Jan. 17, 2012
The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (4-2, 3-1 Big ten) will wrap up its three-match homestand on Sunday (Jan. 22), hosting intrastate rival and 19th-ranked Central Michigan at 2 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. The match marks U-M's final non-conference dual match of the season.
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||5th/Sr.||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)|
MICHIGAN BY THE NUMBERS:
Complete Statistics: Through Jan. 13
LAST TIME OUT: vs. Indiana
The Wolverines claimed eight individual matches, earning bonus points in five, to roll Indiana, 33-6, last Friday (Jan. 13). Michigan won the first seven matches to rush to a 30-0 start, before the Hoosiers claimed two of the final three bouts to narrow the final score. U-M scored bonus in five of the first six matches, including a pin from senior Zac Stevens at 133 pounds and technical falls from fifth-year seniors Kellen Russell and Dave Johnson at 141 and 165 pounds, respectively. [ Full Recap ]
In the Bonus -- With his technical fall against Indiana, fifth-year senior Kellen Russell's notched his eighth bonus win in nine matches, stretching back to the seventh-place contest at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, held Dec. 2-3. Over the stretch, Russell earned six major decisions and two technical falls. Russell has earned bonus points in 63 percent of his wins this season. He boasts 12 bonus wins: one pin, three tech falls and eight major decisions.
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 60 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 36 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 56-6 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 (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 honors 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 win, fifth-year senior Kellen Russell moved to 17th among Michigan's all-time wins leaders with a career record of 120-12. He shares the spot with Lanny Green (120-47, 1990-93) and needs just one more win to reach the 16th position, currently held by three-time All-American Tyrel Todd (121, 2006-09). Russell's current career win percentage of .909 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 92-61 over the weekend, inching closer to joining Russell in Michigan's prestigious 100-Win Club. With eight 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 151-71-5 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).
THE WOLVERINE WRESTLING WRAP PODCAST
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 8, Jan. 17 (coming soon) ]
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.
IN THE POLLS
Michigan climbed to the No. 10 position in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, released Tuesday (Jan. 17).
[ 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:
Friday, Jan. 27 -- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 7:30 p.m. CST
Sunday, Jan. 29 -- vs. Michigan State (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423