Jan. 20, 2008
ASHLAND, Ohio - The Northern Illinois wrestling team outscored its opponents 89-34 and won two out of three matches at the 19th Annual Wendy's Big Classic Duals, Sunday.
In NIU's opening match versus the Liberty, the Huskies opened up a 14-0 lead, then cruised to a 43-4 win over the Flames. Northern Illinois athletes earned four major decisions, two pins and a forfeit, leading to the lopsided final tally.
Against Cleveland State, the Huskies won seven of the opening eight bouts to build a 28-3 lead. Northern Illinois won the dual 31-9.
In the day's middle match, Purdue overcame an early 10-0 NIU lead to defeat the Huskies 24-16.
True freshman TJ Wunnicke (Dodgeville, Wis./Dodgeville) highlighted Northern Illinois' weekend, which included Friday's 26-10 Mid-American Conference win over Ohio, with three pins and a technical fall victory.
"The guy that came out toughest was TJ," head coach Dave Grant said. "He scored 23 points for our team this weekend. That little guy is a tough dude."
In addition to Wunnicke's performance, standouts Pat Castillo and Duke Burk went undefeated at the Wendy's Big Classic Duals.
"Of course, Pat went 3-0 and Duke went 3-0," Grant said. "Pat had quite a few takedowns this weekend, and he's a real spark plug for our program. We continue to count on those guys for the leadership every time out."
The Huskies have also been depending on their freshman to perform. In addition to Wunnicke's 3-0 day, true freshmen Bryan O'Connor (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North) and Brad Dieckhaus (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell Central) combined to go 4-2 with two major decisions.
"The real nice thing is the performance of our younger guys, with Dieckhaus and O'Connor wrestling well," Grant said. "The sky is the limit with these young guys because they've got so much room to improve, but I'm impressed with the way they're wrestling."
Overall, the 12th-year head coach was satisfied with his team's 3-1 weekend.
"I think it was very successful," he said. "We would've liked to go 4-0, but on the same token, I thought we wrestled harder than Purdue, but just didn't capitalize on our aggressiveness."
Grant also said he was impressed by the outing of senior heavyweight Dave Benner (Fowler, Ind./Benton Central), who went 2-0 at the duals.
The Huskies continue their MAC schedule Jan. 25 in DeKalb against Kent State.
Northern Illinois 43, Liberty 4
125 - T.J. Wunnicke (NI) pins Sean Katz, 2:21 6-0, NI
133 - Pat Castillo (NI) maj. dec. T.J. Mitchell, 17-4 10-0, NI
141 - Vince Castillo (NI) maj. dec. Collin Lewis, 11-2 14-0, NI
149 - Scott Clymer (L) maj. dec. Kalen Knull, 13-2 14-4, NI
157 - Bryan O'Connor (NI) dec. Julian Colon, 8-1 17-4, NI
165 - Jesse Linczmaier (NI) pins Joe Son, 2:52 23-4, NI
174 - Duke Burk (NI) maj. dec. Aaron Kelley, 11-2 27-4, NI
184 - Brad Dieckhaus (NI) maj. dec. Nick Knowles, 9-0 31-4, NI
197 - Jake Smith (NI) pins Jacob Johnson, 3:49 37-4, NI
285 - Dakota Greenhaw (NI) wins by forfeit 43-4, NI
Purdue 24, Northern Illinois 16
125 - T.J. Wunnicke (NI) pins Akif Eren, 6:58 6-0, NI
133 - Pat Castillo (NI) maj. dec. Sean Schmaltz, 10-2 10-0, NI
141 - Matt Redmond (P) dec. Vince Castillo, 5-1 10-3, NI
149 - Jake Pastacsil (P) pins Kalen Knull, 1:39 10-9, NI
157 - Sam Pastacsil (P) dec. Bryan O'Connor, 3-2 12-10, P
165 - Luke Manuel (P) dec. Jesse Linczmaier, 4-1 15-10, P
174 - Duke Burk (NI) dec. Nick Corpe, 5-2 15-13, P
184 - A.J. Kissel (P) pins Brad Dieckhaus, 2:16 21-13, P
197 - Logan Brown (P) dec. Jake Smith, 4-2 24-13, P
285 - David Benner (NI) dec. Chris Kasten, 4-2 24-16, P
Northern Illinois 30, Cleveland State, 6
125 - T.J. Wunnicke (NI) tech. fall Matt Reynolds, 15-0 5-0, NI
133 - Pat Castillo (NI) maj. dec. Josh Palivoda, 14-5 9-0, NI
141 - Bryan Deutsch (NI) dec. Mike Hurley, 4-2 12-0, NI
149 - Ryan Hurley (CS) dec. Kalen Knull, 7-3 12-3, NI
157 - Bryan O'Connor (NI) dec. Daniel Castillo, 8-1 15-3, NI
165 - Jesse Linczmaier (NI) dec. Marcus Effner, 8-4 18-3, NI
174 - Duke Burk (NI) pins Caleb Kennedy, 2:23 24-3, NI
184 - Brad Dieckhaus (NI) maj. dec. D.J. Cummins, 12-1 28-3, NI
197 - Alek Hughes (CS) pins Jake Smith, 2:23 28-9, NI
285 - David Benner (NI) dec. Rashard Goff, 2-1, OT 31-9, NI
Northern Illinois deducted one team point
Cleveland State deducted three team points.