March 7, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State wrestling team put three wrestlers through to the semi-final round of the Big Ten Championships Saturday afternoon at Penn State University. Senior David Morgan, freshman Pat McNamara and sophomore Will Hill each went undefeated in the first session of bouts. Juniors Issac Miller and Greg DeGrand, sophomore Nick Muzashvili, and freshman Matt Lamb each suffered one loss, but all bounced back to win in their first consolation match.
Morgan, ranked No. 1 at 118 pounds, received a first-round bye and then pinned Scott Clough of Wisconsin in 1:35, setting up a semi-final match with Tim Dernlan of Purdue. Morgan defeated Dernlan 3-1 during the dual meet season.
At 126, McNamara downed Ohio State's Robbie Archer, 4-2, in the first round, then recorded a 5-2 decision over Josh Hutchens of Purdue to move onto the semi-finals. He will face top-seeded Eric Jetton of Wisconsin for the right to wrestle in the championship.
In one of the biggest surprises of the day, the unseeded Hill came away with a 6-5 decision over second-seeded Jeff Catrabone of Michigan in the first round at 167. After his upset of the fourth-ranked Catrabone, Hill went on to defeat Butch Hildebrand of Indiana, 9-5. Hill will take on sixth-seeded Mark Bybee in the semis.
In the 134 bracket, Miller, who decisioned Eric Kerkhof of Purdue in the first round, lost to top-ranked Mark Ironside of Iowa in the semi-finals and then went on to an 8-3 decision over Grant Hoerr of Wisconsin. Miller will wrestle in the consolation semis this evening. Likewise, DeGrand secured a spot in the 158-pound consolation semi-finals, upending Michigan's Jason Rawls 8-3 in the second round, after suffering a 2-1 setback at the hands of Wisconsin's Cory Wallman in the firs round. 190-pounder Muzashvili grabbed 7-5 overtime decision against Indiana's Jason Devries to advance to the semis after losing 25-9 to Wes Hand of Iowa in the first round. Heavyweight Matt Lamb rounded out the Spartan semi-finalists when he scored a 3-2 win over Matt Mondalek of Ohio State in the first round of the consolation bracket. Lamb was defeated 7-2 in overtime by Aaron Stark of Wisconsin in the first round.
At 142, freshman Mike Castillo opened with a loss to No. 2 seed Jason Davids of Minnesota after a first-round bye, and will wrestle this evening. Sophomore 150-pounder David Hughes and freshman 177-pounder James Brimm each lost their first two matches and have been eliminated from the tournament.
The semi-final round will commence tonight at 7:00 p.m., and those advancing will wrestle in the consolation and championship finals Sunday afternoon.