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No. 6 MSU prepares for Arch-Rival; Spartans set to take on No. 12 Michigan

Sat., Feb. 1 at Purdue W. Lafayette, IN 12:00 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 1 at Illinois Champaign, IL 7:30 p.m.

The Michigan State University wrestling team, ranked No. 6 by the Amateur Wrestling News, will host arch-rival University of Michigan (ranked 12th) on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Jenison Field House. The Spartans will then head to No. 21 Purdue and No. 5 Illinois for a pair of conference duals on Saturday, Feb. 1.

The Wolverines come into Wednesday's match on the heels of a 19-18 defeat of Northwestern on Jan. 25. The match started a streak during which Michigan will face eight straight Big Ten opponents, leading up to the Big Ten Champ ionships in March. Michigan has three All-Americans of their own, who hope to counter the Spartans' talented trio of David Morgan (Jr., Ferndale), Erich Harvey (Sr., Allegan), and Brian Picklo (Sr., Saginaw): Bill Lacure, No. 3 at 150; Jeff Catrabone, No. 4 at 167; and Airron Richardson, No. 6 at heavyweight. MSU defeated U-M 20-18 last season in Ann Arbor, but the Wolverines have won the last six matches at Jenison Field House, their last loss in East Lansing coming during the 1982-83 season.

University of Michigan Probable Starters
(MSU's probables are listed on the weekly scoreboard)
118 - Chris Viola (So., 15-5)
126 - Matt Warner (Fr., 13-9) or Jon Newsom (Sr., 6-7)
134 - Corey Grant (So., 17-9)
142 - Gyhandi Hill (Fr., 3-3) or Luiey Haddad (Fr., 12-8)
150 - No. 3 Bill Lacure (Jr., 19-4)
158 - Erick Olson (Fr., 21-10)
167 - No. 4 Jeff Catrabone (Jr., 21-1)
177 - Joe DeGain (Fr., 4-15)
190 - Frank Lodeserto (So., 11-10)
HWT - No. 6 Airron Richardson (Jr., 18-3) 

The Michigan State wrestlers dropped a tough 17-16 dual meet to Big Ten foe Northwestern on Jan. 26. The match started well for MSU, with David Morgan (Jr., Ferndale) getting a major decision at 118 pounds. Issac Miller (So., Flint) fo llowed suit at 134, winning 3-1 in overtime. Northwestern then won the next three matches to grab a 13-7 lead. Ralph Conte (Sr., Cleveland, OH) at 167, Brian Picklo (Sr.,Saginaw) at 190, and Marco Sanchez (Jr., Brooklyn, NY) at heavyweight then took three of the last four matches from the Wildcats, but it was too little, too late for the Spartans as Northwestern held on for the victory. The loss dropped State to 6-6 overall, 1-4 against Big Ten opponents.

Northwestern 17, MSU 16
118 lbs. No. 3 David Morgan (MSU) maj.dec. Dominic Caruso (NU)13-3
126 lbs. Micah Hey (NU) dec. Jason Nusbaum (MSU) 9-3 
134 lbs. Issac Miller (MSU) dec. Malik Elliott (NU) 3-1 OT 
142 lbs. Will Reisman (NU) maj. dec. Sam Hakim (MSU) 10-0 
150 lbs. Drew Pariano (NU) dec. Adam Elderkin (MSU) 13-7 
158 lbs. Kurt Hudson (NU) dec. Greg DeGrand (MSU) 5-4 
167 lbs. Ralph Conte (MSU) dec. Chris Roberts (NU) 9-6 
177 lbs. Joel Goeden (NU) maj. dec. Nick Muzashvili (MSU) 15-4 
190 lbs. No 4. Brian Picklo (MSU) dec. No. 11 Sam Neider (NU) 3-2
275 lbs. Marco Sanchez (MSU) dec. Brian Laughlin (NU) 7-6 

For the first time ever, Michigan State will send three wrestlers to the USAIR/NWCA All-Star meet at Clarion (Pa.) University. The Feb. 3 dual meet pits the top wrestlers in the nation against one another in what could be a pre view of the NCAA Championships in March. MSU had two wrestlers in the meet in 1995: eventual NCAA Champion Kelvin Jackson at 118, and Emilio Collins at 190. The Spartans will be represented this year by All-Americans David Morgan, No. 3 at 118; Erich Harvey, No. 3 at 177; and Brian Picklo, No. 4 at 190. All three are making their initial appearances in the all-star meet. Says Coach Minkel, "This meet feature the top 20 wrestlers in the country, so to have three in that group reflects on the program and is a credit to how hard these guys work. It's a prestigious selection, and I'm extremely happy for them."

Selected Michigan State dual meets will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by PASS Sports this season. The next televised event will be highlights from the National Dual Championships on Monday, Feb. 3 at midnight.

The latest Amateur Wrestling News rankings are available on the Internet at Michigan State is No. 6 in the current team poll, while on the individual side Morgan is No. 3 at 118, Harvey No.3 at 177, and Picklo No. 4 at 190. In the Wrestling Institute Newsmagazine rankings, Morgan is No. 2, Harvey No. 4, and Picklo No. 5.

"I'm pretty confident the team can bounce back (from the Northwestern loss) for the meets we have this week. The Michigan dual is always an important meet, so we'll have no problem getting up for that one. The key will be or under classmen against theirs. We're strong at 118, 177, and 190, and they're strong at 150, 167, and heavyweight, so the other four matches should really be a factor."

On Purdue and Illinois on the same day: "At the National Team Duals we wrestled six meets in one day, and we go there with the idea of conditioning ourselves for this level of competition. It will be important for us to stay focused match-by-match th roughout the day."

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