Wisconsin Wrestlers Start off Season with wrestle-offs
Schlottke's Note: The wrestle-offs appear to be live at 7:00pm tonight via: http://www.uwbadgers.com/audio_video/?sportid=139 - possibly charging a fee
Check the right column for the Wrestling feed for this evening. There are also some other duals people may not be aware of.
The No. 12 Wisconsin wrestling team opens the 2007-08 campaign Thursday night at 7 p.m. inside the UW Field House for its annual Intra-Squad Scrimmage. Ten matches will be used to determine the Badgers’ starting lineup and the event is free to the public, with the doors opening at 6:15 p.m.
For the bout at 125 lbs., three-time NCAA qualifier Collin Cudd (River Falls, Wis.) will face sophomore Drew Hammen (Random Lake, Wis.). Hammen earned his spot in Thursday’s match after defeating sophomore Kyle Reeve by a close 2-0 score at Tuesday’s preliminary wrestle-offs. Cudd started for the Badgers last season at 125 lbs. and compiled a 21-13 overall record and finished fifth at the 2007 Big Ten Championship.
At 133 lbs., junior Zach Tanelli and sophomore Eric Senescu will battle for the starting spot. In 2007, Tanelli, a Short Hills, N.J. native, represented the Badgers at 133 lbs., finishing 21-10 overall and scoring the second-most dual points on the team (80). He also made his first appearance at the NCAA championships.
After pacing Wisconsin with his second place finish at the 2007 Big Ten Championship, sophomore Kyle Ruschell (Crittenden, Ky.) will compete with junior Dan Sneider (Northbrook, Ill.) for the starting spot at 141 lbs. Ruschell was Wisconsin’s starter last season, going 30-9. Sneider enters his third season at Wisconsin and moves up a weight class after competing at 133 lbs. in 2006-07.
It took three preliminary matches but two Badger newcomers will fight for the starting spot at 149 lbs. Weldon Rogers (Oak Park, Ill.) began the week with a preliminary bout against fellow freshman Dan Rivers and won that match and another against junior Mike Metzger to move onto Thursday’s finals. Vogel faced sophomore Trevor Bowers (Mentor, Ohio) Tuesday and the Westfield, Wis., native captured a 5-2 decision to face Rogers in the finals.
As the runner-up at the 2007 NCAA Championships for 157 lbs. senior Craig Henning (Chippewa Falls, Wis.) will look to secure his starting spot when he faces redshirt freshman Gabe Stoppelmoor (Turtle Lake, Wis.). Henning is coming off his best season at Wisconsin, finishing 31-4 overall (18-2 in duals, 7-1 in Big Ten Conference duals), which includes his two upset wins en route to his spot in the title match at NCAAs.
At 165 lbs., senior Jake Donar (Cuba City, Wis.) will face junior Mike Felling (Hutchinson, Minn.). After tallying an 11-10 overall record at 174 lbs. last season, Felling moves down a weight class and earned a spot in Thursday’s bout after defeating redshirt freshman Jeremy Breen (Oak Creek, Wis.) 6-2 on Tuesday. Donar wrestled the most at 165 lbs. last year for the Badgers.
Senior Matt Maciag (Sussex, N.J.), another 2007 NCAA qualifier, defeated freshman Ben Sarbacker (Verona, Wis.) in a preliminary bout by a 7-1 score. Junior Justin Peterson (Comstock, Wis.), who is another Badger moving down a weight class (184 lbs. to 174 lbs.) faced senior Zach Menne (Richland Center, Wis.) in the second preliminary match and Peterson secured a spot in the finals, defeating Menne 10-4.
At 184 lbs. redshirt freshman Eric Bugenhagen (Franklin, Wis.) will take on true freshman Szablewski on Thursday.
Junior Dallas Herbst (Winneconne, Wis.) faces redshirt freshman Calyn Hull (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at 197 lbs. Herbst scored the most dual points of any Badger last season (97) and tied Lee Kemp’s single-season pin record (18).
Finally, at heavyweight, junior Kyle Massey (Champlin, Minn.) and sophomore Jordan Hein (Wausau, Wis.) will compete for the starting spot. Both wrestled at heavyweight last season but Massey started the most and finished 18-10 overall while earning his first trip to the NCAA championship.