No. 24 Northern Illinois And No. 25 Northern Iowa Wrestle To Thrilling 16-16 Tie

GO HUSKIES
GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES
February 5, 2006

No. 24 Northern Illinois And No. 25 Northern Iowa Wrestle To Thrilling 16-16 Tie

DeKalb, IL--- For the first time in Northern Illinois University head coach Dave Grant's career the Huskies tied in back-to-back dual meets, when Sunday (Feb. 5) afternoon NIU and the University of Northern Iowa tied 16-16. A little over a week ago (Jan. 27), NIU tied Kent State University 16-16, when KSU came from behind to tie the Huskies. Today was a different story as the Huskies pawed their way back against the Panthers for the tie. The No. 24 ranked Huskies and No. 25 ranked Panthers split for the second time this season, with the two teams tying for sixth place at the Midlands Championship earlier this year.

"We wrestled a good team and we had some good performances from some of our top guys," said Grant. "We knew this would be a tough one. We had a lot of close matches today. This was our sixth match against a ranked team this season and these matches make us tougher."

In the evenings final match No. 11 ranked senior Josh Wooton (Urbana, OH / Graham) earned his 99th career victory with a 5-3 decision over No. 20 ranked C.J. Ettelson which ended the dual meet in a tie.

"I got a little revenge with the win," said Wooton. "He got me for third place at Midlands, but I got him today. I just wish I could have gotten the major decision so we could have won the dual as a team."

The Huskies got off to a quick 3-0 lead when No. 12 ranked Mike Grimes (Villa Park / Lombard Montini) picked up a 6-4 win at 149-pounds. However, Northern Illinois fell behind after Chris Bitetto's major decision at 157-pounds and No. 7 ranked Nick Baima's decision at 165-pounds over Johnny Galloway (Iowa City, IA). Galloway hung with Baima through the first two periods today only to fall behind when Baima escaped to start the third and earned a 2-0 victory with the riding point tacked on.

184-pounder Danny Burk (Peoria / Notre Dame), who normally wrestles at 174-pounds, brought the Huskies back to within four points with his win. While Derek Hunsinger's (El Paso) return to the lineup at 197-pounds, pulled the Huskies to within one point heading into the heavyweight match where No. 19 Joe Sapp (Mahomet / Mahomet-Seymour) fell 4-1 to Tyler Rhodes.

No. 11 ranked Pat Castillo (Western Springs / LaGrange Lyons Twp.) came through big for the Huskies. Castillo earned the Huskies only major decision of the afternoon, defeating Seth Wright 16-7 and tying the match at 13-13. Castillo picked up his sixth win in his last seven outings and improved his overall record to 21-6. The day's penultimate match went UNI's way as Andy Hiatt (DeKalb) dropped a close 5-3 decision to Chris Helgeson.

No. 24 Northern Illinois is back in action Friday (Feb. 10) when it travels to Mount Pleasant, MI to face No. 6 Central Michigan at 7:30 EST.

(For further information, please contact Daniel Solow) -NIU-

Northern Illinois 16 vs. Northern Iowa 16
149: #12 Mike Grimes (NIU), dec. Ryan Osgood (UNI), 6-4, 3-0 NIU
157: #19 Chris Bitetto (UNI), maj. dec. Kalen Knull (NIU), 11-1, 4-3 UNI
165: #7 Nick Baima (UNI), dec. Johnny Galloway (NIU), 2-0, 7-3 UNI
174: Moza Fay (UNI), dec. Alex Nelson (NIU), 8-3, 10-3 UNI
184: Danny Burk (NIU), dec. Dan Dunning (UNI), 6-2, 10-6 UNI
197: Derek Hunsinger (NIU), dec. Andrew Anderson (UNI), 8-4, 10-9 UNI
Hwt: Tyler Rhods (UNI), dec. Joe Sapp (NIU), 4-1, 13-9 UNI
125: #11 Pat Castillo (NIU), maj. dec. Seth Wright (UNI), 16-7, 13-13
133: Chris Helgeson (UNI), dec. Andy Hiatt (NIU), 5-3, 16-13 UNI
141: #11 Josh Wooton (NIU), dec. #20 C.J. Etteslon (UNI), 5-3, 16-16