Feb. 15, 2011
Friday, Feb. 18 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 7 p.m.
Live Scoring | BigTenNetwork.com (Fee) | Michigan State website
The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (10-5, 5-3 Big Ten) will close out the dual portion of the 2010-11 campaign on Friday (Feb. 18), heading to East Lansing, Mich., for a road match at intrastate rival Michigan State. The dual is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Jenison Field House.
Michigan's Projected Lineup
||Hometown (High School)
||Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)
||Monroe, Mich. (Monroe)
||High Bridge, N.J. (Blair Academy)
||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
||Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
||Gilroy, Calif. (Gilroy)
||Clinton Twp., Mich. (Chippewa Valley)
||Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)
MICHIGAN BY THE NUMBERS:
Complete Statistics: Through Feb. 13
LAST TIME OUT: vs. MINNESOTA, at IOWA
The Wolverines dropped a pair of weekend duals against top-five Big Ten opposition, falling to No. 5 Minnesota, 22-12, last Friday (Feb. 11) before losing at No. 2 Iowa, 30-7, last Sunday (Feb. 13). Senior/junior Kellen Russell stole the show in both duals, earning overtime wins against the Gophers' second-ranked Mike Thorn, 3-1, and Iowa's No. 3-ranked Montell Marion, 9-5. Michigan claimed four total bouts against the Gophers, adding wins from sophomore/freshman Brandon Zeerip, senior/junior Justin Zeerip at fifth-year senior Anthony Biondo at 157, 174 and 197 pounds, respectively. Sophomore/freshman Eric Grajales picked up U-M's other win at Iowa, claiming a major decision at 149 pounds.
We're Going Streaking -- Senior/junior Kellen Russell remains one of the nation's lone undefeated wrestlers -- with a perfect 29-0 record -- and has done so against a tough field at 141 pounds. Among Russell's wins this season, he has defeated six ranked opponents, including four currently listed among the nation's top seven in Minnesota's No. 2 Mike Thorn, Iowa's No. 3 Montell Marion Illinois' No. 4 Jimmy Kennedy, Cal Poly's No. 5 Boris Novachkov and Penn State's No. 7 Andrew Alton. For his efforts, he earned his third career Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor, and U-M's fourth this season.
The Wolverine captain is no stranger to starting a season on a tear; he kicked off 2007-08 -- his true freshman campaign -- with an 18-0 record before falling twice at the National Duals. Dating back to the seventh-place match at the 2009 NCAA Championships, Russell owns a 30-match winning streak. It is the longest win streak of his collegiate career. He previously recorded a 23-match win streak during his sophomore season. Russell has lost back-to-back matches on just two occasions his collegiate career -- at the 2008 National Duals and the 2008 NCAA Championships.
Dual Domination -- With his pair of weekend wins, senior/junior Kellen Russell extended his dual winning streak to 31 consecutive matches. The Wolverine captain sat out last season with injury but, after starting 1-1 in 2008-09 dual meets, won 16 consecutive dual appearances to close out the season. Russell boasts an impressive 51-6 dual record over his collegiate career.
Reaching the Century Mark -- Fifth-year senior captain Anthony Biondo collected his 100th collegiate win with his 10-5, rally-inducing decision against Ohio State's Peter Capone (Jan. 28). With a career mark of 102-43, Biondo becomes the 33rd member of the Wolverines' prestigious 100-Win Club and the first since former Wolverines Steve Luke and Tyrel Todd surpassed the 100-win milestone during the 2008-09 season. Senior/junior captain Kellen Russell also stands within striking distance of the win milestone, carrying a 94-11 career record into the weekend action.
Freshman Phenoms -- Michigan's starting lineup features three freshmen at consecutive weights -- Eric Grajales (149), Brandon Zeerip (157) and Dan Yates (165) -- and the trio has played a big role in the Wolverines' recent success, combining for a 15-8 record in Big Ten duals with two pins, a technical fall and two major decisions.
Bringing Out Brandon -- Since joining the starting lineup at 157 pounds, sophomore/freshman Brandon Zeerip has posted a 6-3 dual record and went 5-3 in Big Ten matches. He has earned three bonus wins, including a pair of falls, and claimed Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors after pinning Purdue's 19th-ranked Colton Salazar (5:27, Jan. 14) in his dual-meet debut. His lone dual losses have come against a trio of top-10 opposition -- Northwestern's No.10 Jason Welch, Penn State's No. 3 David Taylor and Iowa's No. 7 Derek St. John.
A Reversal of Fortune -- Senior/junior captain Justin Zeerip kicked off the Wolverines' road victory against Wisconsin with an upset win against 12th-ranked Ben Jordan, using 1:25 in riding-time advantage to secure a 2-1 decision and avenge an earlier-season loss. Zeerip had previously lost to Jordan, 4-1, in their wrestleback contest at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Zeerip is one of six different Michigan wrestlers to flip a loss to a familiar opponent this season. Sophomore Sean Boyle, sophomore/freshman Eric Grajales, sophomore/freshman Dan Yates and fifth-year senior Anthony Biondo all achieved the feat in Michigan's win over Lehigh at the Virginia Duals, while sophomore/freshman Brandon Zeerip avenged an early season loss to Central Michigan's Eric Cubberly with a dominant 19-7 major decision in the road dual.
Calling the Shots -- Head coach Joe McFarland is in his 12th 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 146-69-5 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.
IN THE POLLS
The Wolverines dropped a spot, falling to the No. 11 position in the latest NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches poll, released Tuesday (Feb. 15). Michigan also boasts nine individuals ranked among the top 25 wrestlers in their respective weight classes in the InterMat, Amateur Wrestling News, WIN Magazine or Division I College Wrestling polls:
Sat-Sun., March 5-6 -- at Big Ten Championships (Evanston, Ill.), 10 a.m.
Thu-Sat., March 17-19 -- at NCAA Championships (Philadelphia, Pa.), 10 a.m.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423