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The 2012-13 season was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we revisit the top 20 moments.
Jason Welch of the Northwestern wrestling team was a senior during the 2012-13 campaign and had the best year of his illustrious Wildcat career. The 157 lbs. starter won the 2013 Big Ten title at his weight class and did so in dramatic fashion, using a third-period fall over Nebraska's James Green to capture the crown.
It was an exciting, back-and-forth match, that saw Welch trailing by one before the fall. After a scoreless first period, Welch started the second period down and escaped to take the 1-0 lead. Green then caught Welch out of position and took advantage with a takedown to go ahead 2-1 after two. Green began the third period down and went up 4-1 after a reversal, but Welch quickly countered with a reversal of his own to trail by one at 4-3. Welch then started to rack up riding time and a ride out would have earned him the 4-4 tie, but he caught Green in a cradle and the official awarded Welch backpoints before he secured the third-period fall (6:38). Welch's win avenged his lone loss of the regular season, a 9-8 decision by Green during the dual season.
Welch's Big Ten title made him the 30th different Wildcat to capture a conference crown and first at the 157 lbs. weight class.
Welch went on to enjoy even more success at the 2013 NCAA Championships, reaching the finals at 157 lbs. The Walnut Creek, Calif., native capped his Northwestern career with his highest placement at NCAA's and became just the sixth three-time All-American in program history. He leaves Northwestern ranking seventh in NU history with 116 career wins (a career-high 34 victories during the 2012-13 season), sixth in career winning percentage at .841 and also was just the third NU wrestler in program history to capture two titles at the prestigious Midlands Championships, wrestled at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
As a team, Northwestern once again had a successful showing at the NCAA Championships, finishing in the top 20 with two Wildcats in the finals. NU was one of just four schools at NCAA's, including team champion Penn State, runner-up Oklahoma State and Iowa, to have to wrestlers in the finals. Redshirt sophomore Mike McMullan competed in the heavyweight finals and achieved his second All-America accolade, giving NU at least two All-Americans in seven of the last eight years.
The 2012 Summer Olympics came to an end yesterday. Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head coach Tim Cysewski were across the pond supporting Jake Herbert during Saturday's 84 kg freestyle competition. The two are heading back to the US on Aug. 15 and Pariano checked in with one final blog from London.
Tim Cysewski (left) and Drew Pariano (right) with Northwestern graduate Jake Herbert (middle) at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Jake Herbert was involved in two of the most controversial matches at the 2012 Olympic Freestyle Wrestling competition. Both matches involved official challenges that resulted in points for his opponents. Throughout it all, Jake was full of class and did himself and the United States proud.
The entire Herbert support group was there to greet him after his matches and it was an emotional welcome to say the least. The sport of wrestling will at times "tear your heart out" and Saturday was a prime example of that fact. It's an extremely personal sport and all of our student-athletes at Northwestern train very hard to be able to compete at the highest levels. Jake has set the stage for everyone who follows in his footsteps.
Jake's overall mood was one of appreciation. He thanked all of his supporters, family members and NU friends personally on Saturday night. I for one was again impressed with Jake; not a lot of world class athletes' could pull it together to sincerely thank each and every person who traveled to London for him - Jake did.
I believe that there are too many cliches in sports and most of them drive wrestlers and their coaches crazy. So, I won't even begin to think about some of the ways to put it into words other than to say: We will have the opportunity to see Jake compete internationally for the next several years. Those were the words coming from Jake throughout Saturday evening. He is determined to bring home a World title in 2013.
Blog No. 1: How It All Began
Blog No. 2: The Competition
Blog No. 3: Final Preparations
Blog No. 4: Sights And Sounds From London
Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head coach Tim Cysewski are currently in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics supporting NU graduate Jake Herbert as he competes in the 84 kg freestyle competition. Pariano and Cysewski landed across the pond safely on Thursday and Pariano checks in with his latest blog from London. Jake's day of competition is less than 24 hours away as he wrestles at 7:30 a.m. CT Saturday morning.
Jake weighed-in and received his draw today. He will open with Cuba (Daniel Humberto) and will then draw into the winner of the Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan) vs. Ibrahim Bolukbasi (Turkey) match. Sharifov was the 2011 World Champion and Jake's side of the bracket is loaded with past World and Olympic medalists. The complete bracket for 84 kg can be found here.
The atmosphere in the ExCeL Center was second-to-none today. We had a lot of the US group with us including our very own Jason Welch and his father. Watching the Olympic quarterfinals and semifinals while sitting next to Jason Welch and his dad (John) was a great experience. We were able to watch Jordan Burroughs wrestle Canadian Matt Gentry (2004 NCAA Champion) in a hard-fought match and see Burroughs qualify for the gold-medal match at 74 kg. Although Jake was busy preparing for his own day, I am sure that the US results will get him excited.
Jake is planning on grabbing dinner with his parents (Jim and Kelly Herbert) this evening. The current count of Herbert supporters was around 60 and is growing. Former NU wrestler and assistant coach Will Durkee made the trip out to watch Jake as did 2011 All-American Andrew Nadhir. As mentioned before, Jason Welch and his father are in London along with current NU wrestler David Helmer. The group also includes 2008 NU graduate Nick Hayes, who is accompanied by his parents (Curt and Kathy), 2005 Big Ten Champion Matt Delguyd also is in town with his brother Nick. The Northwestern contingent is strong and it will help Jake as he competes against the world's best.
The initial walk into the arena is crazy with about six different sports all going on in the ExCeL Center. As usual, the wrestling fans are a very unique group and most of them know exactly what is going on. Intermingled in this group are the people from the UK who are cheering on each and every wrestler. I am not sure if they know the scoring system, but they seem to be enjoying the experience.
Jake's big day is less than 24 hours away and we are all excited to watch him go for gold.
For those at home, there are a number of ways to follow Jake live. Here are a few links to bookmark for Saturday morning.
- www.NBCOlympics.com - Complete listing of Saturday's webstream links for the wrestling competition
- www.London2012.com Aug. 11 Schedule - Direct link to complete schedule and results for Jake's matches
Follow @USAWrestling and @Flowrestling. Both accounts have been providing bout-by-bout coverage live from London.
Blog No. 1: How It All Began
Blog No. 2: The Competition
Blog No. 3: Final Preparations
Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head coach Tim Cysewski will be in London for the final days of the 2012 Summer Olympics supporting NU graduate Jake Herbert as he competes in the 84 kg freestyle competition. The two are in London from Aug. 8-15 and Pariano will provide a number of blogs leading up to Jake's competition on Aug. 11 and while the coaching staff is in London. This is Pariano's final blog entry from the USA as he leaves for the Olympics tonight. Entry No. 4 will give fans a glimpse of what he's seeing in London.
Jake Herbert posted this message along with a photo of the gold medal he is working for on his Facebook page: "So excited to know all my family is getting in (to London) soon. By family (I mean) not just blood related but everyone coming over to support me. I hope you all travel safe ... It's because of you all I am where I am today. I love you all and thank you."
Jake will weigh-in at 84kg/185 pounds the night before the competition on August 10. Less than an hour after the weigh-in, the final pairings for the bracket will be released. If you go to TheMat.com, the release on Jake's draw will come out on Aug. 10 at roughly 4 p.m. CST.
All wrestling competition is completed in one day and the matches will follow one another quickly. Jake will wrestle up to three times in a two-and-a-half hour period depending on his draw. Once the medal matches are determined, a two-hour break from competition will take place where the athletes will eat, rest and prepare for their medal match.
Both Coach Cysewski and I are excited to be front and center to watch the US win multiple medals and the competition will take place at the Excel Center. There will be strong challenges from Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan for the seven contested weight classes. I am assuming that most people who are attending the games will want the complete experience (tours, local food, historic landmarks, etc). Tim and I are simply looking forward to the wrestling itself.
Blog No. 1: How It All Began
Blog No. 2: The Competition
Northwestern graduates, and 2012 Olympians, Matt Grevers (left) and Jake Herbert (right) pose for a photo in London. Grevers won a gold medal by setting an Olympic record in the 100-meter backstroke and Jake Herbert awaits his day of competition on Aug. 11. (Photo courtesy of Jake Herbert)
Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head coach Tim Cysewski will be in London for the final days of the 2012 Summer Olympics, supporting NU graduate Jake Herbert as he competes in the 84 kg freestyle competition. The two are in London from Aug. 8-15 and Pariano will provide a number of blogs leading up to Jake's competition on Aug. 11 and while the coaching staff is in London. Pariano's second entry previews the competition at 84 kg and explains what Jake needs to do to medal.
I believe that the 2012 competition will be unlike any other when it comes to top-level performances. It's not rare to see former World and Olympic Champions wrestle in the first round because FILA rules (the governing body of international wrestling) state that they do not seed the top wrestlers based on past World and Olympic results. For example, Jake will not receive preferential seeding consideration based on his silver medal at the 2009 World Championships. It's what we call a blind draw.
TheMat.com is breaking down each weight class periodically and the 84 kg weight has 19 competitors.
Jake has competed against numerous wrestlers in the qualified field. He went head-to-head with 2009 World Champion Zaurbek Sohkiev (Uzbekistan) and has a win over the most recent World Champion, Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan). Ibragim Aldatov (Ukraine), Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia) and Albert Saritov (Russia) are all world medalists and represent a veteran group at 84 kg. Jake will not know his draw until the night before competition.
Unlike the World Championships, each nation must qualify the Olympic weight class through placement at the 2011 World Championships (top 5) or through international events such as the Pan-American Championships. Advancement in each individual bracket is based on winning the best-of-three periods and scoring per period does not carry over; unless there is a fall, which immediately ends the match.
All athletes who make it to the semifinal round are guaranteed a medal match, meaning that those who are defeated in the semi's will wrestle for bronze. Each weight has the gold, silver and two bronze medals up for grabs. Ironically, there are also two fifth-place finishers per weight. You can stay alive in the consolation bracket if the wrestler who defeated you makes it all the way to the gold-medal match. If this happens, you are entered in the repechage; and you have the ability to wrestle back to face one of the semifinal losers for a bronze medal.
Pariano's Blog No. 1: How It All Began
Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head
coach Tim Cysewski will be in London for the final days of the 2012
Summer Olympics supporting NU graduate Jake Herbert as he competes in
the 84 kg freestyle competition. The two are in London from Aug. 8-15
and Pariano will provide a number of blogs leading up to Jake's
competition on Aug. 11 and while the coaching staff is in London.
Pariano's first entry looks at how Northwestern prepared Herbert for his
Olympic journey and how the NU Olympian is spending his time leading up
to Aug. 11.
"Northwestern started it all for me. It's where I went from being a boy with dreams and I became a man achieving and living those dreams. It was the best environment for me to be successful on and off the mat. I have great support with the university, better support from my teammates and my coaches went above and beyond to get me what I needed to continue to improve and push myself. Without Northwestern, there wouldn't be an Olympic dream and I wouldn't have a shot at winning gold in less than two weeks." - Jake Herbert
Jake's journey to become an Olympian started a long time ago and it was a topic of discussion as early as 2003 when he was being recruited by Northwestern. It should also be known that Jake was trying to stretch his college experience out as long as possible and he did well with that making it a full six-year cycle. Although Jake didn't finish his NU career as an M.D., he does on occasion refer to his time as preparation for his doctorate in the sport of wrestling. All joking aside, our entire staff could not be more proud of Jake and all of his accomplishments. We know that his collegiate career was the perfect preparation for his international career. We also know that Jake has paved the way for future Northwestern wrestlers who aspire to be Olympians and World Champions.
Right now, Jake is in the final stretch of his Olympic preparation. After arriving at the Games last week via a private jet, the team participated in the Opening Ceremony and after a quick stay in London, traveled more than 1,000 miles to Belarus, which is where Jake and his teammates are training for the next week.
His Facebook and Twitter followers could probably gather the fact that he is excited and the anticipation for Aug. 11 is mounting (see photos above and below courtesy of Jake's Twitter page). Because wrestling takes place at the tail end of the games, all of our U.S. wrestlers will have to wait for their competition day to come. It's been known that wrestlers and coaches alike are not always the most patient people, but we will do our best waiting for Aug. 11.
By now you are probably well aware that Northwestern graduate Jake Herbert will represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Did you know that Jake is not the first Northwestern wrestler to become a U.S. Olympian? Two others competed at the games and won Olympic medals, but Herbert looks to become the first Wildcat to bring home gold.
You have to go all the way back to 1924 to find the first NU wrestling Olympian, Bryan Hines. According to his Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame bio, Hines wrestled with a sprained ankle in Paris, but still managed to win a bronze medal in the men's bantamweight freestyle division. After the Olympics, Hines returned to Evanston and coached Northwestern during the 1926 season.
John ("Jack") Riley came the closest to a gold medal at the Los Angeles games in 1932. A heavyweight freestyle wrestler, Riley made it all the way to the finals where he faced the returning Olympic heavyweight gold medalist, Johan Richthoff of Sweden. Riley ended up taking silver as Richthoff won his second gold medal.
Northwestern head coach Drew Pariano recently met with Riley's son, John, and he shared some historical photos of his father from around the time of the 1932 Olympics.
Both of the photos in this blog are of Riley and the one at the top is of him standing outside the Olympic Village during the 1932 games. InterMat did a special story on the 1932 U.S. wrestling team prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and noted that Los Angeles was the first venue to feature an Olympic Village.
Riley also was an All-American tackle on the Northwestern football team and did not take up wrestling until junior year. His late start did not matter, as he was a two-time NCAA Champion at heavyweight (1931, 1932) and 1931 Big Ten Champion.
Be sure to tune into the 2012 Summer Olympics on Saturday, August 11, to see if Jake Herbert can add another medal to the Northwestern wrestling program's collection!
Vote for Northwestern on the NWCA Facebook Page
Northwestern wrestling needs your vote! The 'Cats have submitted three videos from the 2011-12 season to the National Wrestling Coaches Association "Best of Brand" contest and your votes count to help determine which videos move on to the next round.
NU's three videos are submitted under the Pure Entertainment category, which is described as videos created to entertain and engage fans. Created by Northwestern student (now alum), Stephen Boyle, the three videos fans can vote on are his feature on team co-captain and two-time All-American Jason Welch, a video on two-time Northwestern NCAA champion Jake Herbert highlighting his weekend at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials which culminated with Herbert earning a spot on Team USA and a behind the scenes look at the team's trip to West Lafayette, Ind., for the 2012 Big Ten Championships.
The fan vote is one component of determining which videos become finalists for the Pure Entertainment category. To vote, visit the NWCA Facebook page and click the "Like" button by the Northwestern videos.
Since there were an overwhelming number of videos submitted from throughout the wrestling community, you may have to scroll down and click the "See More Recent Stories" link to view the NU videos.
Voting ends at 5 p.m. Friday so vote now for all three Northwestern videos and tell your friends!
Jake Herbert and the 2012 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team are taking over the Big Apple this week. The group is in NYC for Thursday's Beat the Streets Gala, which features a dual meet against Russia right in the heart of the city in Times Square.
Yes, that's right, they will be putting a mat down in the middle of Times Square. It will be hard to miss Thursday's match as it also will air on the largest single-faced LED screen in Times Square.
Unfortunately, Jake will not be competing in Thursday's match but that doesn't mean he's left out of all of the fun. On Tuesday, Herbert and the rest of his Olympic teammates and coaches were invited to Yankee Stadium for the Yankees' game against Tampa Bay.
The team arrived early via the subway and hung out on the field during batting practice. A greeting awaited members of Team USA on the outfield video board and they also had the chance to meet a number of Yankees. Jake tweeted a few photos Tuesday, including one with Yankee centerfielder Curtis Granderson, in the background (see below).
Fans can watch Thursday's USA vs. Russia dual via a live webstream on Universal Sports (www.universalsports.com), beginning at 5 p.m. CT. The NBC crew of Jason Knapp and Olympic champion Jeff Blatnick will be on the call.
Northwestern had a successful
conclusion to the 2011-12 wrestling season, placing in the top 10 and crowning
two All-Americans at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Below is a list of
links to various articles, photo galleries and videos detailing NU's three days
in St. Louis.