Wrestlers Set To Compete In NCAA Championships
March 17, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State wrestling team will travel to St. Louis, Mo., to compete in the 2009 NCAA Championships on March 19-21.
The Spartans will send five wrestlers to the Scottrade Center - redshirt freshman Eric Olanowski (125 pounds), Big Ten champion and returning All-American Franklin Gomez (133), sophomore Anthony Jones Jr. (157), senior Rex Kendle (165) and redshirt freshman Ian Hinton (174).
MSU improves on sending one wrestler in 2008 (Gomez) to sending five this year.
LAST TIME OUT
Gomez pinned Indiana's Matt Ortega in 1:43 in the opening round, followed by a 19-4 technical fall victory over Michigan's Zac Stevens in the quarterfinals. He then defeated No. 6 seed Jake Strayer of Penn State to advance to the finals, where he would defeat fifth-seeded Reece Humphrey of Ohio State, 7-4, in double overtime.
Eric Olanowski, David Cheza and Anthony Jones Jr. picked up seventh-place finishes in the 125, 149 and 157-pound classes, respectively. Ian Hinton finished eighth at 184 to round out the Spartan placewinners.
Although the Spartans finished in 11th, three automatic bids to the NCAA Championships resulted from the tournament. Hinton and Kendle were also awarded at-large berths to the NCAA Championships.
HE'S NUMBER ONE
Gomez is also ranked No. 1 in the country at 133 pounds for the eighth week this season. He held the top spot for seven-straight weeks last fall and reclaimed it after earning the Big Ten crown.
2008 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS REWIND
After winning his first three matches, Gomez fell in the semifinal to Iowa's Joey Slaton, the No. 4 seed. He then defeated Cornell's Mike Grey and Illinois' Jimmy Kennedy to clinch third place and All-American status.
Saturday's medal rounds will be aired on ESPNU, while the final rounds will be shown on ESPN and ESPN360.com.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
The Spartan lineup consists of one true freshman, five redshirt freshmen, a sophomore, two juniors and only one senior. Overall, 21 of the team's 32 wrestlers are sophomores or younger.
REX KENDLE IS BURNING
Kendle was the 19th guest named Rex to be featured on Rome's show.
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