Jan. 10, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Indiana (8-0) travels to Cedar Falls, Iowa this weekend to compete at the NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals, held on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa. The Hoosiers (#15) first-round match-up will be #8 Missouri (5-0) on Saturday at 11 a.m.
WATCH LIVE THROUGH LIVESPORTSVIDEO.COM
The National Duals event is a 16-team, double-elimination tournament that includes 15 of the top-25 Division I programs in the country. A total of 97 Division-I ranked grapplers are expected to compete at the National Duals, with Indiana bringing four wrestlers ranked among the top-10 in the nation at their respective weight class. Missouri comes equipped with three wrestlers cracking the top-10 nationally and eight top-20 grapplers in total. Missouri advanced to the finals of last season's National Duals and held a two-point lead heading into the heavyweight match before dropping a 20-16 decision to Minnesota.
Official National Duals D-I Bracket
LAST TIME OUT
Redshirt sophomore Angel Escobedo defended his 125-pound crown at the Midlands by winning his second consecutive championship at that event. Redshirt freshman Paul Young also placed at the Midlands, finishing in eighth place. As a team, the Hoosiers finished in the eighth slot out of 52 teams in the tournament. Escobedo's 10-3 championship match victory over Northwestern's Brandon Precin marked Hoosier Wrestling's Big Ten Network debut as the entire Midlands championship match lineup was nationally broadcast live on the BTN.
Indiana's Big Ten opener versus Wisconsin will also be aired live on the Big Ten Network on January 25 at 5 p.m. EST.
HOOSIERS AT THE NATIONAL DUALS
Saturday will mark the Hoosiers' first showing in the National Duals since 1995. Indiana first appeared at the inaugural National Duals held back in 1989. The Cream and Crimson went 1-1 that year with a 26-10 win over Old Dominion.
Redshirt freshman Kurt Kinser is on a roll to start this season, racking up a team-high 20 wins and 14 pins thus far. During a 13-match winning streak he put together earlier this season, Kinser stuck 12 of his adversaries in that stretch.
The Bloomington, Indiana native needs just six more falls to surpass Rod Chamberlin's (1981) school record for most pins in a season.
Redshirt sophomore Trevor Perry is also on the brink of putting his name into the all-time record books with his current nine-pin total, only three slaps of the mat away from the top ten.
13 up, 13 down for Angel Escobedo in his undefeated 2007-08 campaign. He won his second consecutive Midlands championships and has earned bonus points in all eight of the dual matches this season, recording three pins, a tech fall, two major decisions and two forfeits.
The Hoosiers's dual match record remains unblemished as well, currrently sitting at 8-0 on the year.
Not only has Indiana won all their dual matches, they have dominated them. The Hoosiers have posted four shutouts and have not allowed an opponent to earn double-digit points yet this season.
After "playing 13" with the Hoosier football team in the fall, John Sandberg will compete in his second sport of the year, joining the wrestling team in early January following his final football game.
Sandberg played in all 25 games the past two seasons with football, starting 24 of those contests at guard or center.
15 WINS, THREE PINS AND A TITLE
Redshirt sophomore Matt Coughlin and true freshman Joe Fagiano have each compiled fifteen wins, three pins and a tourment title. Coughlin won five matches at the Michigan State Open for the 165-pound crown while Fagiano arose victorious in four matches at the Missouri Open for the Freshman/Sophomore division championship at 197-lbs.
IU AT THE MISSOURI OPEN
Several Hoosier wrestlers competed at the Missouri Open, and six individuals placed at the tournament. Kurt Kinser compiled six pins en route to a third place finish in the 149-pound main draw. Nick Walpole (4th place) and Justin Kuhn (5th place) also reached the stand at the Missouri Open.
True freshmen Matt Powless and Joe Fagiano each went 4-0 and grabbed first place finishes in their respective weight classes of the Freshman/Sophomore draw. Eric Cameron reached the championship match as well, but dropped a 3-5 decision to his teammate, Fagiano.
IU AT THE MSU OPEN
Several individuals placed at the Michigan State Open, including redshirt sophomore Matt Coughlin's tournament crown in the 165-pound weight class. Andrae Hernandez and Nick Walpole also reached the finals in their respective weight classes, both finishing in second place. Two-time All-American Brandon Becker placed third while a pair of Hoosiers, Trevor Perry and Jantzen Minton, finished in fourth place. Kurt Kinser seized fifth place and Paul Young ended up with a sixth place finish.
Four All-Americans return for IU this season, including two-time All-American Brandon Becker. Matt Coughlin, Angel Escobedo and Andrae Hernandez all reached the stand last season, while Becker accomplished the feat in 2005 and 2006.
Escobedo has the highest finish of the quartet, finishing in fourth place. Becker placed fifth and seventh in his freshman and sophomore years, respectively. Coughlin took seventh while Hernandez finished in eighth place.
Indiana returns two other NCAA qualifiers this season as well. Trevor Perry and Marc Bennett each qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago, and Bennett fell just one victory shy of earning All-American status.
DEGAIN IS BACK IN TOWN
Pat DeGain returns to Bloomington this season as an assistant coach, the same position he held at the University of Virginia the past two seasonsx.
DeGain wrestled for the Hoosiers from 2002-05 under Head Coach Duane Goldman. He finished his career with a 115-31 overall record over his four seasons. As a senior, DeGain ended the year 35-6 and placed third at the NCAA Championships to seal an All-American season. He ended his career ranked fifth on Indiana's all-time career wins list with 115 and became the third IU wrestler to capture a Midlands title. He also took second at the Big Ten Championships in 2005.