Dec. 29, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Northern Illinois wrestling team's trip to the 50th annual Midlands Championships ended much sooner than expected Saturday, as all NIU wrestlers were eliminated on the first day of action.
The top Huskie performances came from Derek Elmore and Andrew Morse. Both recorded two wins before bowing out in the wrestlebacks.
"Derek got back to his offense and looked better today," said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. "He is a very coachable guy and that will pay off. Andrew Morse made a few strides and he is gaining ground. Shawn Fayette battled hard as well."
"All in all, we need to continue to progress and use this as a learning experience. We are going to be working hard in preparation for getting back to dual meet action next week."
Elmore fell by way of a 12-0 major decision to Nebraska's Tim Lambert in the first round. However, the sophomore from Loves Park, Ill., rallied for two straight wins. He started with a quick pin of Clarion's Trey Hicks, sticking his opponent in 55 seconds. Elmore followed that up with a 4-3 decision of Stanford's Evan Silver. Yet, his run came to an end when Northwestern's Dom Malone - the 16th-ranked 125-pounder in the nation - defeated Elmore in a 7-0 decision.
Morse's day in the 157 pound bracket began on a more positive note with a tight 4-3 win over Rider's Connor Brennan. That win, though, led him to a matchup with sixth-ranked Jesse Dong of Virginia Tech. Dong made quick work of the Huskie freshman, pinning Morse in 1:39.
The Michigander stayed alive win a 5-2 win against Central Michigan's Dakota Cooley. However, Morse was eliminated when he lost to North Dakota State's Hayden Zilmer in a 5-3 decision.
Two other Huskies - Shawn Fayette and Matt Mougin - each posted one win on the day. Fayette won his first match of the day by way of a 5-3 win against Lehigh's Albert Woody. That momentum ended quickly when he lost to 15th-ranked Steve Santos of Columbia, 11-0, followed by a 12-4 defeat against Edinboro's Michael DePalma.
Mougin's lone win of the day came in the consolation bracket when he squeezed by Princeton's Ryan Callahan, 6-5. However, losses to Northern Iowa's Cody Caldwell and Lehigh's Kevin Bailey ended his day.
Saturday was also the season debut of 2012 NCAA Championships qualifier Kevin Fanta, who returned to the mats following offseason knee surgery. Yet, Fanta could not shake off the rust, losing both of his matches.
NIU gets back to dual action Sunday, Jan. 6, when they travel downstate to take on SIU Edwardsville and Appalachian State. The Huskies battle the Mountaineers at 2 p.m. before facing the homestanding Cougars at 4 p.m.
125: Derek Elmore
Tim Lambert (Nebraska) maj. dec. Derek Elmore (NIU), 12-0
Derek Elmore (NIU) pins Trey Hicks (Clarion), 0:55
Derek Elmore (NIU) dec. Evan Silver (Stanford), 4-3
#16 Dom Malone (Northwestern) dec. Derek Elmore (NIU), 7-0
133: Nick Smith
Daniel Dennis (Hawkeye WC) tech. fall Nick Smith (NIU), 22-5
Garrison White (Northwestern) dec. Nick Smith (NIU), 4-3
141: Kevin Fanta
Evan Henderson (North Carolina) dec. Kevin Fanta (NIU), 5-3
Ryan Fillingame (Adams State) dec. Kevin Fanta (NIU), 3-1
141: Tyler Argue
#7 Mike Mangrum (Oregon State) maj. dec. Tyler Argue (NIU), 10-1
Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa) maj. dec. Tyler Argue (NIU), 11-3
149: Rob Jillard
Josh Wilson (Utah Valley) dec. Rob Jillard (NIU), 5-0
Michael DePalma (Edinboro) dec. Rob Jillard (NIU), 11-4
149: Shawn Fayette
Shawn Fayette (NIU) dec. Albert Woody (Lehigh), 5-3
#15 Steve Santos (Columbia) maj. dec. Shawn Fayette (NIU), 11-0
Michael DePalma (Edinboro) maj. dec. Shawn Fayette (NIU), 12-4
157: Andrew Morse
Andrew Morse (NIU) dec. Connor Brennan (Rider), 4-3
#6 Jesse Dong (Virginia Tech) pins Andrew Morse (NIU), 1:39
Andrew Morse (NIU) dec. Dakota Cooley (Central Michigan), 5-2
Hayden Zilmer (North Dakota State) dec. Andrew Morse (NIU), 5-3
165: Sam Bennett
Josh Houldsworth (Columbia) maj. dec. Sam Bennett (NIU), 10-0
Seth Thomas (Oregon State) dec. Sam Bennett (NIU), 6-4
165: Dan Burk
#5 Bubby Graham (Oklahoma) maj. dec. Dan Burk (NIU), 11-2
Seth Thomas (Oregon State) maj. dec. Dan Burk (NIU), 14-1
174: Matt Mougin
Cody Caldwell (Northern Iowa) dec. Matt Mougin (NIU), 6-3
Matt Mougin (NIU) dec. Ryan Callahan (Princeton), 6-5
Kevin Bailey (Lehigh) dec. Matt Mougin (NIU), 7-2
184: Bryan Loughlin
#16 Boaz Beard (Iowa State) dec. Bryan Loughlin (NIU), 8-3
Scott Gibbons (Princeton) dec. Bryan Loughlin (NIU), 10-4
285: Jared Torrence
Matt Meuleners (Northern State) dec. Jared Torrence (NIU), 6-1
Evan Knutson (North Dakota State) dec. Jared Torrence (NIU), 2-0