Week #8: Home Big Ten Meet with Indiana Up Next for Michigan

Jan. 10, 2012

Friday, Jan. 13 -- vs. Indiana (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
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Promotions: Blue Crew Chowdown, Pre-Meet Clinic, Post-Match Autographs

The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (3-2, 2-1 Big Ten) will resume Big Ten Conference dual action on Friday (Jan. 13), hosting Indiana at 7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena.

Prior to Sunday's dual meet, the Wolverines will host a free clinic from 5-6 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. The clinic, the third and final of the 2011-12 season, is open to all ages and skill levels and will feature technique instruction from Jake Herbert and Ryan Churella as well as members of the Wolverine team. No registration is necessary, and video cameras will be permitted. All clinic participants will receive free admission to the dual and a food voucher. [ Clinic Information ]

Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup

Wgt. Name Year/Elig. Hometown (High School)
125 Grant Pizzo Jr./So. Brighton, Mich. (Brighton)
133 Zac Stevens Sr./Sr. Monroe, Mich. (Monroe)
141 Kellen Russell 5th/Sr. High Bridge, N.J. (Blair Academy)
149 Eric Grajales Jr./So. Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
157 Brandon Zeerip Jr./So. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
165 Dan Yates Jr./So. Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
174 Justin Zeerip Sr./Jr. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
184 Hunter Collins Sr./Jr. Gilroy, Calif. (Gilroy)
197 Max Huntley So./Fr. Emerald Isle, N.C. (Blair Academy)
Hwt Ben Apland Sr./Jr. Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)

Complete Statistics: Through Jan. 8

LAST TIME OUT: at Northwestern, vs. Illinois
The Wolverines split their weekend Big Ten dual meets against teams from the Land of Lincoln, crushing No. 17 Northwestern, 28-9, on Friday evening (Jan. 6) before losing to No. 7 Illinois, 31-9, on Sunday (Jan. 8). Michigan claimed eight individual matches against the Wildcats, earning four major decisions, including a 14-2 win from fifth-year senior Kellen Russell at 141 pounds. Bonus points doomed the Wolverines against Illinois, which earned three pins, including two in the opening three bouts. Russell, sophomore/freshman Max Huntley and senior/junior Ben Apland notched decision wins at 141 and 197 pounds and heavyweight, respectively. [ Recaps: Northwestern | Illinois ]

In the Bonus -- Fifth-year senior Kellen Russell's 14-2 major decision over Northwestern's Colin Shober last Friday (Jan. 6) was his seventh consecutive bonus win, stretching back to the seventh-place contest at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, held Dec. 2-3. He saw that streak come to an end with his decision victory over Illinois' Daryl Thomas (Jan. 8). Over the stretch, Russell earned six major decisions and one technical fall. Russell has earned bonus points in 61.1 percent of his wins this season. He boasts 11 bonus wins: one pin, two tech falls and eight major decisions.

Repeat Performance -- Junior/sophomore Dan Yates, fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip and sophomore/freshman Max Huntley all earned their second season win over their respective Northwestern opponents last Friday (Jan. 6) after previously defeating them in their season debuts at the Michigan State Open on Nov. 12. Zeerip and Huntley both defeated ranked opposition, No. 8 Lee Munster and No. 20 John Schoen, respectively, at 174 and 197 pounds.

Ironman -- Senior Zac Stevens has remained a consistent fixture in the Wolverine lineup over the last four seasons, appearing in every tournament and starting every dual meet -- a stretch of 59 consecutive duals -- at 133 pounds since his arrival on campus.

Dual Dominance -- Fifth-year senior Kellen Russell has not lost a dual match three seasons, winning 35 consecutive dual matches. The Wolverine captain started 1-1 in 2008-09 dual meets before claiming 16 straight dual appearances to close out the season. After sitting out the 2009-10 with injury, he went undefeated last year, posting a 16-0 record in dual meets. Russell boasts an impressive 53-6 dual record over his collegiate career.

Big Ben -- Senior/junior Ben Apland posted a perfect 3-0 record en route to the heavyweight crown at the Mat Town Invitational on Dec. 29, avenging an earlier season loss to Kent State's 15th-ranked Brendan Barlow with a 2-0 decision in the championship match. Apland also picked up bonus points on a major decision in the quarterfinals and a semifinal pin over Drexel's Kyle Frey. The tournament win was the first for Apland in his collegiate career; he previously took runner-up five times, most notably at the 2010 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and 2010 Southern Scuffle.

Reversal of Fortune -- Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) is 15-1 on the season, and among his victories are three decisions over opponents who previously beat him a year ago. Zeerip used a pair of reversals to edge Pittsburgh's Ethan Headlee in his most recent match on Nov. 19, avenging a 3-1 sudden-victory loss to the Panther wrestler in last season's dual opener. In his season debut at the Michigan State open on Nov. 12, Zeerip earned a decisive 9-4 victory over Michigan State's Curran Jacobs in the semifinal round. Jacobs had previously defeated the Wolverine, 6-5 in the tiebreaker, at the 2011 Big Ten Championships.

Climbing the Charts -- With his weekend wins, fifth-year senior Kellen Russell moved to 18th among Michigan's all-time wins leaders with a career record of 119-12. He shares the spot with Larry Gotcher (1988-90) and needs just one more win to reach the 17th position, currently held by two-time All-American Lanny Green (120-47, 1990-93). Russell's current career win percentage of .906 ranks third among the Wolverines leaders in the category, trailing only Dave Porter (.944, 1966-68) and Mark Churella (.910, 1975-79).

Nearing the Century Club -- Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip improved to 91-61 over the weekend, inching closer to joining Russell in Michigan's prestigious 100-Win Club. With nine more wins, he will become the 35th Wolverine wrestle to tally 100 career victories.

Boyle to Redshirt -- Junior Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy), the Wolverines' two-year starting 125-pounder, had surgery in December to mend a nagging pre-season injury and will now redshirt the 2011-12 season. Boyle, who went 28-15 last season, took fourth place at the 2011 Big Ten Championships and advanced to the NCAA Championships Round of 12, finishing just one match shy of All-America honors.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Joe McFarland is in his 13th season as head coach of the Michigan wrestling team. Since taking over the reins in 1999, McFarland has helped mold Michigan into a highly-touted national contender, guiding the U-M wrestling squad to three Big Ten dual-meet championships (2004, '05, '06) and eight consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships (2001-08), including an NCAA runner-up performance in 2005. He is the third winningest coach in program history with a 150-71-5 record at the helm and has led 18 different student-athletes to four NCAA individual titles, 40 All-America citations and 18 Big Ten individual crowns.

Welcome Aboard -- Michigan added three new coaches to its staff this offseason -- assistants Sean Bormet and Donny Pritzlaff and volunteer coach Kyle Massey. Bormet rejoined the Wolverine program after molding the Overtime School of Wrestling into the nation's premiere wrestling club over the last 10 years. Bormet, a two-time All-American and Big Ten champion as a Wolverine wrestler (1991-94), previously spent one season as a Wolverine assistant coach (1999-2000). Pritzlaff served five seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (2007-11) -- the last two as associate head coach -- where he guided the Badgers to three straight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a fourth-place finish in 2010. Massey spent the two seasons on the coaching staff at Wisconsin, serving one year as volunteer assistant coach (2009-10) and another as the Badgers' volunteer strength coach (2010-11).

Every week, members of the Michigan coaching staff will offer insider access to his program in the rapid-fire Wolverine Wrestling Wrap audio podcast. The Wolverine coaches will touch on topics ranging from his wrestlers, Michigan's opponents, strategy and the other events of the season in each weekly feature. [ Wolverine Wrestling Wrap - Episode 7 (1/10/12) ]

Facebook: Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganwrestling. Facebook is a social network service and website with more than 500 million active users.

Twitter: Sign up and follow the Wolverines (umichwrestling) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

Michigan dropped to the No. 11 position in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, released Tuesday (Jan. 10). [ Full Rankings ]

The Wolverines also boast seven individuals ranked among the top 20 wrestlers in their respective weight classes in the InterMat, Amateur Wrestling News, WIN Magazine or D1 College Wrestling polls:

133 Zac Stevens 17 14 15 18
141 Kellen Russell 2 1 1 2
149 Eric Grajales 11 4 9 3
165 Dan Yates 17 15 20 22
174 Justin Zeerip 5 8 5 5
197 Max Huntley 15 14 14 16
Hwt Ben Apland 15 12 10 12

Sunday, Jan. 22 -- vs. Central Michigan (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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