Nov. 14, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Following its season-opening matches at the Michigan State Open, No. 11 Northwestern heads to the site of another Big Ten foe, Purdue, to compete in the inaugural Boilermaker Challenge on Saturday. As one of seven participating teams, NU is slated to square off in dual matches against Eastern Michigan (10 a.m.), Kent State (2 p.m.) and Tennessee-Chattanooga (4 p.m.).
The competition in West Lafayette presents early-season challenges for several Wildcats. At 141 lbs., NU’s 10th-ranked Keith Sulzer (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Edward) is set to take on Chattanooga junior Cody Cleveland, currently ranked fourth nationally. Returning Wildcats All-American at 125 lbs. and fourth-ranked Brandon Precin (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) will do battle with No. 13 Nic Bedelyon of Kent State while Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny), the Big Ten’s co-Wrestler of the Week following his first competition back at Northwestern, meets a ranked opponent in No. 13 Dustin Kilgore, a freshman at Kent State.
Herbert cruised to the 184-pound title at the Michigan State Open, recording three pins—including one in just 14 seconds—before defeating Pittsburgh freshman Zac Thomusseit by major decision in the final.
Precin also advanced to the finals in impressive fashion where he met Edinboro’s Paul Donahoe. Donahoe, a 2007 national champion and two-time All-American while wrestling for Nebraska, and Precin battled into overtime, where Donahoe pulled out a 4-1 victory against the Northwestern junior.
At 157 lbs., NU freshman Jason Welch (Walnut Creek, Calif./Las Lomas) made his debut in the national rankings this week, earning the No. 16 position as the only freshman in the nation's top 20. Welch reached the finals of the MSU Open on Sunday before falling to No. 9 Kurt Kinser of Indiana.
Fans can track the action throught NWCA’s new college scorebook by visiting the Boilermaker Challenge Live Results