Michigan State Wrestling Set to Host No. 4 Penn State at Kellogg Arena
Jan. 5, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Spartan wrestling team plays host to No. 4 Penn State on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 2 p.m. at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich. The dual serves as a cornerstone event for the Michigan Youth Wrestling Association's Spartan Country Tournament to bridge together youth and collegiate wrestling in a single setting.
"Penn State is the defending national champ and they have most of their guys back," head coach Tom Minkel said. "They are one of the two or three strongest teams in the country. I'm glad to have it early in the semester so we can really see where we are and what we need to work on. We are looking forward to competing against them."
The Spartan Country Tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. and the event will be wrestled on approximately 15 mats continuously throughout the day. The youth tournament will stop to prepare for the collegiate dual at 2 p.m. The youth tournament will then commence again after completion of the dual.
"School is not back yet here and it is a little quiet," Minkel said. "This gives us an opportunity to feature a big time dual against a big time team in front of youth wrestlers and their families at the Kellogg Arena. I think it will be a great venue and I think we will have a lot of enthusiasm and it is a great event for youth wrestlers that may be aspiring to wrestle in college."
Tickets for the event can be purchased at Kellogg Arena and are $7 for adults and $3 for children.
Michigan State (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) is coming off a holiday trip to the Reno Tournament of Champions where it placed fifth as a team with 66 points. Six Spartan wrestlers placed in the top six individually and Dan Osterman (149) and David Cheza (165) both finished third.
Penn State (4-1, 0-1 Big Ten) recently took first at the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 2 with 195.5 team points and had four wrestlers claim individual titles. The Nittany Lions' conference loss came at the hands of No. 3 Minnesota, 23-14, back on Nov. 20.
Michigan State trails Penn State in the all-time series, 15-9-0, and the last Spartan win came on Jan. 15, 2005, when the Spartans beat Penn State 19-12 at home.
Next up the Spartans settle in for their first home weekend with duals Friday, Jan. 13 against West Virginia at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 15 against Indiana at 2 p.m. Both contests will be held at Jenison Field House.
LAST TIME OUT
Six individual wrestlers placed at the tournament, Dan Osterman (149) and David Cheza (165) both placed third in the event. Other Spartans that placed were; Anthony Jones Jr. (157) fourth, Curran Jacobs (174) fifth, Nick McDiarmid (197) fifth and Steve Andrus (heavyweight) sixth.
MILESTONE FOR MINKEL
BIG TEN OPENER
LOADED AT HEAVYWEIGHT
"Three of the best heavyweights in the country, and they're all in the same program," Minkel said at the beginning of the season. "Seriously, these guys are great wrestlers, but they have really helped make each other great. They all have different styles and they're all big."
Lock Haven was up first for the Spartans and Michigan State dropped only two matches en route to a 30-6 victory. After then traveling to Bucknell, Michigan State dropped two of the first three matches before stringing together seven consecutive wins to take a 27-6 win.
ANCHORS IN THE MIDDLE
SPLIT WITH EASTERN MICHIGAN
"Whenever you have that kind of experience in your lineup, you have the potential to have a pretty special season," said Minkel prior to the season. "We expect to have a pretty good season."
REPRESENT ON HOME TURF
The Spartans had 16 wrestlers place in the top six on the day, including individual titles from David Cheza in the 157-pound open division and Nick Proctor in the 165-pound freshman/sophomore division.
SPARTANS ADD TWO
"Nick and Jordan are both very successful high school wrestlers and are really committed to Michigan State," said Minkel. "They're really excited about wrestling here. We're definitely looking forward to having them as a part of our program.
Nick Trimble won the 2011 Michigan Division 2 state title at 130 pounds with a 9-5 victory over previously unbeaten Jeff Jenkins of Tecumseh and Jordan Wohlfert won the 2011 Michigan Division 2 state title at 152 pounds with a 14-6 win over Dan Fleet of Lowell.
ELEVEN PLACE AT EMU OPEN
In his first collegiate tournament, true freshman Roger Wildmo won all six of his matches, including two falls, to claim first place at 149 pounds in the freshman/sophomore division.
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