Weekly Release #8: Michigan Completes Big Ten Home Stand vs. MSU

Jan. 26, 2010

Friday, Jan. 29 -- vs. Michigan State (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
Live Results | Live Video

The University of Michigan wrestling team (4-9, 0-2 Big Ten) will wrap up its three-meet homestand with a Big Ten dual against intrastate rival Michigan State on Friday (Jan. 29). The meet is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Cliff Keen Arena.

Meet Promotions
Pre-Meet Clinic -- All wrestlers are invited to attend a free clinic instructed by Michigan wrestling coaching staff. The free pre-meet clinic will be held at the new wrestling practice facility on S. State St. near the Varsity Tennis Center from 4-5:30 p.m. For more details, please contact eallett@umich.edu.

High School Team Night #1 -- High school wrestling teams are invited to attend this match FREE of charge! All team members and up to three coaches are eligible to receive FREE admission by faxing (734-615-1567) or emailing (eallett@umich.edu) a roster at least two days prior to the meet(s) that they plan to attend.

Youth Wrestling Day #1 -- Michigan wrestling welcomes all Michigan Youth Wrestling Association participants. Local MYWA members are eligible for FREE admission with a voucher. If you did not receive a voucher, please contact eallett@umich.edu.

Post-Meet Autographs -- All members of the 2009-10 Michigan wrestling team will be available for autographs immediately following the meet on the Cliff Keen Arena floor.

Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup

Wgt. Name Year/Elig. Hometown (High School)
125 Sean Boyle Fr./Fr. Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)
133 Zac Stevens So./So. Monroe, Mich. (Monroe)
141 Mark Weber So./So. Goodrich, Mich. (Goodrich)
149 Mark Boyer So./Fr. Battle Creek, Mich. (Pennfield)
157 Dave Johnson Jr./So. Jenison, Mich. (Jenison)
165 Aaron Hynes Sr./Jr. Mt. Morris, Mich. (Flint Kearsley)
174 Justin Zeerip Jr./So. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
184 Hunter Collins So./Fr. Gilroy, Calif. (Gilroy)
OR Erich Smith Jr./So. Ishpeming, Mich. (Westwood)
197 Anthony Biondo Sr./Jr. Clinton Twp., Mich. (Chippewa Valley)
Hwt Ben Apland So./Fr. Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)
OR Eddie Phillips Sr./Jr. Woodland, Mich. (Lakewood)

Complete Statistics: Through Jan. 29

The Wolverines struggled in their Big Ten opening weekend, falling to perennial powers No. 1 Iowa (36-0, Jan. 22) and No. 5 Minnesota (30-6, Jan. 23) at Cliff Keen Arena. Junior/sophomore Dave Johnson and senior/junior captain Anthony Biondo (Clinton Twp., Mich./Chippewa Valley HS) claimed individual victories at 157 and 197 pounds, respectively, for Michigan. Johnson won a wild one at 157, using an extended scramble in overtime to rally back past Joe Grygelko, 6-4, while Biondo picked up his second win over 16th-ranked Sonny Yohn this season, gaining an early lead and holding on to knock off the Gopher wrestler, 5-2.

A Career Year -- After suffering just his third loss of the season to Iowa's Luke Lofthouse (Jan. 22), senior/junior captain Anthony Biondo rebounded the following night to defeat Minnesota's 16th-ranked Sonny Yohn, 5-2, on a first-period single leg and second-period reversal. Biondo boasts a 25-3 record on the season, already claiming two more wins than his previous career high -- he tallied a 23-13 record at 197 pounds in his first varsity season. In two years at 197 pounds, Biondo owns an impressive 49-16 record while registering an 18-15 mark at 184 pounds last season. The Wolverine captain dropped a couple spots -- to No. 11 -- in the latest edition of the InterMat national rankings.

This Just-in -- Despite dropping a pair of decisions to ranked Iowa and Minnesota opponents last weekend (Jan. 22-23), junior/sophomore Justin Zeerip held to the No. 16 spot in the most recent 174-pound InterMat rankings. Zeerip owns a pair of wins over ranked competition this season, using a ride out in the third tiebreaker to beat Bucknell's 17th-ranked Shane Riccio, 2-1, in a 13-minute marathon at the Virginia Duals (Jan. 8-9) and similarly defeating Ohio State's 20th-ranked Dave Rella, 2-1, in the first tiebreaker in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 4-5) consolation semifinal round. Zeerip is 22-14 this season and stands just one win shy of his career best in the category. Eleven of his 14 losses have come against nationally ranked competition.

Finding His Groove -- Freshman Sean Boyle swept his day-two matches at the Virginia Duals (Jan. 8-9) en route to a 4-1 weekend record at the prestigious dual-meet tournament. He outscored his opposition 20-9, holding his final three opponents to just an escape apiece. In perhaps his most notable win, Boyle needed nothing more than a second-period escape and riding time to edge past Kent State's Troy Opfer, 3-1, for the second time this season. The Wolverine rookie rode out all but the final second of the third period to accumulate 1:44 in total time advantage and picked up a penalty point late in the frame when Opfer intentionally kicked him in the head. Boyle, who dropped two matches to top-six-ranked opposition last weekend in Michigan's Iowa and Minnesota duals (Jan. 22-23), is 18-14 on the season and has won 11 of his last 17 matches.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Joe McFarland is in his 11th 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 136-58-5 record at the helm and has led 18 different student-athletes to three NCAA individual titles, 39 All-America citations and 17 Big Ten individual crowns.

Michigan State -- The Wolverines leads the all-time series with Michigan State by a 62-34-5 margin, dating back to 1926. Michigan has dominated in recent years, winning nine of the last 11 meets. In last season's meeting between the two rival programs, U-M claimed eight of 10 matches, including the last six in a row, en route to a 28-7 home victory. With their major decision victory at 133 pounds and a decision at 149, the Spartans held a narrow one-point edge after the dual's fourth bout. Michigan's senior captains Steve Luke and Tyrel Todd claimed bonus points with a major decision at 174 and first-period pin at 197 pounds, respectively, while U-M heavyweight Eddie Phillips avenged a previous loss and knocked off high-school teammate Alan O'Donnell, 3-1, in overtime to cap the Wolverines' performance. MSU is 6-3-1 on the season and 0-2 in Big Ten competition after dropping weekend duals to Minnesota (18-16, Jan. 22) and Illinois (23-12, Jan. 24). The Spartans boast two nationally ranked wrestlers, most notably No. 1 Franklin Gomez at 133 pounds. Michigan State on the Internet: www.msuspartans.com.

Every Thursday, head coach Joe McFarland will offer insider access to his program in the rapid-fire Thursday Throwdown audio podcast. McFarland will touch on topics ranging from his wrestlers, Michigan's opponents, strategy and the other events of the season in each weekly feature. [ Check out the latest episode on or subscribe to Michigan Athletics on iTunes ]

Michigan wrestling is now on Twitter. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (Michigan_wrestl) 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.

Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, the University of Michigan athletics department will no longer print media guides. U-M fans and media can still obtain all the information they're used to, only now it's available online. If you're looking for in-depth historical information, statistics, records, archives, etc., the Record Book is what you'll need. For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook. [ Check them both out in our new publications section ]

The Wolverines remain just outside of the top 25 in the latest national poll, released Tuesday (Jan. 5) by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. U-M boasts two nationally ranked wrestlers in junior/sophomore Justin Zeerip and senior/junior Anthony Biondo, listing 16th at 174 pounds and 11th at 197 pounds, respectively.

Friday, Feb. 5 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 7 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 1 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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