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    No. 8 Northwestern Ready for NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Junior Jake Herbert is 11-0 and ranked No. 1 at 184 lbs.
    Junior Jake Herbert is 11-0 and ranked No. 1 at 184 lbs.

    Jan. 10, 2007

    Northwestern Wrestling Notes
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    Tournament Page

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's eighth-ranked wrestling team heads to Cedar Falls, Iowa this weekend to take part in the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals -- one of the largest wrestling events of the season. The 'Cats have the No. 8 seed in the 16 team field with 15 teams either in the top 25 or receiving votes in the latest USA Today/NWCA/InterMat poll.

    The 'Cats, who are coming off a third-place finish at the 44th Midlands Championships and are a perfect 8-0 in duals this season, face West Virginia in the first round, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday Jan. 13. If the 'Cats advance into the quarterfinals they could face the top-ranked Missouri Tigers later Saturday at 1 p.m.

    Takedown Radio will provide live radio coverage throughout the tournament, while will provide live text coverage. Livesportsvideo will webcast the semifinal and final rounds.

    The Match
    West Virginia features two ranked grapplers. Brandon Rader is ranked seventh at 141 lbs. and Jared Villers is the nation's 14th-ranked 197-pounder.

    Eighth-ranked Northwestern features five wrestlers in the top 20 and four in the top three. Ryan Lang (North Royalton, Ohio/St. Edward) and Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) are ranked No. 1 at 141 and 184 pounds, respectively. Mike Tamillow (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) moved up to No. 2 at 197 and Dustin Fox (Galion, Ohio/Galion) is the nation's third-ranked heavyweight. Nick Hayes (Council Bluffs, Iowa/Lewis Central) is No. 15 at 174.

    Quoting Coach Cysewski
    "It is a great opportunity to wrestle schools outside of the Big Ten at this event," head coach Tim Cysewski said. "We love the competition of our conference, but it is good for the guys to see different teams and different styles of wrestling. Our guys are very intelligent and many of them have calculated our potential oppoenents, but West Virginia is our primary focus. They are a good team and we received a glimpse of them at Midlands. We will be prepared for a very tough first round match."

    Last Time Out
    Lang and then eighth-ranked Tamillow won titles at the 44th Midlands Championships. Lang topped Iowa's Alex Tsirtis in the 141-pound final and Tamillow defeated Kurt Backes of Iowa State at 197 as the eighth-ranked Wildcats finished third overall, and enjoyed multiple champions for the first time since 1964, at the 44th Midlands Championships held at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    Northwestern finished third with 102 points, behind only Iowa State and Iowa. The 'Cats improved on their 10th place finish in 2005.

    Lang fell behind the second-seeded Tsirtsis, but a pair of thunderous takedowns propelled Lang into the lead. He held on for the 8-5 decision to capture his first career Midlands title.

    Tamillow, seeded second at 197, handled third-seeded Wynn Michalak in the semifinals before facing Iowa State's fifth-seeded Kurt Backes in Saturday night's final match. The junior trailed 1-0 early, but a late takedown enabled Tamillow to secure victory with a 3-1 decision. The win gave Tamillow his first career Midlands title.

    Dustin Fox (Galion, Ohio/Galion) placed second at heavyweight, Eric Metzler (Luxemburg, Wis./Luxemburg-Casco) finished sixth at 133 and Brandon Precin (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) placed eighth at 125. Northwestern enjoyed multiple champions for the first time since 1964.

    Alone at the Top
    Northwestern's 37-9 victory over NC State on 11/18 gave head coach Tim Cysewski his 125th win-making him the all-time winningest coach in program history. Cysewski, now in his 17th season, passed Ken Kraft's mark of 124 and currently is enjoying the best start of his tenure.

    Man on a Mission
    Junior 197-pounder Mike Tamillow, moving up in weight for 2006-07, is wrestling like a man possessed. He started the season ranked 14th and after a perfect 21-0 start with titles at the Eastern Michigan Open, Reno Tournament of Champions and the Midlands Championships, Tamillow has secured a place among the nation's elite. He now sits at No. 2 in the most recent InterMat poll. Tamillow knocked off three top-20 opponents, including his second win over Central Michigan's then eighth-ranked Wynn Michalak in as many weeks, en route to his first career Midlands title.

    For Northwestern's probable starters and the complete release click the PDF link above.