Nov. 7, 2009
EMU Open: Varsity Division Results
EMU Open: Freshman/Sophomore Division Results
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Northwestern captured a pair of weight class titles at the season-opening Eastern Michigan Open Saturday in Ypsilanti, Mich., both of which came from NU's 125-pounders. Two-time All-American Brandon Precin coasted through the Open division--surrendering only two points in four matches--while Levi Mele, a former high school state champion in Utah, won the title in the freshman/sophomore division in his debut with the 'Cats.
At the other end of the weight spectrum, NU redshirt sophomore heavyweight Ben Kuhar took third place in the Open division by winning four matches in the wrestleback bracket. Junior Andrew Nadhir wrestled to fourth at 149 pounds, Aaron Jones nabbed sixth at 184 while senior Dominic Marella placed fifth at 157 pounds. Complete brackets and results are available in PDF format at the top of the page.
Precin, who finished third in the nation last season, opened Saturday with a pin over Findlay's Dan Blair before posting 7-0 and 6-0 victories over Christian Cullnan of Central Michigan and Matt Fields of Purdue, respectively. Precin was tested in the final by Edinboro's Eric Morrill but eventually held on for a 4-2 win.
In the freshman/sophomore division, Mele opened with a first-round pin of Cleveland State's Matt Peters and followed by posting back-to-back wins by a score of 9-1 to reach the weight class final against Ben Sturgeon of Findlay. Mele wrestled to an efficient 5-0 win over Sturgeon to cap an impressive start to his NU career.
Kuhar downed Michigan State's Steve Andrus in his season-opening match before falling to eventual champion Ed Phillips of Michigan in the second round. But Kuhar bounced back to tear through the wrestlebacks, eventually defeating Navy's Danny Miller in the third-place bout by a slim 3-2 margin.
Nadhir defeated Michigan State's Phil Khozein (14-4) and Central Michigan's Justin McDermott (3-2) to reach the semifinals of 149 but lost 3-2 to eventual champ Glen Shober of Navy. Nadhir won one more match in the wrestleback before falling in the third-place bout 7-3 to Nick Bertucci of Purdue.
After wrestling last season at 165 pounds, Marella did well at 157 on Saturday, winning four matches on his way to fifth place. Three of Marella's wins came by major decision, including an 18-8 win over Big Ten foe Kyle Dooley of Illinois. The Wildcats entered two true freshmen into the 157-pound division in Kevin Bialka and David Helmer. Bialka reached the semifinal round thanks to a major decision and a pin in his first two matches before falling to Ohio State's Tony Jameson, 16-9.
Meanwhile, Helmer won two matches in the wrestlebacks to set him up with a match against Bialka. The NU teammates needed overtime to decide the match and Bialka eventually prevailed, 2-1, to send him into the third-place match where he lost 8-5 to Edinboro's John Greisheimer.
Marcus Shrewsbury went 2-2 for the 'Cats at 184 pounds, defeating Neil Hyska of Michigan State 9-3 and Corbin Boone of Cleveland State 4-0 in the wrestlebacks.
The Wildcats' start to the 2009-10 season rolls on next Saturday when they host the NU Duals in Welsh-Ryan Arena, with Northwestern's trio of dual matches scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., respectively.