MSU Spartans
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Spartans Wrap Up Home Season Friday on Senior Day
Brenan Lyon will be one of four seniors recognized on Senior Day at Jenison Field House Friday at noon.
Brenan Lyon will be one of four seniors recognized on Senior Day at Jenison Field House Friday at noon.

Feb. 13, 2014

Match 17:
Michigan State (6-10) vs. Olivet College (15-5)
 Date | Time Friday, Feb. 14 | 12 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Televison Big Ten Digital Network |
 Live Stats
 Tickets Adults: $5 | Youth/Senior: $3 | Students: Free
 Game Notes Michigan State | Olivet College
 Social Media @wrestlingmsu | #B1GWrestle

The Michigan State wrestling team will finish its home season Friday with Senior Day against Olivet College at noon in Jenison Field House. The match will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network and will be available for purchase at

The Spartans (6-10, 1-7 Big Ten) concluded their Big Ten dual schedule with a win at Indiana last Sunday in Bloomington. MSU won six of the 10 matches, including five of the last six, to rally from a 13-3 deficit and earn the 18-16 comeback victory. With one match remaining and the Spartans trailing, 16-15, red-shirt freshman Garth Yenter recorded a commanding 10-3 decision over Chris Caton at 133 pounds to secure the victory for MSU.

Four Spartan seniors, all starters, will be recognized in a ceremony before the dual in celebration of Senior Day: Nick Kaczanowski (174 pounds), Brenan Lyon (125), Mike McClure (heavyweight) and Bobby Nash (165).

Olivet College enters the match ranked No. 4 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Poll. The Comets (15-5) feature four wrestlers ranked individually, including No. 3 Justin Holm (141 pounds), No. 7 Gage Pederson (149), No. 7 Jeff Holm (184) and No. 10 Nick Allen (174). OC's only losses this season have come to No. 1 Wartburg, No. 3 Messiah, No. 12 Coe (Iowa) College, Indiana Tech and Eastern Michigan, and it owns victories over five top-25 opponents (No. 2 Wisconsin-Whitewater, No. 5 Cortland State, No. 12 Ithaca, No. 21 St. John's (Minnesota), No. 23 Alma).

Following their dual against the Comets, the Spartans will travel to Central Michigan next Saturday, Feb. 22 to take on the Chippewas at 2 p.m. in the final dual of the regular season.

Michigan State vs. Olivet College: Probable Starting Lineups
 125 MSU: Brenan Lyon (Sr., 6-13) vs.
OC: Robbie Bidlingmaier (Sr., 11-4)
 133 MSU: Garth Yenter (R-Fr., 15-15) vs.
OC: Michael Gancer (Sr., 5-17)
 141 MSU: Terry Turner (So., 20-11) vs.
OC: No. 3 Justin Holm (Sr., 30-10)
 149 MSU: Nick Trimble (So., 19-10) vs.
OC: No. 7 Gage Pederson (Sr., 32-5)
 157 MSU: Roger Wildmo (So., 11-15) vs.
OC: Kyle Witgen (Jr., 21-15)
 165 MSU: Bobby Nash (Sr., 14-16) vs.
OC: Dan Fleet (Jr., 8-12)
 174 MSU: Nick Kaczanowski (6-10) vs.
OC: No. 20 Nick Allen (Jr., 22-6)
 184 MSU: John Rizqallah (Jr., 16-8) vs.
OC: No. 7 Jeff Holm (Sr., 26-10)
 197 MSU: Nick McDiarmid (Jr., 15-8) vs.
OC: Thomas Hall (So., 18-11)
 Hwt. MSU: No. 7 Mike McClure (Sr., 21-5) vs.
OC: Ryan Steverson (Jr., 8-15)


Nick Kaczanowski (174 pounds, Rochester Hills, Mich.)
Fifth-year senior has a 53-40 overall career record . . . has started in 10 career dual meets (4-6) . . . named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2013 . . . also named an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2013 . . . has started in seven duals this season (2-5) . . . owns a 6-10 overall record . . . defeated Matt Irick of Indiana by a 3-2 decision as MSU topped the Hoosiers on Feb. 9 . . . placed sixth at the Northern Iowa Open on Dec. 15.

Minkel on Kaczanowski: "Nick is a well-rounded kid and a great student. He has been in the lineup a fair amount in his career, and he has wrestled in the Big Ten Championships before. He is always learning, he is evolving, and we are really hoping that he will really finish strong here. He has a lot of potential here in the last month."

Brenan Lyon (125 pounds, Ithaca, Mich.)
Fifth-year senior has been in the starting lineup all four seasons (2009-10; 2011-14) at 125 pounds . . . owns a 29-60 overall record . . . has a 6-13 record this season and has started in 10 duals . . . took sixth place at the Northern Iowa Open . . . posted a 3-2 record to place fourth at the Cradle Gear Invitational in Lock Haven, Pa. . . . defeated Alonzo Shepard of Indiana, 5-0, to help MSU defeat the Hoosiers on Feb. 9.

Minkel on Lyon: "That win at Indiana was huge for Brenan. It was one of his last duals in his college career. We needed him to win in order to win the dual, and he came through and got it done. It wasn't easy, he was in a couple of scrambles that were pretty wild, but Brenan finished the job. He has always been there for us and done everything we have asked of him. He is a great student and just a terrific man all around. We have really leaned on him a lot over his career."

Mike McClure (Heavyweight, Holland, Mich.)
Fifth-year senior owns a 93-27 career record . . . three-year starter at heavyweight . . . has won six career tournaments, including two this season (Northern Iowa Open, Cradle Gear Invitational) . . . leads team in victories (21), dual meet victories (12) and falls (6) this season . . . 2013 NCAA Championships qualifier . . . finished seventh at the 2013 Big Ten Championships . . . went 34-7 last season (15-3 duals) and was named the program's Most Outstanding Wrestler . . . defeated No. 1 Adam Coon of Michigan on Jan. 24 . . . is two wins away from entering MSU's all-time top 20 for career victories.

Minkel on McClure: "Mike is everything that you would want in a student-athlete and a wrestler. He is committed, works remarkably hard, is a great student, and is a team player. He has just done a marvelous job of evolving into just a great representative of Michigan State and certainly he is doing all the right things on the mat. As we get into the final stretch of his senior season, we are looking for some big things from Mike."

Bobby Nash (165 pounds, Roseville, Mich.)
Fifth-year senior is in his first year in the starting lineup at 165 pounds . . . owns a 45-41 overall career record and 5-16 record in dual meets . . . owns a 14-16 overall record this season . . . has started in 15 of MSU's 16 duals (5-10) . . . took second place with a 3-1 record at the Cradle Gear Invitational on Dec. 29 in Lock Haven, Pa. . . . placed fifth at the Northern Iowa Invitational on Dec. 15 . . . recorded three straight wins over 2013 NCAA qualifiers at the Northeast Duals in Troy, N.Y. on Nov. 30, including pins over Nick Visicaro of Rutgers and John Staudenmayer of North Carolina.

Minkel on Nash: "Really at the beginning of the year, none of us were counting on Bobby starting. Then he just had a great start to the season. We had a great conversation this week and I think he'll be ready for the final month of the season. I think he will finish strong and he's got the potential to do some serious damage at the Big Ten's and NCAA's. I don't think anybody sees him coming, so if he wrestles soundly he can finish pretty strong."

On being proud after a Big Ten road victory at Indiana...
"That was enormously important for us and for the guys to get some reward for their resiliency. We just had murderers row (of a schedule) over January and the first half of February. I have never seen a tougher schedule than that and I doubt anybody's had a tougher schedule than that. But with our team we just kept telling them that you need to be resilient, you need to keep working, you need to not give up on yourself or your teammates, and the guys have done that. I think that the Indiana dual showed that and our intent now is to finish strong as we start to get into the stretch of the season."

Thoughts on senior day...
"It happens every year and I am never fully prepared for it. I remember recruiting these guys and it just seems like yesterday. Now they are in the home stretch of their senior year. But the nice thing is once you are a part of this wrestling family; you are always a part of it. I got an email from Brian Picklo, who showed up my first week here at Michigan State, and we still stay in touch. It's the relationships you build with these kids and the input you have and the effect you have on their lives and the sport has on their lives. It is something that often changes them and makes them a little more capable of being capable of becoming productive adults and representing our program well, their families, and the school. So it's always hard to say goodbye because you won't see them day to day, but we will certainly always be connected to them and that's a great thing."

Michigan State and Olivet College have wrestled three previous times in series history - but not since 1905. In fact, Michigan State's first-ever wrestling match in program history was a 2.5 to 0.5 victory over Olivet College on May 15, 1886. Michigan State also posted a 5-1 victory over Olivet on May 26, 1902, and a 5-0 win on March 4, 1905.

Eight of MSU's 16 duals this season have come against ranked opponents currently ranked in the NWCA/USA TODAY Top 25, including four in the top 10 (No. 1 Minnesota, No. 2 Penn State, No. 3 Iowa, No. 8 Michigan). The Spartans have also wrestled No. 13 Ohio State, No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 18 Illinois and No. 25 Oregon State.

Senior Mike McClure is in his third year as a starter at heavyweight for the Spartans. The Holland, Mich., native earned his first trip to the NCAA Championships last season as a junior and is looking to return to the national stage this March to earn All-America honors. McClure, who owns a career record of 93-27, is two victories away from entering MSU's all-time top 20 for wins.

Ranked seventh by InterMat, McClure has collected a 21-5 overall record, including a 12-4 mark in dual meets (5-3 Big Ten). He's also the team leader with six falls. McClure is 3-4 against ranked opponents, with victories over No. 1 Adam Coon (Michigan), No. 6 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) and No. 18 William Smith (Rutgers) and losses to No. 4 Adam Chalfant (Indiana) [twice], No. 4 Bobby Telford (Iowa) and No. 2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota).

McClure is 9-1 in open tournaments this season and claimed first place at both the Northern Iowa Open in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Dec. 14 and the Cradle Gear Invitational in Lock Haven, Pa., on Dec. 29.

Three-year starter Nick McDiarmid has collected a career-high eight dual wins this season at 197 pounds. The junior from Fowlerville, Mich., is 8-5 in duals this season and 15-8 overall. He placed runner-up at the Cradle Gear Invitational and fifth at the MSU Open. McDiarmid also owns wins over two ranked opponents in duals this season (No. 14 Brandon Palik of Drexel; No. 15 Nick Whitenburg of Eastern Michigan). For his career, McDiarmid is 53-30.

Junior John Rizqallah ranks second on the team with nine dual wins and has produced a 16-8 overall record this season at 184 pounds. Rizqallah entered the national rankings in January after going 4-0 and taking first place at the Cradle Gear Invitational on Dec. 29 in Lock Haven, Pa.

Rizqallah is 2-4 against ranked opponents this season, including a victory over No. 15 Jackson Hein of Wisconsin in the dual against the Badgers on Dec. 8. Rizqallah nearly upset No. 3 Ethen Lofthouse of Iowa on Jan. 4 in Iowa City, but lost 4-2 after giving up the lead in the third period.

Rizqallah, who qualified for the NCAA Championships last season, owns a 51-27 career record.

The Michigan State wrestling team rallied to defeat Indiana, 18-16, Sunday, Feb. 9 at University Gym in the final Big Ten dual of the season. With one match remaining and the Spartans trailing, 16-15, red-shirt freshman Garth Yenter recorded a commanding 10-3 decision over Chris Caton at 133 pounds to secure the victory for MSU. The Spartans won six of the 10 matches in the dual, including five of the last six.

Indiana jumped out to a 13-3 lead after claiming three of the first four matches. Trevor Moody opened the dual with a 4-2 decision over sophomore Brian Gibbs at 141 pounds, but sophomore Nick Trimble tied the team score at 3 after notching his first-ever Big Ten dual win, a 6-5 decision over Eric Roach at 149 pounds.

IU (7-9, 0-8 Big Ten) countered in the 157 and 165-pound weight classes, producing back-to- back victories. Seventh-ranked Taylor Walsh pinned sophomore Roger Wildmo and Ryan LeBlanc topped senior Bobby Nash by major decision, 16-5.

At 174 pounds, senior Nick Kaczanowski won the first of three straight matches for the Spartans with a 3-2 win over Matt Irick. Junior John Rizqallah followed with a 3-1 decision over Luke Sheridan and junior Nick McDiarmid produced his third Big Ten dual win of the season with a 4-0 shutout against Cheney Dale to trim the Hoosier lead to 13-12.

Seventh-ranked heavyweight Mike McClure had his four-match winning streak snapped by No. 4 Adam Chalfant in a 5-1 decision, but it would be the final victory of the day for Indiana.

At 125 pounds, senior Brenan Lyon shut out Alonzo Shepard, 5-0, setting up Yenter's 10-3 triumph over Caton in the dual's finale.




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