Feb. 15, 2011

PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- Senior/junior captain Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) of the University of Michigan wrestling team was named Big Ten Conference Wrestler of the Week on Tuesday (Feb. 15) in recognition of his weekend performance in the Wolverines' duals against Minnesota and Iowa. The honor is the third for Russell in his collegiate career and the fourth for the Wolverines this season.

Russell solidified his No. 1 national ranking at 141 pounds with a pair of overtime victories against two of his primary challengers. He defeated Minnesota's No. 2-ranked Mike Thorn, 3-1, last Friday (Feb. 11), breaking the match open with a high-paced sudden-victory frame and using a single leg with a tomahawk finish to score the winning takedown with just 10 seconds remaining on the clock.

Russell used a late rally to edge Iowa's No. 3-ranked Montell Marion, 9-5, two days later on the road. Down three points late against Marion after two third-period Iowa takedowns, the Wolverine captain secured an escape on the edge and kept scrambling, turning the corner off a front headlock to score the tying takedown with less than 15 seconds left in regulation. Russell struck on a duck under early in the extra frame, taking Marion straight to his back to add a two-point near fall.

The weekend performance improved Russell's season record to a perfect 29-0. Among Russell's wins this season, he has defeated seven ranked opponents, including four currently listed among the nation's top five in Thorn, Marion, Illinois' No. 4 Jimmy Kennedy and Cal Poly's No. 5 Boris Novachkov. He has dealt all four wrestlers their only losses of the 2010-11 season.

Russell and the Wolverines will close out the dual portion of their 2010-11 campaign on Friday (Feb. 18), heading to East Lansing, Mich., for a road match at intrastate rival Michigan State. The dual is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Jenison Field House.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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