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    Wildcats to Host NU Duals

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Senior Nick Hayes, wrestling at 174 lbs., is ranked ninth in the country after a 5-1 start to the season.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Senior Nick Hayes, wrestling at 174 lbs., is ranked ninth in the country after a 5-1 start to the season.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Dec. 6, 2007

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Ninth-ranked Northwestern hosts both North Dakota State and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in its first home duals of the season, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday in Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    NU comes off a near-victory, in which it lost by only three points at Northern Illinois. The Wildcats lost 12 points due to forfeited weight classes because of injuries. In the eight weight classes that NU did participate in, the 'Cats came away with five wins.

    This season, NU has five wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of its weight classes, two of which are ranked first in the country by the InterMat/NWCA/NWMA Division I Individual Rankings. Shooting up the rankings after a 14-0 start to the season is sophomore Brandon Precin (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg), who is now up to No. 7 at 125 lbs. Senior Nick Hayes (Council Bluffs, Iowa/Lewis Central) is also rising in the rankings on the heels of a 5-1 start to the season and is the ninth-ranked wrestler at 174 lbs.

    In the recently released Intermat tournament strength rankings, Northwestern ranks fourth in the country. The 'Cats trail Michigan by only four points and Iowa State by seven. Ten Big Ten schools rank in the top 15 of the poll.

    Following the duals on Saturday, the Wildcats wrestle at Eastern Michigan Dec. 16 before they take part in Midlands "45" Dec. 29-30 at Welsh-Ryan Arena.