Indiana Wrestling Season Preview: 125-157
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– The Indiana wrestling team begins the season this week with the Michigan State Open on Nov. 2. The Hoosiers will host their first dual on Nov. 22 against North Dakota State.
IU head coach Angel Escobedo said he has been pleased with the energy at the start of the season.
"We have a new focus," he said. "When you get a lot of new guys they are hungry. They want to change the program and elevate it and elevate themselves. That has been the theme of the room, how great can I be and that has been great to see. They are putting in extra work because they want to be great. We have fresh bodies and fresh mind and they are motivated."
125 will be very competitive between returner Liam Cronin and transfer Brock Hudkins. Cronin finished with a 17-13 overall record and was in and out of the lineup with Elijah Oliver. Cronin finished fourth at the Hokie Open and second at the Cleveland State Open. This past summer he was one spot away from making the U23 World Team in Greco Roman. Hudkins is a transfer from Northern Illinois and a two-time national qualifier. Hudkins was ranked No. 26 by TrackWrestling. Both guys are motivated and hungry, are putting in extra work and they understand someone is right behind them. They are trying to outwork each other and it is creating a good dynamic with good competition.
133 is a little up in the air. Kyle Luigs will be coming down from 141. Luigs went 19-16 last season with a highlight win by fall at Iowa against No. 12 Max Murin. Luigs wrestled for the Hoosiers at the Big Ten Championships. Cayden Rooks will be redshirting at 133. Jonathan Moran will also be in the mix. Moran redshirted last season.
Paul Konrath will be moving up from 133. He cut a lot of weight last year and this is more of his natural weight. Konrath posted a record of 20-11 last season with a 5-5 dual match record. At the South Beach duals Konrath beat No. 4 Tariq Wilson of NC State. The Hoosiers are looking for Konrath to have a great season. Konrath was ranked No. 27 by TrackWrestling.
Graham Rooks will be the starter at 149. Rooks was the best freshman last year, as he posted a record of 15-7. Rooks won the Cleveland State Open at 149 last season. He beat multiple guys that qualified for NCAAs on the season last year.
Fernie Silva will be going up from 149. Joey Sanchez will also be in the mix after coming off a redshirt. The plan is to use the first few tournaments to determine a starter. Also Diego Lemley will compete for a spot at 157. Sanchez finished in third place at the Greyhound Open. Silva lost a tight 8-7 decision against No. 1 Anthony Ashnault.
Tomorrow look for 165-Heavyweight in our season preview part two.