Week #2: Wolverines to Compete at MSU Open in Final Tune-Up

Nov. 8, 2011

• Wolverine Wrestling Wrap: Episode 2

Saturday, Nov. 12 -- at Michigan State Open (East Lansing, Mich.), 9 a.m.
Twitter Updates | MSU Website

The University of Michigan wrestling team will send its full squad to compete unattached at the Michigan State Open on Saturday (Nov. 9) in East Lansing, Mich. The annual tournament, the Wolverines' final tune-up prior to their dual-meet opener, will be split into freshman/sophomore and open divisions. Action is scheduled for a 9 a.m. start at Jenison Field House.

Complete Statistics: Through Nov. 5

The Wolverine freshmen stole the show at last Saturday's season-opening Eastern Michigan Open (Nov. 5), posting six top-three finishes in the freshman/sophomore division. Freshman Justin Dozier headlined the rookie contingent, posting a perfect 4-0 record -- with two pins -- en route to the heavyweight crown. Sophomore/freshman Donnie Watkins took runner-up at 141 pounds, while freshman Camryn Jackson, freshman Connor Brancheau, freshman Ben Ralston and sophomore/freshman Chris Heald claimed third at 141, 165, 174 and 184 pounds, respectively.

Both of Michigan's open-division representatives earned top-six finishes as junior/sophomore Mike Hillock went 5-1 en route to a third-place finish at 149 pounds and sophomore/freshman Jake Salazar took sixth at 157 pounds with a 3-3 mark. All Wolverines competed unattached in the kickoff EMU tournament.


We're Going Streaking -- Fifth-year senior Kellen Russell posted a perfect 38-0 record last season en route to the NCAA 141-pound title. Adding his win in the 2009 NCAA seventh-place match, Russell carries a 39-match winning streak into the 2011-12 campaign. It ranks as the third-longest win streak in U-M program history, behind John Fisher (47, 1988-89) and Otto Olson (42, 2001-02). Russell previously compiled win streaks of 18 matches as a freshman and 23 matches as a sophomore and has lost back-to-back matches on just two occasions his collegiate career -- at the 2008 National Duals and the 2008 NCAA Championships.

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 147-69-5 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.

• Michigan wrestling is now on 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 wrestling is also on 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.

Michigan boasts nine 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:

125 Sean Boyle 11 17 11 9
133 Zac Stevens 11 10 9 10
141 Kellen Russell 1 1 1 1
149 Eric Grajales 5 8 7 7
157 Brandon Zeerip NR 18 NR 23
165 Dan Yates NR 20 NR 21
174 Justin Zeerip 17 11 18 20
197 Max Huntley NR NR 19 23
Hwt Ben Apland 19 10 15 16

Friday, Nov. 18 -- at Buffalo (Buffalo, N.Y.), 5 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 19 -- at Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 7 p.m.
Fri-Sat., Dec. 2-3 -- at Cliff Keen Invitational (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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