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    March 8, 1998

    Wrestling Takes Eighth at Big Ten Championships

    Five Wildcats qualify for NCAA Championships

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Northwestern wrestling team finished in eighth place at the 1998 Big Ten Championships this past weekend at Penn State. NU finished with 55 points, just 2.5 points behind seventh-place Michigan State.

    NU's top finisher was Mark Bybee, who took runner-up honors at 167 pounds. Seeded sixth, Bybee got things rolling in the first round by knocking off third-seeded Glenn Pritzlaff of Penn State, 5-3. Bybee then pinned Will Hill of Michigan State to advance to the finals, where he fell to defending NCAA Champ Joe Williams of Iowa, 6-3.

    Scott Schatzman, the number three seed at 134 pounds, took third place. After a surprising upset loss to sixth-seeded Biff Walizer of Penn State in the first round, Schatzman proceeded to win his final four matches. He knocked off James Torres of Indiana, 7-6, in a tiebreaker in the third-place match.

    Sam Neider, seeded third at 190 pounds, was fourth. After knocking off Pat Quirk of Illinois in the first round, Neider was upended by Lee Fullhart of Iowa in round two. Neider then pinned Nick Muzashvili in the consolation bracket before Quirk got revenge in the third-place match. Drew Pariano took fifth place at 150 pounds. He lost his first round match to top-seeded Eric Siebert of Illinois before rebounding to meet Siebert again in the fifth-place bout. Siebert had to forfeit because of injury.

    Malik Elliott was sixth at 142 pounds. He defeated Gabe Cook of Indiana, 10-1, in the first round before falling to number three seed Jamarr Billman of Penn State in the second round. Elliott battled his way back to the fifth-place match where he lost to Willie Wineberg of Purdue, 6-2. All five wrestlers earned bids to next month's NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. The Championships will be held March 18-21 and are hosted by Cleveland State.

    Final Team Standings

    Iowa            132.5
    Penn State 120.5
    Minnesota 107
    Michigan 77.5
    Wisconsin 65.5
    Illinois 63.5
    Michigan State 57.5
    Northwestern 55
    Purdue 44.5
    Ohio State 38
    Indiana 20.5