Jan. 11, 2006
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EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's 13th-ranked wrestling team travels 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 -- for the first time in program history.
The 'Cats, who are coming off a dominating 35-13 win at Eastern Illinois Sunday, face No. 8 Iowa State in the first round, which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.
Takedown Radio will provide live radio coverage throughout the tournament, while Intermatwrestle.com will provide live text coverage. Livesportsvideo.com will webcast the semifinal and final rounds.
Northwestern, which looks for its first dual win against the Cyclones this weekend, has met Iowa State only once since the 1984-85 season.
Northwestern enters the match with seven wrestlers ranked in the USAToday/NWCA/Intermat poll, while the Cyclones boast four.
With Cyclone wrestlers ranked top-10 at the 141-, 157-, 165- and 184-pound weight classes, Northwestern needs big performances from the top to the bottom of its lineup.
One of the more intriguing matches of the dual could come at 184 lbs., where 10th-ranked Mike Tamillow (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) will face Iowa State's ninth-ranked Kurt Backes. Tamillow and Backes have met once before, with Backes taking an 11-7 victory at the 2004 Midlands quarterfinals. Backes brings a 10-4 record into the match, while Tamillow is 13-1 this season.
Another pair of top-10 wrestlers meet at the 141-pound weight class, with Northwestern's sixth-ranked Ryan Lang (North Royalton, Ohio/St. Edward) set to grapple 2nd-ranked Nate Gallick. Gallick, a 2005 Midlands champion, is a perfect 19-0 this season while Lang has compiled an 11-1 record. Saturday's match marks only the third meeting between the two, as they met at the 2004 Midlands and 2005 NCAA Championships.
No. 19 Will Durkee (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy) is expected to wrestle Iowa State's eighth-ranked Travis Paulson at 165 lbs. Paulson has posted a 21-1 mark this season, including a third-place finish at the 2005 Midlands. Durkee, who missed facing Paulson in the Midlands semifinals by just one match, is 13-4 this season.
All-American Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) looks to keep his 23-match winning streak alive Saturday, when he is expected to meet David Bertolino. Herbert is ranked second in the nation at 174 lbs., while recording a 17-0 mark this season.