Weekly Release #11: U-M Wraps Regular Season at Northwestern
MGOBLUE Justin Zeerip
MGOBLUE
Justin Zeerip
MGOBLUE

Feb. 16, 2010

THIS WEEK
Sunday, Feb. 21 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), 6 p.m. CST
Live Results | TV: Big Ten Network

The University of Michigan wrestling team (4-14, 0-7 Big Ten) will wrap up the dual-meet portion of its 2009-10 schedule on Sunday (Feb. 21), traveling to Evanston, Ill., to square off against Northwestern. The dual is slated for a 6 p.m. CST start at Welsh-Ryan Arena and will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.

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)
197 Anthony Biondo Sr./Jr. Clinton Twp., Mich. (Chippewa Valley)
Hwt Ben Apland So./Fr. Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)

MICHIGAN BY THE NUMBERS:
Complete Statistics: Through Feb. 14

WOLVERINE BITES
The Youth of Today -- With a lineup predominantly made up of underclassmen and no seniors, the Wolverines are fielding one of the nation's youngest squads in 2009-10. Michigan's lineup consists of four freshmen, four sophomores and two juniors; it will return its entire rotation next season. U-M's is particularly youthful at the lowerweights, where true freshman Sean Boyle (125) and true sophomores Zac Stevens (133) and Mark Weber (141) have yet to use a redshirt year.

This Just-in -- Junior/sophomore Justin Zeerip has returned to his winning ways of late, earning wins in his last three Big Ten competitions. He secured a dominant 10-0 major decision last Friday (Feb. 12) against Indiana's Nick Avery and wrapped the weekend with a 5-3 decision over Wisconsin's Brendan Ard. Zeerip is 25-16 this season and has already surpassed his career high in the win category. Twelve of his 16 losses this season have come against nationally-ranked competition. He 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.

A Career Year --Senior/junior captain Anthony Biondo split a pair of Big Ten matches against ranked opposition last weekend, cruising past Indiana's 15th-ranked Matt Powless, 6-0, before falling to Wisconsin's seventh-ranked Trevor Brandvold, 4-1, for just his fourth loss of the season. Biondo boasts a 29-4 record on the season, already claiming six 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 a solid 53-17 record while registering an 18-15 mark at 184 pounds last season. The Wolverine captain held onto the No. 8 position in the latest edition of the InterMat national rankings.

Super Dave -- Junior/sophomore Dave Johnson claimed a high-scoring 15-8 win over Wisconsin's Greg Burke last Sunday (Feb. 14) to claim his third win in Big Ten dual competition. Johnson used three tilts to rack up seven back points in the bout. He also owns a pair of nail-biter wins. He overcame a three-point deficit -- with riding time -- against Michigan State's Anthony Jones (Jan. 29), using a pair of two-point tilts in the third period to win 7-6. The previous weekend, he picked up a big 6-4 overtime win over Minnesota's Joe Grygelko (Jan. 23), using an extended scramble -- and a little luck -- to pick up the winning takedown with seven seconds left on the score clock. Johnson is 17-17 on the season.

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 136-63-5 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.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Northwestern -- The Wolverines hold a dominant 69-7-3 advantage in the all-time series against Northwestern, dating back to the 1925-26 season. The two teams wrestled to a 17-17 tie in last season's meeting in Ann Arbor as Michigan rallied from a sizable 10-point deficit at the halftime break with wins in four of the final five bouts. Justin Zeerip and Tyrel Todd earned necessary bonus points at 174 and 197 pounds, respectively, while Kellen Russell battled to a 4-2 decision over 16th-ranked Keith Sulzer in the 141-pound match. Northwestern is 5-11-1 on the season and 0-6 in Big Ten competition after dropping a road dual to top-ranked Iowa, 49-0, in its latest outing last Friday (Feb. 12). The Wildcats boast one nationally ranked wrestler in 13th-ranked Andrew Nadhir at 149 pounds. Northwestern on the Internet: www.nusports.com.

THE THURSDAY THROWDOWN PODCAST
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 ]

TWITTER-TASTIC
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.

2009-10 YEARBOOK & RECORD BOOK
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 ]

IN THE POLLS
The Wolverines remain just outside of the top 25 in the latest national poll, released Tuesday (Jan. 5) by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Senior/junior Anthony Biondo lists as Michigan's lone ranked individual wrestler holding onto the No. 8 position in the latest InterMat rankings at 197 pounds.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Sat-Sun., March 6-7 -- host Big Ten Championships (Crisler Arena)
Thu-Sat., March 18-20 -- at NCAA Championships (Omaha, Neb.)

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423


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