Correspondent: Michigan Wrestling vs. Northwestern

Reader Kenny Greenia took in the wresting meet  against Northwestern. College wrestling is actually very fun and Michigan has a very storied program. In case you don’t know, if a wrestler wins by seven or less points, it’s a decision and the team gets 3 points. A win by 8 points to 14 points garners that team 5 points. Without further ado…

Michigan wrestled to a 17-17 tie against Northwestern today, and much to Donovon McNabb’s chagrin, there is no tiebreaking procedures in college wrestling right now. Each team won 5 of the 10 matches, and each team got 2 majors decisions (wins by more than 8) and 3 decisions. The theme this meet seemed to be overmatched wrestlers giving tough matches to save team points, and that will show up in the match by match a few times. With that, on to the matches. Michigan kids will be in blue.

125: Brandon Precin (3rd) Dec. Micheal Watts (15th) 9-3

I was pretty wrong here, thinking that Precin was a lock for the major. It looked bad for Watts when Precin started out with a takedown and then a 2 point near-fall with a fireman’s tip into a tilt to jump out to a 4-0 lead, but Watts was able to get a reversal by sliding out the back. Watts kept Precin down until about 10 seconds left in the match, but Precin was able to get the escape, making it 5-2 after the first. The next 2 periods were less exciting, Precin tacks on an escape after choosing down in the 2nd and gets another takedown using a double leg. Watts chooses down in the third and gets an escape but not before Precin locks up his riding time point, and Precin gets another double leg takedown. The match ends 9-3.

Wildcats lead 3-0

133: Eric Metzler Dec. Zac Stevens 4-3

This one was a great match, even though Stevens lost. Stevens came out of the gate very aggressive and got an early takedown, but Metzler was able to escape after a restart when a stalemate was called with about 2 minutes left in the first. Despite a lot of action by both wrestlers, there was no more scoring in the first, although Stevens was close to a takedown using a front headlock late in the period. Stevens chooses down in the second and is able to escape quick, but Metzler shoots a quick double leg that Stevens defends nicely and gets a stalemate. The same scene plays out, with Metzler shooting right off the whistle, and another stalemate is called. Metzler starts the third period down, and gets out quick, making the score 3-2. Stevens takes a cue from Metzler and shoots a single leg off the whistle, but Metzler defends it well. Another restart, and another single, this time from Metzler, and again no points are scores, although this time we get blood time because Metzler has injured his finger. Metzler is feeling well enough when the match restarts though, and takes another single, this time converting on it, and scoring the final points of the match, making it 4-3.

Wildcats lead 6-0

141: Kellen Russell (5th) Dec. Keith Sulzer (16th) 4-2

Another great match, the Wolverines come out on top though. Sulzer comes out shooting, which doesn’t serve him well in this instance, as Russel is able to score a takedown by circling around on a bad shot attempt, and ride him out the rest of the period. Russel chooses down to start the 2nd, and almost gets a reversal, but the referees rule no change. Thankfully he’s able to escape off the restart with 30 seconds left, making the score 3-0 at the end of the second. Sulzer chooses down to start the 3rd, and manages to get the reversal, but Russel is out immediately. Both wrestlers grind out the final minute in the period, but neither scores a takedown, and neither has a minute of riding time, meaning the match ends 4-2, giving the Wolverines their first victory.

Wildcats lead 6-3

149: Andrew Nadhir Maj. Dec. Mark Weber 12-4

I was WAAAAY off here, thinking Weber would win, although he should have only given up a decision if not for some…odd…officiating near the end. For a major decision, this match started out very slow, with no scoring in the first. Both wrestlers were content to tie up and work for position, but Weber is hit with a stalling warning late in the period. Nadhir chooses down to start the 2nd, and gets up easily, then shows the same amount of ease taking Weber down. Weber gets up and out for the escape but Nadhir is able to get his ankle and work that into a takedown on the edge with almost no time left in the period, which then ends 5-1. Weber chooses down for the 3rd, and again is up and out quickly, but Nadhir hits a very deep double and brings Weber to the mat hard. Weber gets out again, but gets taken down, again, and then gets another escape. At this point the score is 9-4, and then the officiating takes a turn for the worst. After getting warned for stalling, an odd occurrence when up 9-4, Nadhir gets in on a leg attack, and Weber gets his hips out in a sprawl attempt, prompting the official to call him for stalling and give Nadhir a point. If that is not wierd enough, as Nadhir works up, Weber dives to get a leg to prevent the take down and the ensuing major, and even though he manages to get ahold of the event, the referee gives Nadhir the takedown, ending the match at 12-4, and giving Northwestern an extra team point, which will be very important in the final score.

Wildcats lead 10-3

156: Jason Welch (15th) Dec. Aaron Hynes 6-2

Tough match by Hynes, keeping it close against a very, very tough leg wrestler. First period has a lot of scrambling but the only points occur late in the clock when Welch gets the better of Hynes. Welch chooses down to begin the 2nd and is out quickly. Hynes regains the advantage with a single leg but Welch gets the reversal and puts on the legs, riding him out. 5-2 going into the third, and Hynes chooses down, despite Welch’s prowess on top. Welch gets the legs in quickly and proceeds to ride Hynes out, switching between both legs in and a cross body ride. Welch manages to get the riding time point, ending the match at 6-2.

Wildcats lead 13-3

165: Justin Zeerip Maj. Dec. Kyle Bertin 9-1

Zeerip really stepped up today and got a HUGE win here, against a decent kid, although not the one I thought he would wrestle. Zeerip is the aggressor throughout the first period, working some short offense and a leg attack but doesn’t convert on anything, and the first period ends without any score. Zeerip chooses down to start the 2nd and gets up quickly, and manages to defend a single by Bertin on the edge of the mat. Bertin thinks too much of his single and takes kind of a sloppy shot, and Zeerip manages to lock a cradle up and get a takedown with it, but doesn’t get any nearfall, ending the period at 3-0. Bertin chooses down to start the third, and Zeerip manages to ride him long enough to build up his minute, despite getting warned for stalling. Bertin gets up and gets his escape, but Zeerip works some offense again and nearly comes up with a takedown before they go out of bounds. Zeerip does manage to get another takedown late in the period, getting in on a leg attack and managing to put Bertin to his back, getting the 5 count and all 3 of his near-fall, and riding him out the rest of the period. Adding in his riding time point, Zeerip gets the 9-1 major decision in an incredibly clutch match.

Wildcats lead 13-7

174: Steve Luke (1st) Dec.Robert Kellog 11-5

Kellog wrestled the kind of match his team needed him to, going in knowing he can’t win and with no objective other than save as many team points as possible. The first period happened the way it should, with Luke getting the early takedown and then letting him up to his feet, or cutting him, in order to try and work more from neutral. Luke does this twice more in the first, and manages to get Kellog warned for stalling, ending the period 6-3. Kellog starts the 2nd by choosing bottom and Luke first try’s working a chicken wing, but gives up quickly and just lets him up. Luke is trying to work some more offense and Kellog keeps backing up, getting him called for stalling and giving Luke a point. Luke does manage another takedown and Kellog gets up again before the period ends with Luke up 9-5. Luke chooses down in the third and gets out quickly, but after they are neutral Kellog latches onto the ankle to try and prevent Luke from getting another takedown, which would give him the major in addition to his riding time. Kellog battles out the third and somehow manages to avoid another takedown, and after riding time Luke wins by a final score of 11-5.

Wildcats lead 13-10

184: Jake Herbert (1st) Maj. Dec. Anthony Biondo (12th) 16-6

Biondo came up with an incredibly gutsy performance here, holding Herbert to a 16-6 major decision and not giving up any back points or stalling points. Herbert put on a takedown clinic all match, and was able to get 3 in the first, letting Biondo up twice to make the score 6-2. Herbert starts the 2nd period down and immediately stands up. Biondo manages to only give up 2 takedowns this period, sandwiched around 1 escape for him, making it 11-3 going into the third. Biondo goes down to start the third and Herbert lets him up and is again only able to take him down twice, even though Biondo gets warned for stalling. Biondo gets let up after each takedown as Herbert is working for more points, but they finish the match in neutral, and after riding time Herbert gets the major 16-6, although the story here is that Biondo gives him the toughest match he’s had so far. Yes, Biondo failed to register a takedown or a point that Herbert did not give him, but Herbert has only had 2 matches that lasted all 7 minutes this year, and the other 2 were 14-1 and 15-1, each against top 15 wrestlers. Herbert is very good, and should give Brent Metcalf, a Michigan native, a run for his money when it comes to the Hodge Trophy for the nations best wrestler.

Wildcats lead 17-10

197: Tyrell Todd (6th) Maj. Dec. John Schoen 16-5

Michigan comes up with another big match here, with an injured Ty Todd absolutely dominating John Schoen. Todd sets the tone of this match early with a single leg, picking Schoen up and bringing him back to the mat so hard Schoen loses a contact lens. After Schoen takes some injury time to find his contact lens and probably call his parents to tell him he loves them, just in case, Todd cuts him loose on the restart, and Schoen manages to avoid a takedown for the rest of the period, despite getting warned for stalling, ending the first with Todd up 2-1. Schoen starts the 2nd period off on bottom, and Todd stays on him to get his minute of riding time before letting him go. Schoen gets dinged for stalling, giving Todd another point, and Todd gets another takedown. Todd lets him up again, and Schoen is clearly running away, getting dinged again for stalling and giving Todd another point, ending the period at 6-3. Todd chooses down and gets out easily, then takes Schoen down and lets him up. Schoen dinged again for stalling, this time its 2 points for Todd, and if he gets called again he is disqualified and Todd earns 6 team points. With this looming over his head Schoen stops backup up and Todd works another 2 takedowns before the period ends. Add in his riding time advantage and Todd gets the major decision 16-5.

Wildcats lead 17-14

285: Eddie Phillips Dec. Ben Kuhar 3-2

This one is as close as close can get, with Phillips edging out the win in double overtime. It looks a lot like a heavyweight match right off the whistle, as both wrestlers are very aggressive, tying up with each other, and giving each other a lot of pressure. It looks like someone might get thrown but both of them do a good job of keeping the other from getting a secure enough hold to feel good about a throw. The first ends with no scoring, and Phillips starts the 2nd period down, and immediately gets a reversal using a switch off the whistle, and starts in on a head lever ride. After a potentially dangerous call, Kuhar is able to work his way out, and after more tying up, the period ends. Kuhar goes down to start the third and gets the escape to even the score 2-2, and after more tying up and a few shot feints, the match goes into overtime. The first overtime, which lasts a minute and starts neutral, looks very much like most of the match, a lot of wrestling for better position, and no takedowns. After the first OT period, they go into double overtime, which is split into two different periods, each 30 seconds long, and each starting from referees position, or top and bottom. Phillips goes down in the first period, and is out on a standup about halfway into it. Kuhar is down in the second 30 second period, and Phillips manages to ride him out the full 30 seconds, giving him the gutty 3-2 victory, and getting the team a tie.

Final: Michigan ties Northwestern, 17-17


All in all, not a bad performance by Michigan. A great meet if you like suspense, with a lot of matches that were in doubt late, or barely put into majors late. Not the result the Wolverines were looking for, but still, anytime you wrestle a Big Ten team and don’t lose, its a decent day. Tommorow, Michigan will be in Cliff Keen , again, wrestling the 19th ranked team in the country, again. This time, though, it will be the Indiana Hoosiers, who are tied with Northwestern at the moment at 19th in the NWCA coaching poll. I’ll try to have a rundown of the team up before the 2 P.M. start, but if I end up too busy prepping for the Super Bowl, I think Michigan ends up getting their first Big Ten win tommorow, and I think they get big matches from Ty Todd and Anthony Biondo.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Griffin Fraley says...

    Correction, Tim. You were right on the win of 7 points or less getting the team 3 points. That’s a decision. A win of 8 to 14 points is a major decision and is worth 4 team points, not 5. If you take a 15 point lead, the match is stopped. This is called a tech fall. It is worth 5 points in all high school matches. In college, it’s worth 5 points only if you score near fall (points when you have the person on their back, for those who don’t know). Otherwise, it’s only a 4 point tech fall. Pins are worth 6 points always.

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