March 21, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- NCAA champion and three-time All-American Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) has been named BigElevenWrestling.net Wrestler of the Year. Herbert shares this year's honor with Minnesota's two-time national champion Cole Konrad.
Herbert won his first career title and Northwestern's first individual title since 1990 -- and its seventh in program history -- as the 'Cats tied a program-best with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Herbert wrestled a dominating final match, downing Iowa State's Jake Varner by 6-1 decision.
He is Northwestern's first individual champion since Jack Griffin won his crown in 1990. The fourth-place finish matches NU's finishes in 1932 and 1990 for the highest ever in program history.
Herbert came out like a man with a plan in his 184-pound championship match, scoring a takedown over Iowa State's Varner a little less than one minute into the opening frame. He rode Varner for the rest of the period.
The Wildcat started in the down position for the second and he escaped quickly to extend his lead to 3-0. He added another takedown in the second and Varner received a point when Herbert pushed him out of bounds near the end of the period.
No more points were scored in the third and the riding time advantage gave Herbert the 6-1 decision.
The junior won his four matches leading up to the finals by major decision. He downed fourth-seeded Tyrel Todd of Michigan, 13-4, in the semifinals.
Herbert ended the year a perfect 32-0 with nine falls, 10 major decisions and four victories by technical fall.
Northwestern earned four All-America honors for the first time since 1990 as Ryan Lang (North Royalton, Ohio/St. Edward) placed second at 141 lbs., Dustin Fox (Galion, Ohio/Galion) finished third at heavyweight and Mike Tamillow (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) finished seventh at 197 lbs.
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