Eight Wolverines Place at Season-Opening EMU Open

Nov. 5, 2011

Site: Ypsilanti, Mich. (Bowen Field House)
Event: Eastern Michigan Open
U-M Team Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Nov. 12 -- at Michigan State Open (ex.) (East Lansing, Mich.), 9 a.m.

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Competing unattached in its first competitive appearance of the 2011-12 season, the University of Michigan wrestling team crowned one individual champion and placed eight among the top six of their respective weight classes on Saturday (Nov. 5) at the Eastern Michigan Open, held at EMU's Bowen Field House.

With the Wolverines' projected starting lineup sitting out the first scheduled event, it was Michigan's freshmen that stole the show with six top-three finishes in the freshman/sophomore division. Freshman Justin Dozier (Woodhaven, Mich./Woodhaven HS) headlined the rookie contingent, posting a perfect 4-0 record -- with two pins -- en route to the heavyweight crown. Dozier rallied to defeat Ohio State's Orry Elor, 4-3, in the championship match, scoring the winning takedown on a double leg in the final 15 seconds of the third period.

Dozier's win capped a stretch of five straight Michigan victories to close the tournament as freshman Camryn Jackson (Lansing, Mich./Eastern HS), freshman Connor Brancheau (Fenton, Mich./Lake Fenton HS), freshman Ben Ralston (Oxford, Mich./Oxford HS) and sophomore/freshman Chris Heald (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS) claimed their third-place matches at 141, 165, 174 and 184 pounds, respectively.

All four Wolverine rookies earned multiple bonus wins, most notably Jackson and Ralston, who tallied four apiece. Jackson scored a pin and three major decisions, including a dominant 12-3 victory -- on four takedowns and an early three-point near fall -- over Michigan State's Brian Gibbs in the third-place contest. Ralston, who went 6-1 on the day, picked up a fall, a technical fall and two major decisions. He defeated Tiffin's Jake Cramer, 10-3, in the third-place bout at 174 pounds, scoring on two takedowns and a reversal while accumulating 2:16 in riding time.

Sophomore/freshman Donnie Watkins (Canton, Mich./Canton HS) rounded out Michigan's placewinners in the freshman/sophomore division, taking second place at 141 pounds with a 4-1 record. Watkins won three straight matches against Michigan State opponents to advance to the championship match, where he fell to Kent State's Tyler Small via a first-period pin. Small wrapped him up in a cradle to end the bout at 2:28.

Both of Michigan's open-division representatives earned top-six finishes as junior/sophomore Mike Hillock (Massillon, Ohio/Perry HS) went 5-1 en route to a third-place finish at 149 pounds and sophomore/freshman Jake Salazar (Midway City, Utah/Wasatch HS) took sixth at 157 pounds with a 3-3 mark. After falling in the semifinal round, Hillock ended his tournament appearance with consecutive wins, pinning Michigan State's Dan Osterman at 5:57 before using a first-period takedown to edge Kent State's Tommy Sasfy, 3-1.

The Wolverines will return to action next Saturday (Nov. 12) at the annual Michigan State Open in East Lansing, Mich. Unattached action is slated for a 9 a.m. start at Jenison Field House.


Open Division

149 - Mike Hillock
First Round - dec. Mike Fee (Ohio State), 5-2
Second Round - pinned Joel Smith (Arizona State), 3:29
Quarterfinal - dec. Tommy Sasfy (Kent State), 5-2
Semifinal - dec. by Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue), 6-1
Consolations - pinned Dan Osterman (Michigan State), 5:57
Third Place - dec. Tommy Sasfy (Kent State), 3-1
Finished in third place with a 5-1 record

157 - Jake Salazar
First Round - Bye
Second Round - dec. Robert Troy (Brockport State), 11-4
Quarterfinal - dec. Ryan Watts (Michigan State), 7-1
Semifinal - dec. by Josh Demas (Ohio State), 3-1
Consolations - dec. by Thomas Rispoli (Brockport State), 1-0
Fifth Place - dec. by Pat Robinson (Purdue), 8-5
Finished in sixth place with a 2-3 record

Freshman/Sophomore Division

133 - Zebulon Hilyard
First Round - dec. by Jake Byers (Eastern Michigan), 5-1
Consolations - pinned Jason Shell (Lindenwood), 4:12
Consolations - major dec. Ethan Swingle (Lindenwood), 11-0
Consolations - dec. by Mike Shaw (Eastern Michigan), 5-3 SV2
Eliminated with a 2-2 record

133 - Ryan Abrigo
First Round - dec. Brendan Walsh (Heidelberg), 6-0
Second Round - dec. Mike Shaw (Eastern Michigan), 4-2 SV
Quarterfinal - dec. by Zach Horan (Central Michigan), 11-6
Consolations - dec. by Mike Carlone (Cleveland State), 5-2
Eliminated with a 2-2 record

141 - Camryn Jackson
First Round - Bye
Second Round - pinned Sam Hanau (Central Michigan), 3:36
Third Round - major dec. Joe Randazzo (Indiana), 19-6
Quarterfinal - major dec. Derrik Marry (Eastern Michigan), 20-7
Semifinal - dec. by Tyler Small (Kent State), 5-3
Consolations - dec. Chris Teague (Campbellsville), 8-7
Third Place - major dec. Brian Gibbs (Michigan State), 13-3
Finished in third place with a 5-1 record

141 - Donnie Watkins
First Round - Bye
Second Round - pinned Wayne Black (Mount St. Joseph), 1:00
Third Round - dec. Andrew Ermatinger (Michigan State), 13-9
Quarterfinal - dec. Zach Corcoran (Michigan State), 7-6
Semifinal - dec. Brian Gibbs (Michigan State), 9-7 SV
Final - pinned by Tyler Small (Kent State), 2:28
Finished in second place with a 4-1 record

149 - John Evashevski
First Round - Bye
Second Round - dec. by Jacob Schultz (Kent State), 7-5
Consolations - major dec. Chris Pajdzik (Calumet), 9-0
Consolations - dec. by Drake Meska (Indiana Tech), 1-0
Eliminated with a 1-2 record

149 - Tommy Brosnahan
First Round - Bye
Second Round - dec. by Roger Wildmo (Michigan State), 7-2
Consolations - pinned Steven Rispoli (Brockport State), 1:13
Consolations - dec. by Cullen Smith (Central Michigan), 6-1
Eliminated with a 1-2 record

165 - Brandon Hill
First Round - Bye
Second Round - dec. by Nick Proctor (Michigan State), 6-4 SV
Consolations - dec. Chris Baker (Tiffin University), 4-3)
Consolations - dec. Mike Haumesser (Eastern Michigan), 11-7
Withdrew with a 2-1 record

165 - Connor Brancheau
First Round - dec. Chris Baker (Tiffin), 6-4
Second Round - pinned Ryan Peters (Calumet), 1:18
Quarterfinal - dec. Andy Hoselton (Purdue), 5-1
Semifinal - dec. by Tyler Gargano (Kent State), 8-6
Consolations - dec. Paul Gryniuk (Campbellsville), 10-4
Third Place - major dec. Mark Back (Lindsey Wilson), 14-3
Finished in third place with a 5-1 record

165 - William Royster
First Round - dec. by Tyler Gargano (Kent State), 5-2
Consolations - won by medical forfeit over Mike Vollant (Kent State)
Consolations - dec. John Tyler (Calumet), 8-5
Withdrew with a 2-1 record

174 - Ben Ralston
First Round - major dec. Nick Manning (Mount St. Joseph), 15-1
Second Round - pinned Jamal Carter (Michigan State), 2:15
Quarterfinal - dec. by Caleb Marsh (Kent State), 5-2
Consolations - major dec. Tyler Ray (Mount St. Joseph), 11-2
Consolations - tech. fall Nick Manning (Mount St. Joseph), 17-2 (7:00)
Consolations - dec. Kwan Bailey (Kent State), 8-2
Third Place - dec. Jake Cramer (Tiffin), 10-3
Finished in third place with a 6-1 record

174 - Miles Trealout
First Round - Bye
Second Round - dec. by Drake Stein (Purdue), 9-6
Consolations - dec. by Nick Manning (Mount St. Joseph), 6-0
Eliminated with a 0-2 record

184 - Chris Heald
First Round - Bye
Second Round - dec. Jake Cochran (Heidelberg), 7-0
Quarterfinal - tech. fall Kyle Riley Hawkins (Ohio State), 15-0
Semifinal - dec. by Cole Baxter (Kent State), 10-2
Consolations - dec. Dustin Boyd (Indiana Tech), 3-2
Third Place - major dec. Jeremy Stepp (Heidelberg), 11-0
Finished in third place with a 4-1 record

184 - David Sparling
First Round - Bye
Second Round - dec. by Jeremy Stepp (Heidelberg), 6-5
Consolations - pinned Marquis Walker (Muskegon C.C.), 5:36
Consolations - dec. by Kelly Burch (Lindenwood), 3-1
Eliminated with a 1-2 record

Hwt - Justin Dozier
First Round - Bye
Second Round - pinned Tyler Smith (Heidelberg). 5:15
Quarterfinal - pinned Derek Nickel (Lindsey Wilson), 5:30
Semifinal - dec. Jacob Gegg (Lindenwood), 4-0
Final - dec. Orry Elor (Ohio State), 4-3
Finished as the heavyweight champion with a 4-0 record


Michigan Assistant Coach Donny Pritzlaff
On the Wolverines' overall performance ... "I think, overall, the guys wrestled very tough. There are a lot of things we need to work on, just some technical areas that we can improve on. A lot of the guys who wrestled today were our younger guys, so it's not uncommon for us to have to go back and work on those areas. But we can build off the effort and the toughness. The effort was definitely there from just about everybody. Some guys lacked a little bit of effort in some positions in some matches, but overall we're very happy with the way we competed.

"Yesterday after practice, Sean [Bormet] and Joe [McFarland] were pretty adamant that we were going to be evaluating these guys on their effort and how hard they competed. I think they all rose to the occasion. We definitely have a lot to work with, and it's important to have the raw materials. Sometimes you get guys who don't seem like they wanted to be here competing, and you see that in some of the opposition, but our guys all wanted to be here and wanted to win. That's the most important thing."

On how the young Wolverines can build on successful performances ... "You see a guy like Justin Dozier, who just won and was our only champion. He gets beat on every day in the room between [Kyle] Massey and Ben [Apland], and to see him come out here and have some a lot of success is important for him to have some confidence and have something to build on. That's great."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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