his matches handily to win his first tournament championship of the season. The All-American picked up a 4-0 decision to start the day, and followed with two pins to advance to the championship match. The senior won the championship over Brian Snyder of Division-II University of Indianapolis by 4-0 decision. Green has started the season strong, opening with a 10-1 record. Included among those victories are five pins.
      Click Here for Trine Results
      Michael Conner (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville), Cody Konieczki (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center) and Jeffrey Helm (Westfield, Ind./Westfield) also saw some success on the mats. Conner advanced to the consolation semifinals of the 197-lb class before being eliminated. He finished with a 3-2 record on the day.
      Konieczki also advanced to the consolation semifinals of his weight class. The sophomore picked up two wins, including a pin in the 149-lb division.
      Helm also picked up a pair of wins for the Thunder, including one by pin. He concluded his day in the 141-lb class with a 2-2 record.
      Trine placed 10th in the Invitational with 28.5 points. Complete team results are listed below.
      Trine Invitational Results
      1. John Carroll- 145
      2. University of Indianapolis- 93.5
      3. Muskegon Community College- 69.5
      4. University of Chicago- 67
      5. Indiana Tech- 64.5
      6. North Central- 60.5
      7. Baldwin-Wallace- 37
      8. Manchester- 33.5
      9. Olivet- 33
      10. Trine- 28.5

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      Ersland Announces Purdue Wrestling’s Class of 2016

      Five early signees all ranked among nation’s top 20 at their weight
      Nov. 18, 2015
      WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue has inked five nationally ranked wrestlers, including four of the nation’s top overall recruits, during the early signing period head wrestling coach Tony Ersland announced Wednesday. These elite future Boilermakers include Indiana’s top heavyweights, multi-time state champs from Michigan and Minnesota and a top-20 195-pounder with family roots in Purdue athletics.
      “I think the overwhelming thing about this group is they really bought into our message, which is the transformation of Purdue and where we are taking this program,” Ersland said. “They saw the impact of what we did in year one and how the guys bought into our message.
      “This same group was excited about what that message was and that’s accomplishing a lot of firsts for Purdue wrestling,” Ersland said. “I love that those kids want to be a part of doing something the first time, not just be another cog in the wheel of another program. They understand the special opportunity that they have before them.”

      Christian Brunner (East Dundee, Illinois) is a two-time Illinois High School Association class 3A state placewinner for Dundee-Crown High School with a third-place finish at 195 pounds as a junior and was the 182-pound runner-up as a sophomore. He is currently ranked among the nation’s top-20 prep wrestlers at 195. Brunner’s family has roots in Purdue athletics with a pair of uncles, Jeff Zgonina and Frank Kemt, playing football for the Boilermakers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Click on the image above to learn more about Brunner.

      The nation’s No. 19 overall recruit and a top-five wrestler at 152 pounds, Griffin Parriott will make his way to West Lafayette from New Prague, Minnesota. Parriott is a two-time Minnesota State High School League Division AA champion and four-time tournament qualifier. In May he took third at the UWW Junior Nationals at 66 kg, finishing behind a World Cadet gold medalist and an NCAA All-American. Click on the image above to learn more about Parriott.

      Devin Schroder becomes the second wrestler from Grand Rapids Catholic Central to commit to Purdue during Ersland’s tenure, joining former high school teammate Nate Limmex, who is a 149-pounder for the Boilermakers. Schroder, the No. 56 overall recruit, is a three-time Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 champ. He has won back-to-back titles at 119 pounds after winning the 2012 championship as a freshman. The Northview native is a two-time FloNationals finalist, taking top honors at 113 pounds in 2014. Click on the image above to learn more about Schroder.

      Indiana’s own Shawn Streck, the country’s second-ranked high school heavyweight and No. 21 overall recruit, will make the move an hour south to join Coach Ersland’s squad. Streck pinned his way to the 285-pound title as a junior, capping off a 46-0 season. As a sophomore he placed third and seventh as a freshman. The Merrillville native also has a trio of top-four finishes at national tournaments. Click on the image above to learn more about Streck.

      Streck is joined by fellow Indiana product and close friend Kobe Woods. Hailing from Mishawaka, Woods is tabbed as the No. 54 overall recruit and is currently listed as a top-six 220-pounder nationally. Woods is the defending IHSAA champ at 220, which he won with a perfect 44-0 record. Outside of the high school mat, Woods’ resume is highlighted by a finals appearance at the 2015 Cadet World Team Trials at 100 kg and in 2014 he claimed the 195-pound title at the Cliff Keen USA Wrestling Cadet Folkstyle Nationals. Click on the image above to learn more about Woods.

      1887 1

      Kevin Lake Hired at Manchester

      Former New Haven graduate and Manchester wrestler Kevin Lake has been hired to head the Manchester University wrestling team. Lake comes to Manchester after stints at Princeton, South Dakota State, and Fresno State. Most recently he was the program director at Beat the Streets Los Angeles.


      Indiana Tech Opens Season at MSU Open

      11/2/2014 10:18:00 PM
      | Mark Jagord
      EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Indiana Tech wrestling team took to the mats on Sunday at the annual MSU Open at Jenison Field House. Nearly 500 wrestlers from 30 schools competed in the prestigious tournament, which features some of the top wrestlers in the nation. Tech had two wrestlers place with one losing in the championship round.
      The Warriors pair took second and fifth places in the event, with Georgio Blades and Mitchell Pawlak in the freshman/sophomore division. No team scores were kept.
      Blades went 3-1 in route to a second place finish in the freshman/sophomore division at 197-lbs. The sophomore from Indianapolis, Ind. won his first match over Michigan's Matthew Okaiye with a 9-2 decision before besting Lindsey Wilson's Jake Maupin by a 10-4 decision. In his semifinal match against Illinois' Colton Emmerich, Blades took another decision, 3-1. In the championship round, Blades fell to Illinois' Andre Lee in a 9-6 decision.
      In the 133-lb freshman/sophomore division, Pawlak went 6-1 in route to a fifth place finish. The 5-foot-6 sophomore from Temperance, Mich. won his first match of the day by an 8-5 decision over Zachary Davis of Navy, before falling to eventual champion, Jered Cortez of Illinois in the second round by the narrowest of margins, 6-5. Pawlak fought his way through the consolation bracket with five wins from two major decisions and three falls.
      Pawlak started the consolation bracket with a 12-1 major decision over Northern's Danny Carlson, and then bested Eastern Michigan's Ben Caladrino with a fall at 5:00. Pawlak took his next match against Notre Dame's David Bavery with a 12-4 major decision before getting a fall at 2:33 against Kyle Lukowich of Kent State. Pawlak then capped off the consolation bracket by beating Ohio State's Mike Hozan by fall at 0:25 for the fifth-place finish.
      The Orange and Black return to the mat on Saturday, Nov. 8 when they travel to Williamsburg, Ky. to participate in the Patriot Open hosted by University of the Cumberlands.


      Camden Eppert Joins Wabash Wrestling Staff

      Richard Paige Wabash Sports Information
      CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. –Wabash College Director of Athletics Joe Haklin announced Thursday that Camden Eppert has been hired as an assistant wrestling coach.
      Eppert joins the Little Giant staff after spending the last four years as a member of the Purdue University wrestling team. During his career (2010-14), Eppert won 65 matches at 125 pounds, twice qualified for the NCAA Championships, and four times was named Academic All-Big Ten Conference.
      "I am thrilled and fortunate to join the Wabash College wrestling program," said Eppert. "I am extremely excited to begin my career as a coach and help student-athletes reach their goals on and off the mat. I've had the opportunity to be coached and mentored by countless people who have shaped my approach and I cannot wait to get started."
      [caption id=attachment_6735" align="alignright" width="150] Camden Eppert[/caption]
      Eppert graduated from Purdue in 2014, earning a bachelor of science while majoring in Public Health Promotions. During his tenure in West Lafayette, IN, he was a three-time All-Academic honoree by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, a team captain as a junior and senior, and was named Outstanding Freshman in 2011.
      As a senior in 2013-14, Eppert ranked fifth on the Boilermakers with 16 wins and was the 125-pound representative in 13 of 14 dual meets. As a junior, he posted a career-best 23 wins, including a 6-2 record in Big Ten dual meets. Over his last two seasons, Eppert was a combined 12 matches over .500 and won nearly 60 percent of his matches.
      Eppert made his first NCAA Championship appearance as a freshman in 2011, following a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. He followed up with another NCAA berth in 2012, knocking off a pair of nationally ranked opponents during the meet.
      "We couldn't have found a better hire for the position," said Wabash head wrestling coach Brian Anderson. "Camden is a proven winner and excelled on the mats and in the classroom while competing in college. He has strong name recognition across the state and is going to be a great help with our lower weight classes."
      In addition to his successes on the mat, Eppert was a member of the Boilermaker Athletic Council, the John R. Wooden Leadership Institute, and was granted membership in Mortar Board, the national college senior honor society.
      Born in Noblesville, IN, Eppert graduated in 2009 from Highland High School in Anderson, IN, winning IHSAA state titles in 2007 (103 pounds) and 2009 (119 pounds) to go with a 155-13 (.923) career record.
      Entering his 11th season as the Wabash head coach, Anderson guided the Little Giants to their best-ever finish at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships with a ninth-place finish in 2014. Riley Lefever became the first Little Giant to win a wrestling national championship, capturing the 184-pound weight class title. Wabash tied a school record by sending six competitors to the 2014 championship meet.


      Ancilla Announces New Wrestling Program

      By Kaylee M. King
      DONALDSON, IN – Ancilla College is proud to announce that they will be adding wrestling to the 2016-17 school year sports lineup and have appointed Steve VanDerAa as head coach.
      VanDerAa was the head wrestling coach at Winamac High School for 20 years and finished with a record of 404-96. He won 14 conference titles, a regional title and nine sectional titles. He also had numerous state qualifiers and placers. VanDerAa proudly coached a two-time state champion who went on to wrestle for Purdue.
      He also coached Team Indiana in the National Tournament and coached a National Champion and a National Runner-Up. One of the athletes he coached would then go on to later become an NCAA Champion as well.
      Along with his team accolades, VanDerAa was the recipient of coach of the year for the conference 14 times and was inducted into the Indiana Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2009.
      “What a tremendous opportunity it is to have someone of Steve’s experience and expertise recruiting and managing our new wrestling program,” said Ancilla Athletic Director Gene Reese.
      “I am excited about the chance to help these athletes compete at the next level,” remarked VanDerAa. “As I begin recruiting, I am searching for wrestlers that have a passion for and a strong desire to continue in this great sport.”
      VanDerAa, who is also an Instructor of Criminal Justice at the college, received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bob Jones University and his Master of Arts from Grace College.
      About Ancilla College
      Ancilla College (www.ancilla.edu), part of The Center at Donaldson, offers 18 associate degrees and 14 athletic programs. Since 1937, the college has been a sponsored ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. It is a small, private, liberal arts school in Donaldson, Indiana. It is located two miles south of U.S. 30 on Union Road near Plymouth, Indiana.
      For more information on Ancilla go to this link


      Indiana Tech Wrestling Ranked 8th in NAIA Coaches' Poll

      Zach Shore | @INTech_SID88
      POLL | KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Indiana Tech wrestling team, fresh off its best season ever, garners the No. 8 ranking in the NAIA Wrestling Coaches' Top 20 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Warriors received 53 points en route to their 18th-consecutive ranking in the poll.
      Tech boasts six ranked wrestlers, including two top five individuals – Travis Barroquillo (3rd, 141 pounds) and Mitch Pawlak (4th, 133 pounds). Kristopher McKinley is sixth at 125 pounds while LJ Grayson is seventh at 184 pounds.
      Mitch Roadruck also registered at top-10 ranking, tying for the position at 149 pounds with Brett Yarbrough joining Pawlak at 133 pounds, ranking 14th in that weight class.
      The Orange and Black won their first-ever East Region Qualifying tournament and placed eighth at the NAIA National Championships with three All-Americans, including the programs first national runner-up in Justin Brooks, who has since graduated.
      Three-time defending national champion, Grand View (Iowa) retains the top spot with 154.5 points, 53 ahead of No. 2, Southern Oregon. Great Falls (Mont.) is currently third at 86 points with Missouri Valley (71.5) and Montana State-Northern (69) rounding out the top five.
      The Warriors open their 2014-15 campaign on Sunday, Nov. 2 when they travel to East Lansing, Mich. to compete in the Michigan State Open.


      Stevan Micic wins co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Week

      Michigan and Ohio State Share Wrestler of the Week Honor

      Wolverines’ Micic claims honor after picking up two wins; Buckeyes’ Tomasello earns plaudit after claiming top-five victory

      Co-Wrestlers of the Week
      Stevan Micic, Michigan
      133 pounds – Fr. – Cedar Lake, Ind. – Hanover Central

      Led the Wolverines with a pair of individual wins, helping Michigan defeat Maryland
      Eighth-ranked Micic claimed a 11-4 win over Billy Rappo of Maryland and a 13-7 victory over third-ranked Eric Montoya of Nebraska
      Earns the second Wrestler of the Week Award of his career
      Last Ohio State Wrestler of the Week: Kyle Snyder (Nov. 22, 2016)

      Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State
      133 pounds – Jr. – Parma, Ohio – Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy

      Helped lead the Buckeyes to a win over No. 12 Illinois
      The second-ranked wrestler picked up a 12-4 major decision over No. 4 Zane Richards of Illinois
      Remains unbeaten on the year, sporting a 9-0 record
      Earns the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career
      Last Michigan Wrestler of the Week: Logan Massa (Dec. 6, 2016)

      2016-17 Wrestlers of the Week
      Nov. 8: Connor Medbery, Sr., WIS
      Nov. 15: Connor Medbery, Sr., WIS
      Nov. 22: Kyle Snyder, Jr., OSU
      Nov. 29: Brett Pfarr, Sr., MINN
      Dec. 6: Logan Massa, Fr., MICH
      Dec. 13: Anthony Rubinetti, Fr., NU
      Dec. 20: Drew Hughes, Fr., MSU
      Jan. 3: Thomas Gilman, IOWA
      Ethan Lizak, MINN
      Jan. 10: Jason Nolf, PSU
      Jan. 17: Stevan Micic, Fr., MICH
      Nathan Tomasello, Jr., OSU


      #3 Wabash Routs Olivet on Opening Night

      There is nothing quite like a little homecoming especially when you are away at college. While the three Lefever brothers didn't get some of ole Nancy's home cooking or their laundry done they got to wrestle in front of a big crowd one last time in their home gym. Back where it all started all three had dominating wins with the twins(Reece at 157 and Conner at 174) both earning pins, while returning national champion Riley had a major decision. Those three wins helped the Little Giants cruise to a 33-7 victory over the visiting Olivet Comets.
      The night started out with former Perry Meridian Falcon Jacob Cottey taking the mat and losing a tough 7-2 match after getting the first takedown. At 133lbs, Chandler Moore had an impressive 11-5 decision in his first collegiate action. He narrowly missed the major giving up a late reversal.
      With the team score knotted at 3, Michael Venezia came away with a 9-1 major decision for Wabash’s first lead of the night. From there, another Perry product, Nick Bova squeaked out an 8-7 victory on riding time at 149lbs.
      At 157lbs, returning two-time All-American Reece Lefever had very little trouble disposing of his Comet opponent in just under two minutes. With Wabash up 16-3 the victories kept pouring on with Ethan Farmer tilling up an 11-3 victory at 165lbs.
      The 174lbs match was supposed to be one of the better ones of the night with two top 5 ranked wrestlers butting heads. However, Conner Lefever didn’t waste much time and disposed of Nicholas Allen in 1:33 to confirm his higher ranking and get a little edge on twin brother Reece.
      After an undefeated freshman season Riley Lefever took the mat looking to build upon his success. He garnered four first period takedowns en route to a 16-4 major decision. At 197lbs, Wabash’s Brett Thumm overcame a 6-2 first period deficit to win 11-9 on a late takedown and nearfall. Olivet’s Jesse Judge cruised to a 11-1 major decision at heavyweight to give Olivet their second win on the night.
      125- Michael Schmidt (Olivet) over Jacob Cottey (Wabash
      133- Chandler Moore (Wabash) over Matt Darling (Olivet)
      141- Michael Venezia (Wabash) over Dominick Trevino (Olivet)
      149- Nick Bova (Wabash) over Kyle Witgen (Olivet)
      157- Reece Lefever (Wabash) over Ross Pennock (Olivet)
      165- Ethan Farmer (Wabash) over Frederick Findeisen (Olivet)
      174- Conner Lefever (Wabash) over Nicholas Allen (Olivet)
      184- Riley Lefever (Wabash) over Justin Johnson (Olivet)
      197- Brett Thumm (Wabash) over Thomas Hall (Olivet)
      285- Jesse Judge (Olivet) over Conner Smith (Wabash)


      Thunder Split on Final Day of Budd Whitehill Duals

      WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.-- Trine split a pair of duals to finish 14th in the Budd Whitehill Duals, hosted by Lycoming College.
      The Thunder defeated Case Western Reserve, 28-21, before dropping their final match of the tournament to Rochester Institute of Technology, 39-9. Michael Conner (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsvile) won both of his matches to finish the weekend a perfect 5-0. David Moore(Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion), Jeffrey Helm (Westfield, Ind./Westfield), Cody Konieczki(Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center) and Jaycee Jensen (Burns Harbor, Ind./Chesterton) added wins. Trine concluded their performance in the tournament 1-4. The Thunder are now 2-7 in duals this season.
      Conner earned a convincing win by major decision, and prevailed 10-9 in a hotly-contested match over RIT's Jake Swearingen to wrap up an undefeated weekend. The junior is now 17-6 on the season. His performance in the Budd Whitehill Duals included four wins by decision, and one by major decision.
      Helm and Jensen each added pins. Helm's performance in the Budd Whitehill Duals included two wins. Jensen's pin was the first of his collegiate career, and came shortly into the second period.
      Moore and Konieczki each picked up victories. Moore's win came by 12-6 decision, while Konieczki controlled the entirety his match with a 7-0 decision.
      Trine returns to action to action next Saturday, Jan. 17 at Elmhurst College's Al Hanke Invitational.
      Box scores from both of today's matches can be found below.
      Trine 28, Case Western Reserve 21
      125- David Moore (TRINE) over Nate Lee, Dec. 12-6
      133- Josh Hall (CWR) won by forfeit
      141- Jeffrey Helm (TRINE) over Travis Alexander, Fall 5:24
      149- Cody Konieczki (TRINE) over Kenny Gironda, Dec. 7-0
      157- Adam Boles (TRINE) won by forfeit
      165- Jaycee Jensen (TRINE) over Nick Tommas, Fall 3:22
      174- Nick Lees (CWR) over Kerry Raab, Fall 1:35
      184- Ahmid Katib (CWR) won by forfeit
      197- Michael Conner (TRINE) over Cito Balsells, Maj. 10-2
      285- Nate Lewis (CWR) over Tyler Prater, Dec. 7-3
      Rochester Institute of Technology 39, Trine 9
      125- David Moore (TRINE) won by forfeit
      133- Kevin Palmeri (RIT) won by forfeit
      141- Jake Sepor (RIT) over Jeffrey Helm, Dec. 8-4
      149- Brad Maybille (RIT) over Cody Konieczki, Fall 1:18
      157- Wonsik Kim (RIT) over Adam Boles, Dec. 10-4
      165- Nicholas Greenquist (RIT) over Jaycee Jensen, TF 19-4
      174- Tory Cain (RIT) over Kerry Raab, Fall, 1:56
      184- Nick Fisk (RIT) won by forfeit
      197- Michael Conner (TRINE) over Jake Swearingen, Dec. 10-9
      285- Sam Weinger (RIT) over Tyler Prater, Maj. 8-0

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