Week #11: U-M to Wrestle at No. 6 OSU, No. 2 PSU in Final Dual Meets

Feb. 1, 2012

Friday, Feb. 3 -- at No. 6 Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 6 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network | Live Scoring
Sunday, Feb. 5 -- at No. 2 Penn State (State College, Pa.), 2 p.m.
Live Scoring | Live Audio (fee) | Live Video (fee)

The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (6-3, 4-2 Big ten) will close out its Big Ten dual schedule this weekend with a pair of road contests. The Wolverines will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face rival No. 6 Ohio State at 6 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 3) before wrapping up the weekend on Sunday (Feb. 5) with a 2 p.m. slate against No. 2 Penn State in State College, Pa.

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)

Complete Statistics: Through Jan. 29

LAST TIME OUT: at Minnesota, vs. Michigan State
The Wolverines split a pair of weekend Big Ten duals, falling to Minnesota, 23-15, on Friday (Jan. 27) before rebounding with a big 29-6 win over intrastate rival Michigan State in the home finale on Sunday (Jan. 29). Michigan won four in a row at the middleweights against the Gophers, including a quick fall from Kellen Russell at 141 pounds but let its upset bid slip away late as Minnesota took the final four bouts. The Wolverines won seven matches against MSU, earning bonus points in three, while all three U-M seniors in the lineup were victorious in their final appearance at Cliff Keen Arena.
[ Recaps: Minnesota | Michigan State ]


Grajales Goes for Five Straight -- Junior/sophomore Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon) has won his last four matches, including a pin and two major decisions. He is 14-3 overall and 6-2 in duals this season.

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 63 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 39 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 59-6 dual record over his collegiate career.

Climbing the Charts -- With his weekend wins, fifth-year senior Kellen Russell improved his career record to 123-12 and claimed sole possession of the 16th spot among Michigan's all-time wins leaders. He needs just one more win to reach the 15th spot, currently held by Josh Churella (124, 2005-08). Russell's current career win percentage of .911 ranks second among the Wolverines leaders in the category, trailing only Dave Porter (.944, 1966-68).

Nearing the Century Club -- Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip improved to 94-62 over the weekend, inching closer to joining Russell in Michigan's prestigious 100-Win Club. With six 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 153-72-5 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 9 (2/1/2012) ]

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 a spot, falling to the No. 12 position in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, released Tuesday (Jan. 31). [ 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 16 14 14 16
141 Kellen Russell 1 1 1 1
149 Eric Grajales 7 7 7 5
165 Dan Yates 14 11 NR 22
174 Justin Zeerip 8 7 6 6
197 Max Huntley 15 14 14 14
Hwt Ben Apland 10 11 8 8

Saturday, Feb. 11 -- at NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals (Piscataway, N.J.), 4 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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